As you might remember, I challenged myself during the year of 2019 to choose a game project to start working on during 2020. Well, the deadline arrive, and so I’ve made my choice: My 2020 Goal is to make RoboJump – the card-platform game, come to life.
My 2020 project – RoboJump
From all the projects and ideas I covered, the one I decided on is CardJump, a prototype that I’ve made in one hour for the 1hgj challenge. The idea was a joke-mechanic, take two popular game genres, CCG and platformers, and combine them together to one horrific broken game concept.
But it wasn’t as broken as I imagined, people seemed to enjoy that little demo, and I enjoyed making it. So now I want to try and take to the next level, make a full game out of it.
I have a full story in my head, about a robot that have to hide his robotic identity in a society with a policy of “NO ROBOTS ALLOWED”. Only, all of them are robots who won’t admit it, and perhaps don’t know it. Inspired by r/tottalyNotRobots, check it out
I feel that it is important to choose a theme that takes itself lightly, this is an entire game based on a joke-mechanic. But the theme is not set in stone, neither is the name RoboJump, all of those might change depending if I’ll cooperate with artist and story tellers, which – being aware of my own limitation, will raise by a lot the potential value of the game.
RoboJump’s idea is based on a joke mechanic: Card collection platformer. I’ll have to make many mechanic decisions.
Part of the fun is the chaotic gameplay, but part of the fun in platformers is the control you have over the character. So I will need to balance the chaoticness of the game and the control a player have.
How will the cards be randomized?
How far can you plan your actions?
What impact each card will have?
How often the cards can be refreshed?
All those will change the predictability of RoboJump, and I’ll have to see what makes for a fun, surprising, but not frustrating experience.
What about CCG?
How does the Card Collection part of the game will come into play?
Is the cards collected during the long run, making the player stronger each day, or are they more rouge-like style, letting the player to make his choices for each run?
Will the cards be activated per click? Is long click allowed for movement cards? Do you need to target your enemy for attack cards?
What are there limits? Do you need to wait to refresh cards? What happens when they are finished?
Endless design choices
Do you have time limit? Actions limit? How fast is the game? Will it be an endless game? a Rouge-like? a levels based platformer?
This game can go in so many different directions. The good part of that is that if one direction gets stuck, there are plenty of other options. The bad part is that it’s a bit overwhelming.
To be honest, I’m not at all sure that taking this one minute joke game to a full length game will work. What does full length even mean? How far can you scratch a joke?
I do take for inspiration a game my friend made: Overwired that is also based on a joke mechanic, and seems to work pretty well as a full game.
Platform – PC
I will have to make some design choices.
My intuition is to develop RoboJump for PC. I have more experience in Mobile development, I have better knowledge with mobile games, and I love mobile games, so this is not an easy choice to make.
My main reason for this choice is that I want to be able to share my story with my audience in an environment that will require their full attention.
So why not consoles you wonder?
Come on! I’m already going out of my shell doing a PC game. Trying to develop for a system so foreign for me is not something I want to experience at the moment. Already I have to make sure this project is doable.
For 2020 I decided I will develop RoboJump, a game that combines card collection mechanics with platfromer mechanics. I have many choices to make, and many directions that probably will change during my path, including the robot concept and the game name.
I feel like I’m at the start of a wonderful journey.
Wish me luck 🙂