Intergalactic - The Development (Part 1)

Beginning development on a new project, which hopefully will not make me abandon older, unfinished projects. This one is different, with more ambition maybe but also more of a plan. So here’s the idea so far.

Having recently played quite a bit of Dark Souls and now Luftrausers, I am intrigued by the idea of making a top-down shoot-em-up that allows for a slow, more defensive, and more strategic combat, more along the lines of Dark Souls than a bullet-hell type shooter. I like the idea of the grinding, attrition based progress - of attacking and withdrawing, as your resources are slowly drained.

So the central mechanic would be: you have two main resources, ‘hull’ (see ‘hp’) and ‘engine temperature’ (‘stamina’). As you fire your weapon, absorb hits with your shield, use special moves, etc. your engine temperature increases, until the engine is ‘overheated’ and you have to wait for it to cool off. Likewise you take damage with each hit, partially (or entirely) mitigated by shields - but there are some ways of repairing yourself, as yet undetermined.

The Luftrausers parallel is the contrast between shooting and manoeuvring, albeit slower and more methodical. I also like the idea of exploration in a 2d, top down bullet-hell game. A seamless world, without map screens (which always frustrate me), perhaps even borrowing a checkpoint system from Dark Souls as well - bases that you can land at to restock. Here is the progress so far, and much of it will likely be changed (I am thinking movement and shooting with a gamepad, though possible mouse+keyboard as well).

Note the influence of Dark Souls even extends to prototypes - the background image I am using. But in truth, I really just wanted something large. Now though, I like the aesthetic of it quite a bit - clean, block colors in smooth shapes. Very stylized, without being pixel-art. Along those lines, I have made a demo of a possible explosion system to create a little variety.

Other thoughts: a navigation, stealth element like F-19 stealth fighter? Avoiding radar, destroying enemy planes before they can report back? Or would that not fit in with the gameplay…

More to follow.

Written on June 13, 2015