Well, here I was ready to throw my idea right on in. (Don't worry I still will)
I've got to say though, RBWhitakers entry has not only some great ideas, but some interesting challenges as well. The things I like:
- It's not a plain old arcade game. So it's different.
- We could make it a networked game and play with/against each other.
- AI could be really interesting, and actually use formal AI techniques. (You could take a deck that an AI has never seen before, have it play against itself 1000 times and learn what cards are best to play.)
If we do go that route, I think it would be a good idea to lay out some themes and 'wining' conditions first… and at least three of them (meaning three different decks and basic rules). That should give us a better idea on laying things out going into the collab as well as giving us a good dataset to use testing things out.
I particularly like the networking idea. As you know, or may not know, one of the goals I've been working towards this year is more networking. At one point, I had a website where users could register an account linked to a game server that you could log into and validate. It was kind of like a Blizzard Authentication thing.. the point being, you could manage your account online and then log into the game as necessary. We won't need anything near that fancy for this… but I do have a server set up and ready to go for anything like this we want to do. And recently, I've split the 'game server' off from the Web and File servers, so now we have a dedicated game server 8-).
And, lastly, doing some serious AI would be both interesting and a good challenge. I've been itching to try out the stuff I learned about neural networks. Tie that in with RBWhitakers idea of the AI playing against itself 1000 times and I would agree with him that
This is a harder challenge (that I personally think we're ready for).
If we get through that, we could go for a stretch goal: network the AI's so they can play against each other. Heck, give it a weekend and let it run a million times!
So, yeah, RBWhitaker, that is a great idea! I do like diversity though, so I will go ahead and add a couple ideas.
1. Doom3D clone.
The last collaboration we completed was the Asteroids3D. That was great fun, and a huge step forward for us collectively. Not only did we move into 3D territory with the rotating asteroids and ships (even though you could only see them top down), we produced some of our own 3D artwork (the asteroids), worked well together with the Trello layout to complete tasks in a timely manner, and let all the pieces fall into place to create a complete, playable game in only one day!
That being said, I favor the idea of continuing things in 3D. Not that it has to be complicated. The Doom3D clone would be your basic, shoot through the dungeon with an assortment of guns and chainsaws, kill the bad guys, and escape with your life and a few demon scraps. (They go great grilled with BBQ sauce!) The idea would be to create the 'level' in 3D… your basic hallways and rooms, and then render everything else 'billboarded' in 2D. The enemies, as well as your 'hands' and 'weapons', and even the 'fireball' that the enemy shoots, would all be 2D Assets. 'Billboarded' simply means that the 'enemy' is always facing the player.
This idea has a couple benefits:
- There's a ton of artwork out there for this type thing. The only part we'd really need to concentrate on for artwork is the 'level' design
- The 'level' design can be fairly simple. We could go two different ways with this: First, draw it all out in Blender or Wings3D. Second, we could make the levels dynamic. Give the computer a basic set of hallway shapes and have it generate the dungeons itself.
I kind of favor the idea of randomly generated levels… its always something different. Though, obviously if we go this route, we won't be able to clone the entire game. I'd say a 'winning' or 'complete' condition would be a working level, where you can go through and kill a certain number of enemies, or hit a certain score to 'win'. We can always add enemies or raise the score level if we want to 'increase' the 'levels' and make the game longer.
2. SRSG (Some Random Space Game)
RBWhitaker mentioned earlier that we get hit with a productivity drag sometimes on artwork. I was browsing for some stuff earlier today and came across a great tile set for a space game. The artist is decent, and the work seems like it can offer some good gameplay. I guess the idea would be that you are the 'engineer' character, and you have to kill the 'aliens' on the ship.
At any rate, it's got all of the basics covered, including backgrounds, player animations, enemy idle animations, weapon animations, and enemy death animations. It'd probably be pretty simple to throw this one together but I thought I'd throw out the thought since it's a full asset set and I kind of like it!