Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ding ding ding?

I've got a game idea. A workable idea. A fairly non-violence-based idea. I think it might work. I need feedback.

The setting: A building. Maybe one story, maybe more, I don't know. Just that it takes place in a building, with rooms and hallways and all that jazz. The building is on fire.
The hero: A firefighter.
The goal: Hunt down all the fires in the building, put them out, and save any people trapped behind the flames before they die.

Each stage would be a new building, probably increasing with size as the game goes on. Infinitely? I don't know. Maybe. The stage would begin with one or more civilians wandering the building, and one or more fires spread throughout the building. If left to themselves, the fires grow. Rooms can have furniture, which would serve to slow you down and to hasten the spread of the flames. You would enter at the ground floor, and try to get to the civilians as quickly as possible. If they see you, then they'll start following you automatically. Once found, you then lead them to the exit, or perhaps a window on that side of the building (from which a ladder would be raised to let them down... not sure on the specific mechanics here).

Display would be either straight top-down or from an angle as per my Zombie City titles. Control would be with WASD to move and the mouse to aim and spray water. I haven't thought of how to limit you from constantly firing the hose... if you had limited water, there would need to be a way to replenish it. The level would end when all civilians are either saved or dead, all fires are extinguished (optionall? stage-dependent?), and you escape the building. Depending on the amount of property damage and the amount of lives saved, you recieve a ranking on the mission. Faliure would be reached by either getting too low of a ranking, or dying on a stage.

So that's the basic idea. I think there needs to be something else to it... it's almost too simplistic. But it's a start.

Comment comment comment comment for the love of God COMMENT.


Miss Elizabeth said...

Thank you no, but I will NOT comment. Goddamn bossy people.

Alan Gordon said...

Don't be a meanie. You know I love you.

skinny coder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skinny coder said...

With the water limitations, what about things like hose length and water pressure. The tough thing there is stages are likely to get tougher as you get deeper into them, so forcing a limitation based on length might just be too much.

Perhaps the water pressure drops as you hold the button down and when you let go it charges back up? It could even go up real fast, it would just need to be released now and then.

I dunno...

Also, I don't think you should force the entire fire to be put out, at least not for all stages. I think that will force players to play the game one way - Clear the room, search for people, move to the next, etc. Instead, what if you allow people to 'carve' their way through a room. Make a path through and put out the big fires, but you let them leave bits ablaze.

Even cooler would be if these fires could come back and spread again. Then there's a lot strategy to what fires you put out and when.

I like the property damage and human life score sheet idea. What about having some special personal items in each of the buildings, things that are deeply connected to the characters you save. Like a wedding album or an old lover letter, etc. It could sorta add a bit of story without really having to WRITE a plot.

I hope this makes sense... posting at 2am might not be the best idea.


Alan Gordon said...

Excellent feedback, skinny! Let's see...

Hose length: Adds nasty limitations to stage size, would get annoying, and the math would he ugly as HELL to implement. I don't know about this one.
Water Pressure: Yeah, this sounds like a pretty good system. Maybe let the hose run for about 3-5 seconds before dying down, then recharge over about 0.5-1 seconds. That could work.

Don't require fire elimination: Yeah, I have to agree with you on that one. Maybe leaving too many fires burning would lower your ranking for the mission, but so would time spent, as a detrement to the player scouring every room of the house on every level to keep his score up.
Fires coming back: I was thinking of having more fires appear over time on some levels... that could have a similar effect to what you're talking about. Or something. Hm.

Special item: Hmm... I dunno about this one. It'd be hard to represent - remember, the graphics for this game will be highly abstracted due to lack of artistic resources. That, and adding a plot on top of the fire rescue thing might send me down the same road as the problems your site talked about in their Trauma Center review.
On the other hand: CATS. There needs to be an opportunity to rescue cats.

skinny coder said...

Hahaha. Cats would be cool. I fully endorse that idea :D And the 'sentimental items' idea is certainly supplemental, so if it doesn't work with the design - GONE! (although I think you'd be safe with from going down Trauma Center's path as long as you didn't connect the fires to some insane plot to burn the world down ;)

The thing that I think makes the part where fires can grow back kinda nifty, is that it rewards a player for great play.

If a player decides to just burn enough to get to the people to save and to the next area, then when they get back (to leave) the fire could have grown and they need to clear it again (taking more time).

If a player spends too much time putting out all the fire, then it wont grow back but maybe they don't get to some people in time at a later point.

Without a system like this, a player can just put out the minimum amount of fire, without any regard.

I think that if you can get a program that just makes the fire act like a virus, and that it grows over time (which I', sure exists in some part of your Zombie City projects :P), that you could just apply that and let the fire sorta... script itself.

You can also have some sort of 'building integrity' or an 'oxygen meter', some way to add a timer to the game. I hate timers in some games, but being a fire fighter, I think it would play fine in your game. The 'oxygen meter' would be pretty standard - just a timer, where something like 'building integrity' would actually hinge on the players ability to keep the fire under control.

Mike Schroeder said...

I remember that there was a game like this for the SNES, about a firefighter who went into buildings and saved people. But since I haven't seen it in ten years - and since that firefighter game was tied to a movie - I don't see why not.

Also, 'just' fires might be boring. Firefighters do more than just rush into buildings, I'd assume - you could do a 'slice of life' thing, I guess, or tie in an overarching plot of some kind.


Alan Gordon said...

I think I've actually played that SNES firefighter game... I don't remember it being very good, though. And I think it had bosses, which is a very strange choice for the subject material.

As for the "slice-of-life" idea, keep in mind my biggest limitations: resources, and time. My goal is to create a simple, fun arcade game, centered around putting out fires and saving lives. Adding much more than that is probably too much to ask a lonely, time-pressed coder. At the least, it's more than I'm going to do.

And where did you get to my blog from? Your name sounds damn familiar.

G. Turner said...

I haven't had the chance to play it yet, but your concept reminds me quite a bit of Firefighter F.D.18, a recent Konami game for the PS2.

Good luck with NaViGaWriMo when it starts up again!

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