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PLayer's Excitement & Boredom
From the minute I heard about this project I was excited. Not because it's another zombie game but because it's about the imagination of these kids and how they are immersed into the familiar and exciting zombie apocalypse. I thought of an idea that could help us, the players, too feel involved in the imagination of our young avatars. One of the first things I asked myself is "How do kids act when they play? How did I act when I was young and playing?". There is a simple answer; Kids hate to lose especially if they are playing the hero. When they lose, they tend to complain about it. So, what if the characters and environment changed as a result of your characters excitement or boredom?
In my idea it would work according to the players health. If the player gets too low in health the environment and zombies begin to get real. In other words, they start to see the school as it really looks without blood splatters or other apocalyptic features, and the zombies would look like normal kids still playing as imaginary zombies. The player's character would start getting fussy and muttering each time they attack or are hit until they are no longer bored or lose all health. They would also see themselves look more ordinary, for example, if they appeared to be a fierce knight with a laser gun they would suddenly look like a kid with a football helmet and squirt gun.
If the player is completely full in health then the world would transform into an even more terrifying place. The building looks ripped to bits, some places get darker, more blood, zombies' eyes glow bright red. Even the player's character would change into a more heroic looking avatar. Their fire torch (normally a baseball bat with streamers taped to it) would appear as a flaming mace that blazes brightly each time it's swung. You get the point.
I believe something like this would get players even more interested in not just gameplay but also style and atmosphere. It would be fun to see how a boss looks normal, evil and super evil. It would also remind us that these are just kids trapped in their imaginations, which is what the game is all about. What do you think? Please give feedback or even make adjustments to my idea if you can think of it working another way!
"Time out!", "Time In!" pausing:
Anytime the player hits pause to bring up the menu, their character's voice will shout "Time out!". When they resume gameplay they will shout "Time in!". If this game is played through online multiplayer then obviously the game would resume regardless of the player pressing pause (Start or Esc buttons). Just a fun thought.
That's a really interesting idea, KingSeafoam. It'd definitely make for a really dynamic visual experience.
How do you think such a feature would affect player behavior?
If say it was linked to your total health and I wanted to see the max health visuals, I would do my best to stay at maximum health and stay out of danger whenever I could. If it was linked to the amount of damage done, I'd be more aggressive and try to deal more damage to get the visual appeal.
Really cool idea
. It would make for some interesting gameplay.
I think that sort of design would support the single player option idea. I think it would make it difficult to have 4 players see different things while interacting with each other or if it took the groups collective health into account or whichever person happens to be hosting the game perhaps. Pausing may be subject to the same problems within the multiplayer part of the game.
Still i think its a neat idea and if they have the money and support to do it. Im all for it!
this however would encourage a leach mechanic (damage done = health replenished) because who can be bored when beating things?
Hello, and thank you all for the feedback. I admit, When I came up with the idea I became a little engrossed with it and did something very amature by posting it without thouroughly thinking it out. This is why I based the function on the players health status when clearly there are better methods.
An easier method would be a "Rampage" state where it depends whether or not the player has been away from action for too long, or if they happen to accumulate a combo by killing a lot and very fast. I'm not saying that this is the best alternative but it certainly beats the health dependent method which I would imagine getting very distracting under certain circumstances.
Another point, if this were played 4 player local using the "Rampage" suggestion above then it would be very possible and undistracting than the health oriented idea. Just like using 'Star Power' in Guitar Hero, the background changes for everyone but doesn't interrupt their playing. If all 4 players are in a cold non-action period for too long then their characters get bored. But as long as one player begins starts fighting a lot, then things start to look evil. And as long as one player gets a combo going then everything becomes even more dark and evil regardless of the players not in the action.
Like I said, even this method isn't perfect and im open to more ideas. But I still believe that the concept of the boredom/excitement is something original and could fit very well into this kind of game.
This would be so fun
~:D I like your new idea of how it could work and it would make for some really awesome gameplay!:3
! That would definitely be a fun and interesting mechanic to see.
Sorry if it seemed like I was saying it wasn't a good way of implementing such a mechanic. I was hoping to spark some discussion on how different implementations would vary the style of gameplay.
The "Rampage" method sounds really fun aggressive, leading people to want to jump into the action and really wreak some havoc. A great mechanic to have in an action-packed zombie slaughter game!
A benefit I could see to having it linked to player health, or maybe overall team health, is that it encourages more tactical play. This would lead people to focus more on their own personal skill at the game, learning how to dodge, block, and attack at opportune moments. I could imagine something like this promoting gameplay more similar to Demon Souls, where it's much more about the tactical play than slaughtering hordes of enemies.
For player behaviour I think if it was linked to damage of the group as a whole it could work effectively. If the mechanic was based upon damage of individuals then we would get several gun-ho players being paired up with no support roles because everyone wants to shine. This would lead to groups of glass cannons in the servers that may not work together and last to the end of each round.
The whole rampage Idea is great! If successive kills lead to the rampage mechanic then strong offensive teams would dominate and be highly aggressive. This would also connect with
's idea of a leech mechanic. Not only would the visual stimuli encourage the player to play well but when a practical mechanism is in place (not just an aesthetic one) then it encourages more competitive gameplay within a team as being risky and doing heaps of damage would also keep you alive. Though I think the difficulty should be high enough that if you get too far seperated then you will likely die, so groups only do really well if they play as a team.
The health related visuals would encourage more balanced team play. It would give more incentive to play support roles. With the health dependance, I can see that people might even opt to avoid some battles if possible, like if a horde were facing away and instead of killing for points, A group will try and stealth around to get to bosses. It would also make people better players in general, teaching them that the groups survival depends upon everyone knowing how to play their character offensively And defensively.
I wonder how they would implement the visual change on the player characters. Would that require that everyone starts off wearing a school uniform and as you get more into more intense gameplay then the kids start looking like they do in the concept art?.
the problem with pinning it on the group is that it could cause issue between players as they may blame other players for not playing right.
I would suggest leaving it individually and allowing the player to choose their own playstyle (gaining the benefits by hack and slashing) or gaining the benefits by staying healthy.
I wonder if drop-in, drop-out multiplayer has been considered for the game.
I agree with megrim... People get really irked in multiplayer game about things like that. So I would feel more inclined to play multiplayer if It just affected me~
If its possible to implement it for single player then I'd agree. The whole health dependance of the mechanic would still teach players to use their characters effectively. I just hope that they manage to get the funds to implement something haha.
That would be epicsome.
Thanks again everybody for showing interest in this idea.
Yeah, I had it in mind that your characters' appearance and weapons would be creative and realistic when seen "normally". Like a kid pretending to be a robot with a laser gun by wearing a cardboard box helmet and wielding a Nerf gun or something. But as your character gets more excited you'll begin to see them change into a much cooler representation of themselves. So the kid actually starts looking more like a robot, and instead of shooting Nerf darts he's shooting actual laser beams.
This is just a representation of how engulfed your character is into their imagination. I'm not implying that your weapons will actually do additional or less damage depending on how things currently look. But that is up for debate although it is not the main focus point of this discussion. What I hope to resolve is exactly how the Boredom/Excitement idea can be implemented. So far I see that everyone is a lot more on board with the "rampage" mechanic. That's cool; so how does it work?
Well aside from the visual appeal, I believe there are other possible advantages to this mechanic. As you said, the rampage (I feel odd saying this, as if it's official) would likely make for aggressive players. This is the perfect opportunity to manipulate areas in the game. For example, including puzzles to get through an area would slow down the action time and make the players think. meanwhile they'll get a chance to see the world change back to normal which could possibly even help them in solving puzzles.
If this were health based, then players would likely have to develop strategies to keep them healthy. Lets say the player just got through a really rough spot but managed to maintain good health then, because they are hyped, they could enter a secret area in the level that other less excited players could not. This area could hold award items or whatever.
I can even see this mechanic being the focus in special speed runs where the player is dedicated on completing a level with 100% excitement figuratively.
Off topic: I seriously love your profile pic. ZAMN is my all time favorite game. It's a huge part of why I am who I am.
If there characters have a 'normal' look and a adrenaline clouded look/imagination filled, which look would we use since there's character customization? Say, if someone equips the glow in the dark hockey mask, do they wear that at the start, during the boring stage or does it appear as they fight. Im not sure how happy players will be to see that mechanic detract from their chosen individual style. (Not trying to put the idea down, just trying to stimulate some real implementation answers)
For implementation, I believe it should be team based, dependant on successive kills, activating a 'rampage mode.' The reason I say team based, so that a healer or crowd control characters can experience it too, also it encourages team damage combinations (eg. Water blast from a gun and a electric jolt from a rc car)
The rampage has a 10-20 second duration and additional 5 seconds is granted per extra kill. The whole visual change starts from whatever the player chooses at the beginning, be it a power ranger, the cape, pj's or a uniform, to have certain affect( also chosen beforehand) take place.
I think a full visual change from bland people to full zombie, or uniform student to rambo is too difficult at this stage, so we have glows, aura's, flames, mists, smokes, flying bats, surround the player indicating a buff is in place. As the visual of the player increases in brightness, the visuals of the world grow darker. The zombies eyes start glowing red, more blood comes out of each blow, anything to make the scene more evil looking, but it can be applied like a buff/debuff by the programmers instead of a possible 'phasing in and out' of scenes. Maybe even throw in a brightness change like a camera filter on each players' screen the same way screens go red when you're shot in shooter games or me3.
This is a possible way to implement this without creating multiple versions of each character model to suit the situation. Thoughts?
This might be TL;DR for some
Part of the fun is character customization so it would make sense that what you choose to look like is how you'd be seeing yourself as most of the time. What I think would be a nice touch is to at times see your customized character morph into a much more heroic personality. The glowing hockey mask would appear something like the possessed mask of Slaughterhouse, and any other items would change too. I think it might be a little more fun to keep the heroic appearance a secret until the player see for themselves when their character changes. That way it keeps them interested in customization.
As for buffs/debuffs and the what-not, well it's possible that this could be a result of the character changes. I know I said that this wasn't implied in the idea and it's still not, but it is an idea to go with it. However, the visuals changing is much more than that. Sure, it be great and it'd make sense that when your character changes then so does your ability. But it would also be great that the environment would play an important role depending on the level of excitement the kids are currently in. This is what would make this game unique and focus on the feature that these are children in a world of pretend. When their imaginations go wild there are more possibilities. When they become uninterested, then the game becomes simpler.
In other words, this whole idea is meant to give players the option of a creative alternative of playing or to focus on the objective. When engulfed in their imagination the world looks
apocalyptic and grim, giving them the opportunity to see things others cannot. When things are normal then the objective (whatever it is) is clearer and thus easier to obtain.
Here's a hypothetical situation (based on a mesh between both health oriented and rampage ideas) that I hope can make this more understandable:
First of all;
- 'Bored' low health players would need to focus on basic fighting strategies to stay alive while destroying the zombie hoard. This would encourage heavy teamwork and tactics so they don't die.
- 'Normal' high health players have the opportunity to use special abilities (which I'm assuming there are any, correct me if I'm wrong). This makes them the primary target of the zombies and encourages the use individual skills to work as both team and independent players.
- 'Excited' rampaging players have access to environment secrets and bonuses and are also temporarily more powerful. This gives opportunity to players to either become heroic zombie killers, or go on their own to discover secrets that may benefit everyone like weapons and items.
- The players are trapped in the gym locker room and must either fight a large wave of zombies or find the key to get out faster.
- Two 'bored' players stay close together using combinations or well timed blocks, attacks and retreats in order to keep each other alive. Their low health 'Bored' state makes the objective simple yet still very intense.
- One 'normal' player plays the dominant role of attracting attention and using their skills to make the situation easier on everyone. The normal state makes the game playable as an action survival rpg much like Diablo. With their skills they'll have the opportunities to find alternate ways of completing the objective.
- The one 'excited' player decides to use the environment as a weapon against the hoard. Because they are excited they'll be able to find creative ways to help fight such as electrocuting the showers or dropping rows of lockers on zombies.
Again, this is all hypothetical and only meant to spark interest in the possibilities of this feature. Whether it be to solve puzzles, bypass situations, find items or alternate routs, whatever. But everything emphasizes on the creativity of the kids' imaginations which I still think is what the game is all about. Rather than creating another "Monster Madness" but with elementary kids, how about making it stand out with a feature unlike other games? (no offense to devs, I have no idea of their actual goals on this game) Call me ignorant.
I dont know a terrible lot about programming but I think a dynamically changing environment hasn't been done before because it is just way too difficult to program and far too costly for return.
The changes for bored to excited would require several redesigns for every single model per stage/tier that would be added. (Every single head piece, shirt, shoe, weapon, etc. The amount of work required would drop the number of items in general that could be implemented.)
With a game which isn't shooting past all its stretch goals, It may be more practical to head towards a more realistic route to have some hope of being implemented.
I can be completely wrong and this entire thing is just a fanfiction of game mechanics but one can hope.
I realize this and that is totally understandable. This is merely an idea pitch meant to strike a creative nerve with the devs so that at least, perhaps, some form of it may be implemented. Of course, I'm pitching ideas which might seem out of league, but that is because I believe in never assuming the power of the technology and the people behind it. Aiming too low is uncreative, no risks and can be easily put off. Whereas, aiming high might be unrealistic but it leaves room for a lot of alternatives and possibilities which could be worked around to come as close to the big picture as possible.
This team has already done an outstanding job with their concept arts, character/level designs, and animations in a short time. I have no doubt in their ability to come up with something really crazy and original.
Very true. I admire the dream.
I really would like a dynamic game. I think it would really contribute to the immersion factor of the game.
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