LowRezJam 2017


Another LOWREZJAM! Yay!

Last year I entered Lil' Cappy. You play as a little capybara, exploring a swamp to help little white ducklings back to their nest. The game relied on you listening out for the chirps and beeps of the babies as you waddled about. One you find a baby, it hops on your head.

It was my first real foray into making an entire game, and actually finishing it! (something I still struggle with - there's quite a few failed experiments you may never see). I found the whole exercise EXTREMELY fun, and I learned a lot. I spent the two weeks wrangling with lists, lerps and render textures.


But now moving on to THIS year's jam.

I've got a bit more time this year, so I want to make something a more complex. 

Tiny Train

     

I think the child in me never quite got over trains. There's something interesting from a game perspective about moving along fixed paths. Navigating vast distances but without worrying about the actual navigation, instead focusing on managing the very thing you're piloting. Plus I use trains a lot. I visit family fairly often and they're spread far across the country, and I don't have a car. I've got a lot of experience using the Great British Rail System (it's the worst). Also I thought Spirit Tracks was pretty neat.

So for Tiny Train (or whatever the title will be) I want to make a decent sized map to traverse, so that travelling between distant towns takes maybe a minute or so. Just sitting and watching would be a bit boring, so while you wait you must maintain your steam engine, keeping the fires stoked and the gears clean.  

My main concern with a rigid rail system is there's usually nothing new to discover. Every path you can take is literally mapped put for you. But perhaps this is possible with rails? In London there are unmapped tube stops that are still connected to the rail network. 

Imagine. You're cruising south. The next marked junction isn't for at least another few 'miles', but then you pass a branch of track going offscreen to the west. You stop and check the map. There's nothing there. You head back and turn off at the junction! After a minute of genuine exploration down this new land you reach an unmarked town. Oooh!

Finding somewhere not on a map is exciting. It feels like you've cheated the system somehow. I feel this is part of the appeal in Metroidvanias. Technically, the rooms in a metroidvania are like a track - they take you somewhere, they are interconnected and they're fixed. Despite being totally set from the beginning of the game, there is a real joy in finding hidden areas, secret paths and handy loops for connecting otherwise distant areas together. Perhaps I can create a whole new genre? Metroidtrainia? I like it.

Other Ideas

Turn-based dungeon crawler

I've made about 3 of these now. I think I'm getting good at it. The challenge here would be to make one quickly with directional combat, maybe? Perhaps in a pinch you can jump off the edge or drill down to the next level, sacrificing health in the process as you fall.

Tiny Boat


Similar to the Tiny Train, but with a boat. Sail across the great inland sea to deliver messages (or maybe ketchup judging from the boat).

Random Reloader

     etc...

The king needs his pistols in tip-top shape. Prime, twist, lock, cock, and powder-charge a series of procedural old guns. The King is impatient so you'd better do it quickly!

I'm sure there'll be more! Let's get cracking!

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