So far I’ve covered three of the eight projects that are up for consideration as my next game and I’ll be honest, I can’t say them proving to be the most popular. However the next game up for discussion, Paint It Jack, is possibly my favourite of the group. In case you’ve not tried it, the game is set in simple levels that are not too unlike Pac Man and you collect paint pickups to colour the world with various other objectives (although the prototype is limited in that respect).
I don’t believe the prototype really encapsulated some of the fast, frantic fun that the game could involve, partly because it was just building up into the game. I’ve never been a fan of teaching players how to play via HUD messages or heavily scripted tutorials and especially not walls of text or video that rambles on. Instead I like to start things off very simple then just build the game up. This way you aren’t learning too much at once and you get to experience what is on offer. Unfortunately I took this approach in the prototype so by the time that you covered the mechanism that I’d developed for it, the game was over.
If, well when, I further develop this game I will first look to develop a much greater range of objectives, such as painting the markers specific colours, collecting objects and most importantly destroying those nasty sponges (and other baddies). All of this would of course have context, both within the level and story. When I say story, we’re not talking a novel and I’m not expecting to have people emotionally involved in the character’s quest. Instead it’ll be the good old fashioned “here’s your reason for the quest”, the quest starts with lots of levels then there’s a boss show down and happy ending. However it won’t be the cliched “Save the Princess” routine, I’ve something else planned.
The final notable gameplay addition to the single player is that there will be various weapon pickups. We’re not talking rocket blasters and machine guns though. I’m more interested in trap style weapons such as a mine, a big blob of paint that you get stuck in or a timed paint bomb that coats the surrounding area. Perhaps a nice bouncy grenade or some comical “Worms” style weapons could sneak in as well but one thing is for sure, I don’t want you to just face someone, press a button and win (cunning tactics aside).
But wait, single player? Does that mean there is multiplayer? Indeed it does. I plan to create a local multiplayer version of the game that would have players racing to paint say >50% of the room first. This of course would be whilst dealing with annoying sponges and your enemy setting traps to thwart you! I’ve also ideas for additional game mode such as a flagball mode where you can only follow a coloured path or battling over who is painting specific checkpoints. The one issue that I’d need to address is differentiating who painted what. From a code level that doesn’t worry me but visually it would have to be clear that Player A painted a certain area. Perhaps each player has a specific colour and paints using their colour, or they have to get the right pickups. Alternatively it could be dark vs light shades or maybe split screen, but that limits screen space.
Interesting note – when I first created the project it was called “Ultimate Killer Paint Tanks” and you played a tank that had different paint ball weapons in the form of pickups. I think I prefer Jack’s character though, the ugly little blog that he is. If I’m being honest, Jack’s design is accidental. After opting against the tanks as the game evolved I made a quick placeholder and meant to use the same design as Skwibble from Squeebles but got it laughably wrong. So much so that it stuck! I’ll maybe change him at some point, he needs a touch up anyway, but we’ll see 🙂
If you think this game sounds pretty awesome, why not vote for it to be the next full release from Oxygen Addict? If you are still unsure, tonight I’ll be continuing the blog spree by looking at Squeebles.