1st Edition’s theme is take the fantasies that children have when playing superhero, and shape it into reality. It’s using the power of imagination to create new worlds, with a superhero style to it. 1st Edition also exposes the stark contrast between that fantasy world we all lived in with the real world, as we bounce from world to world in our own treehouse.
3D-Side Scroller 1st Edition plays out as a 3d side-scroller that is reminiscent to games such as the Lego series where the camera follows the player across the screen left-to-right, but the player can travel just about anywhere in the environment and explore as if it were any other 3D game, as it has depth. This gives off the impression of the world feeling large while keeping that classic sidescrolling feel. The player can move backwards as well, this isn’t Super Mario where you can’t backtrack; areas do not get locked off. Combat Players will find the fighting gameplay similar to the Lego series itself, along with Streets of Rage. It’s simple: a sock-and-bop fight-style when it comes to close combat. The player will use a 1-2-3 melee combo attack, starting with a jab, haymaker, then a kick each time they make contact with an enemy. When the player jumps, they can also give an aerial kick, which is a combination of jump & jab. To avoid attacks, player can roll out of the way, or block attacks with their shield.
So when would the player want to soak up an attack with the shield over completely avoiding it by rolling? Well, the shield can deflect projectiles back in the direction from where it came, and rolling may become dangerous on high platforms. When the game starts, the player will not have the shield. Instead they’ll have to use basic combat and navigation skills to get it back (it’s stolen by a monkey – we’ll get to that in a minute). When the player does get the shield back, they can throw the shield as a projectile in the direction that they are facing, they can do this while running also. The shield will return to them when it makes contact with something, acting as a boomerang. Using the shield in the environment The shield will be used to advance through the level by boomerang from Legend of Zelda hitting far away switches and opening drawbridges and the like. The player accomplishes this by holding down the shield button, which highlights whatever is hittable in their direction, and when they release it, the shield automatically goes to hit it. When the player does this, they are prone and can’t walk until they throw the shield. Navigation To clarify for animations, when the player tilts the analog stick, they walk, when they push harder, they run. For now this is cosmetic 1st Edition’s core is sock-and-bop combat, but it’s difficult to make a full game not feel stale by using the same old recipe during an entire level. To spice things up, the player will have to interact with the environment to continue on. Since we’re in a jungle setting, the player will be jumping across gaps by swinging across vines and grinding on ziplines with his shield as if he were Tony Hawk. The later goes under the ‘cool shit’ category, which means it’s not a priority, but would look great if it were added. Floating platforms will also suffice as the player also navigates vertically instead of always heading towards the right of the screen.
Think of the player’s shield throw as Link’s
Collection Mechanic Most platformers and side-scrollers we see have some sort of collectable item that is scattered about the level, an easy way for developers to have players go in certain directions. 1st Edition will have the player collect pages from the comic book that are spread all over the area. If the player collects 20 of them, they gain a boost in their health. I’m open to other suggestions for the result of collecting these items, but their general presence is welcome. Going from 3D to 2D to 3D to 2D to…
Why do you collect the gems in Rocket Knight? I don’t know. BUT I DO IT ANYWAY
We’ve established that 1st Edition is a 3D Side-scroller with a locked camera that travels, right? Well at certain points of the level, the game will become 2D, by that I mean the plane becomes singular. This makes it easier for the player to platform, as this was a major challenge in the Lego series. The game will primarily be in wide-open 3D areas, but there will be certain times with it locks down. In particular, I see this happening with the cave area. We’ll get into that in a minute!
Colors The colors in 1st Edition stand out from other games, having vibrant, bright, and highly saturated colors that look like they were ripped straight out of a comic book. The textures make everything look like it was hand-drawn while retaining a bit of photo-realism, finding a happy medium in-between the two.
Some comic book jazz will be thrown in whenever the player lands a hit, like the KAPOW! Stuff that is used as sound effects in comic books themselves. Color Palette For the 1st level, if you’re looking for a palette look no further than Rayman Origins, a beautiful game with a great sense of color.
USE ALL THE GREENS!
Hazards will be red, standing out from the environment. We’ll talk more about the level itself soon, I promise! Actually what the hell, let’s jump into it right now: Environment The setup of the level will work like this in a nutshell: Treehouse->Base of Jungle(tutorial)->Cave/inside tree(vertical) -> Canopies/Treetops -> Temple (boss)
The Start of the Game 1st Edition starts out in your treehouse in the real world. We’ll then fade to white as you’re teleported at the base of a jungle, revealing the contrast between the real world and the comic book universe. Treehouse The treehouse will have realistic textures and modeling, unlike the cartoony and saturated comic world. It will look as if the kid himself built it, not being symmetrical and planks of wood being out of place. Think of Adventure Time’s house if it were real and also built for one person, by one person. But don’t worry too much about the treehouse; our main focus will be Captain South America’s amazon jungle. Base of the Jungle/Tutorial This is where the real action starts. When the player first finds themselves here, a small monkey will steal our hero’s shield. The player now chases the monkey across the level, learning basic navigation such as jumping and vine-swinging after watching the monkey do the same. We’ll throw in some minions to fight as well so they understand basic combat. When the player finally gets to the monkey, they’ll run into the monkey’s dad, a giant gorilla with slow, predictable attacks. These attacks will be representative of what power the player will get after they defeat it, similar to Megaman. In this case, we will be getting the projectile shield, so the monkey will be throwing projectiles at us such as bananas and the such. No poop. (Daiwei will get more into detail about this later) After the player defeats him, they’ll regain their shield, allowing them to continue on with the level. This is a very important part of the game that will set it apart from other superhero games, so there needs to be a strong connection between each boss and superhero reward.
Cave/Inside of Tree (vertical climbing) Inside here the player will navigate upwards at a steady rate by using tools such as vine swinging, vine climbing, and simple floating platforms. This is where we will shift the game to 2D, as platforming becomes much easier when there is only one plane to contend with. We will first experiment if it is easy to pull this off in a 3D side-scroller, but if we run into problems, shifting from 3D to 2D remains a viable option. The Canopies/Treetops When the player exits the inside of the tree/cave, they will feel Origins. It’s a good game. Go play it. much higher up than they were before. The sound of the gusts of wind become much stronger and louder, while feeling peaceful. The thinner branches and leaves rustle from the wind. It’s a far drop down! Platforming will be essential here.
I know, I keep using screenshots from Rayman
When the player first comes up here, they will be treated to seeing a temple poking out from the trees in the distance.
Temple (Jones Boss) Here is where the player will finally run into Jones, the bully and arch-villain of the game. His outfit and power is representative to the level, but he will always have the jock jacket on. So far we are planning on him spinning around, sucking up the player. The player must now throw their shield to stun and stop him from doing so, in which case he will charge at the player, and the hero must roll out of the way. When he does, he will run straight into a wall, get stuck, and now he is vulnerable. When the player defeats him, they’ll get the ‘charge’/’speed dash’ power. See a pattern here? Enemies Now that we’re got the environment and level concept out of the way, let’s talk about the enemies that inhabit this jungle world. The amazon is full of a hybrid of Incan warriors and tiki tribes, floral headpieces with giant tribesmen masks. The giant masks will cover their face, allowing us to use a variety of different colors for different enemies, giving the illusion that each enemy is different and not the same. They will primarily be using spears as weapons; they just surround the player and use melee attacks, one single attack, no combos. Keep in mind this is the first level, there shouldn’t be a tough challenge when facing the minions just yet. The level will look like it is catered to them – this is where they have all lived for countless years. Old statues of their idols will be built all over the level, but also have vegetation growing on it, giving it that old, ancient look.
Our Characters The characters that we will primarily be looking at for vertical slice will be the hero (duh), and Jones the bully. Keep in mind that we’re going for an exaggerated body structure, so if a character is skinny, they’re very skinny. If they’re big, they’re very big. Our Hero The player is you. He is the pure sense of an avatar, a blank slate that the player can project their own emotions into, an extension of themselves. What is universal is his undying motivation to save the world from evil, because y’know, this kid is only 10 years old and that’s what 10 year olds wanted to do. When our hero transforms from the comic book world where he looks similar to Tim Drake (Robin) to the real world, we notice that he looks just like how we all looked when playing Superhero in the backyard. Household items in his mind are as good as Superman’s cape or Captain America’s shield, it really didn’t matter. His imagination would build it into powerful equipment. Our hero has one last trait: he hates bullies. This is where our next character comes in… Jones the Bully Typical asshole bully, about 11-13 years old, bigger than our hero In the same grade, stupid Jock jacket is very identifiable, always has it Short haircut Motivations: Trying to make a name for himself as a bully, been hazed by other jocks on the sports teams, feels like he needs to establish himself as an alpha male Steals comics to make himself feel dominant, and to try to sell them Realizes that it holds more than just financial value, holds power
Our Bulls eye for vertical slice:
Additional notes: Core bulls eye: Shield throwing and switches