Single Orb Mode

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Single Orb Mode

Postby Deceus » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:01 pm

During one of the livestreams, someone mentioned the idea of having everyone who designed orb doing a lets play using only their orb, and that got me thinking. What if there was an option to start the game with 3 copies of a single orb (1 for each slot), but then be unable to acquire any other orbs throughout the game? There could be a couple of ways to do this - either as a mode that you unlock after you beat the game, where you can start a new game and choose the orb you want, or as a Shovel Knight sort of thing where you can enter certain things as your save file name for the different orbs.

The only problem with this could be if certain orbs are needed to proceed; the game could be altered slightly to accommodate that, or you could only be allowed to equip the other orbs in the certain areas where they are necessary. Personally, speaking as someone who wouldn't be involved in creating it at all :P, I think it would be a lot of fun, especially as a postgame mode - you could even keep track of which orbs you've beaten the game with in this mode for a fair bit of extra replay value, especially for the particularly dedicated/insane :) , while requiring a theoretically minimal amount of design and programming time.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Bodie » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:31 am

Huh, I would have never thought of that. That's a really interesting idea. Do you think that people would like that? It probably wouldn't be too hard to program, hmmm.

What are other forms of replayability that you guys like in games? I mean, we're already getting New Game+, but there's always other stuff that I can try to add. I personally like achievement hunting- so much that if I find a game that I enjoy playing, I'll max out the achievements in it (like Elder scrolls, Binding of Isaac, and Dark Souls for me). I also did a No-Damage Boss run for Order of Ecclesia, but that was like my NG++ version of Shanoa, so I was pretty OP anyway, haha.

What about you guys?
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby cthomlan » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:24 pm

In the Super Metroid ROM hacking scene, there is a hack that randomizes items. There are two groups of items: generic items (missiles, super missiles, power bombs, and energy tanks) and then everything else (including reserve tanks). It's not entirely random, so you'll always get Morph Ball and missiles first, but everything after that is random. Aside from the first two, the only guaranteed non-random items are the first Super Missiles (after Sporespawn) and Power Bombs (upper red Brinstar), to minimize the chances that you'll get stuck. You can enter in a random seed, allowing you to race your friends with the same 'deck' so to speak. These runs are a lot of fun.

EDIT: I should also mention that what makes these runs fun is that, normally, reserve tanks are basically worthless. In a randomized run, because they are pooled with suits and beams and whatnot, there are 4 extra places where you can get a vital item (further reducing the chances you can get stuck). It's basically a wildcard, which is neat. And I forgot to mention that you can get more ammo tanks than normal. The normal maximums are 14 energy tanks, 250 missiles, 50 super missiles, and 50 power bombs. In a randomized run, you could be dealt 20 energy tanks, 5 missiles, 70 super missiles, and 195 power bombs. Or you could be dealt 3/350/40/15. It's a lot of fun adapting your route if your seed is misbehaving.

There's also a door randomizing hack. Everything up to bombs is normal, but everything after that is random. The only rule is an East door will connect to a West door (orientations stay the same) and you can set it so that you can backtrack through rooms instead of being dumped into a new room each time. Also, elevators connect normally. While neat as a novelty, these runs aren't much fun.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby PolyUV » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:01 pm

While it wasn't necessarily endgame content, I always liked the autumn-themed sprite changes after completing the Secret Levels in Super Mario World.

Additionally, there were games like Tyrian, where, upon completion, you had different ships at your disposal, each with different super attacks and what not. Perhaps taking on the role of another character or two (or whatever time and money permit), available after subsequent playthroughs, or when certain conditions/achievements are accomplished?

Maybe items that are only available in NG+?

The collection aspect of games in the Castlevania vein always drove my desire to play. I might still have a save file on a PSX memory card with at least one of everything from SotN.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Deceus » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:35 pm

Bodie wrote:What about you guys?


My favorite "New Game+" mode pretty much ever was Dawn of Sorrow's Julius mode, and I've been trying to piece together why exactly that was. In addition to it being a great throwback to earlier CV's (especially CV3), I think it's the combination of:

New characters: Not just one, but three new characters to play at once and take through the game. They all had abilities that were different from Soma's (even if some of them could kinda be replicated), and seemed to have had a fair bit of effort put into making them fun and unique. The fact that there were three characters also worked to keep you satisfied after Soma's huge array of abilities; having 3 different movesets with neat abilities meant that there was little to none of the "diversity withdrawal" that can happen in "new character" modes that are sometimes put into games like this, especially if you just don't like the new character's abilities.

New mechanics: Mainly the ability to switch between characters on the fly, but also the fact that this replaced the soul system (and equipment). By really changing not only the abilities of the player character, but the mechanics of the game, it really brought new life into this mode, maybe even more than just having a new character to play as does.

Also, Alucard allowing you to get basically wherever you want once you got him was an interesting too, in that it let you do the bosses in different orders, removing the more specific route you had to take the first time.

For what it's worth, what I was going for with this suggestion was something along the lines of new characters/mechanics - sure, it's the same character, but it's using a combination of abilities that was impossible the first time through, with the tradeoff/restriction that that's the only set of abilities that you get - not to mention the bonus of getting to use late-game abilities from the very beginning. The fact that it would be theoretically easy to create is a perk.

With that said, the "diversity withdrawal" note I made above is absolutely something that could come up in this mode, though, and not something I really have an answer to, other than if the game is short enough to get through relatively quickly after the first time then it might not matter too much. Maybe unlock all familiars from the get-go in this mode just to have something that you can choose from, as well as furthering the feeling of using late-game things early and differentiating it from the main mode?

Anyway. Back to praising Julius mode...

New content: The fact that Julius mode got its own, entirely unique final boss (and, I suppose, a little bit of unique dialog) was really the icing on the cake, and what really cements it as a great mode. Having something totally new to look forward to and to challenge you with at the end of the mode was great.


Beyond that, I'm definitely a fan of achievement hunting as well, assuming I really enjoyed the game in the first place; challenge runs can be fun too, though those are usually dictated, for me at least, by achievements, if they exist for the game in question.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Jarno » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:57 am

i like the single orb idea, it could be usefully as an extra challenge for speed runners

what i liked as end game was the old cave in lufia, that was dynamicly generated and HUGE, it went 100 levels deep :D, you could also get some items there that you could keep with you, so the next game you had them

as for timespinner, maybe it be a cool option to start the game with the double jump / drift, so speedrunners can make thier own path tru the game

i noticed this was a very neat feature of super metroid, the walljump + shinespark really allow you to get to places you normally could not reach, so you could alter your path, ofcourse speed run exploids also helped but i dont expect any speedrun exploids in timespinner since its a modern day game, less likely to break
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Mikara » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:20 am

I don't see the point in it, but if you really felt like doing it, you could always do it SotN style with the filename being the trigger or something.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Deceus » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:00 am

Jarno wrote:what i liked as end game was the old cave in lufia, that was dynamicly generated and HUGE, it went 100 levels deep :D, you could also get some items there that you could keep with you, so the next game you had them


The ancient cave (the Lufia 2 version of it, at least) was indeed epic. It was basically its own game (and indeed, for beating new game+, you got the option to go through it with whatever party you wanted in a new mode), and even today still has the best procedurally generated levels I've ever seen in a game.

For those who don't know, Lufia 2 was an SNES turn-based RPG. The Ancient Cave was a 100-floor randomly generated dungeon, and once you entered, your levels reset to 1 and you lost all your items. However, you could occasionally find blue treasure chests that contained particularly powerful items (in addition to lots of other loot in regular treasure chests or dropped from monsters). Around floor 20, you would inevitably find an item that would allow you to exit the dungeon immediately, and if you used it to exit (rather than dying), you would get to keep anything you found in the blue treasure chests, and could even bring them back in future runs of the dungeon. Thus, the idea was that you would do it over and over, getting a few new items each time (and going deeper as you got more confident), until you would eventually be able to make it the very bottom and defeat the boss there.

In addition to being a very fun concept in the first place (I mean, it was basically an entire roguelike as a sidequest for an RPG), the levels themselves were generated wonderfully - you had all sorts of different room layouts, different types of rooms - sometimes you'd get rooms with tons of treasure, sometimes with tons of monsters, sometimes a floor would have 10 rooms, and sometimes it would only be a single room. The room shapes and sizes differed greatly from floor to floor, making it always interesting to explore - and avoiding the "series of very similar rooms" boringness that procedural generation sometimes falls into (including, ironically, most of the procedural generation in future games in the same series).

Fortunately, I suspect that the "Challenge Dungeon" stretch goal that was attained will be taking after it at least somewhat - it's described as an optional and challenging procedurally generated dungeon, though without the resetting levels part, and more as sort of a extra hard bonus level. That, combined with the fact that Lufia music gets played on the streams from time to time, gives me hope to see at least shades of it in Timespinner :)
Last edited by Deceus on Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Jarno » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:48 pm

Yeah, nice description. I really liked that old cave, I never managed to finish it mostly due to the lack of magic. A simpel curespell goes a long way until you out of mama :D

But I enjoyed, still I think times to go back, my biggest annoyence where the instate death spells at level 20+ trying to survive those weapons, also you had to fight all enemy's to keep up the expeirence
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Re: Single Orb Mode

Postby Bodie » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:24 am

I always enjoyed alternative character runs in Castlevania games (Maria, Richter, etc), but I think Julius mode was the most polished. I think the closest thing to that in Timespinner would be Familiar mode, but we're still a ways off from that Stretch Goal. We'll see if that's something that I can do after the game ships, via updates, but who knows what the future holds :)

I love procedural content, especially stuff like Lufia's Old-Cave. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the need for stamina for an entire run (ie: No saves or healing stations). I generally liked how the DS Castlevanias handled these types of dungeons: Fight 3 tough rooms, then you get a teleport room so you can save it. I remember in Wild Arms 3's optional dungeon I got all of the way down to the bottom after hours of no saving, and then died to the boss when it was almost dead. Just...so demoralizing. :|

I'm looking forward to building Timespinner's Bonus dungeon, though, and especially putting the design backer's enemies and bosses to good use :3
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