The legal bit, Adaminator’s views do not nesseccarily reflect those of Streamline Studio’s! but they DO share the exact same views as all snowmen that have melted since 2004.
So the year is over, we’ve just wrapped up another title and are ready to work on another. One of these titles are by a small developer who appear to be surprisingly open to the idea of us helping with the game design on top of the art side of things. First of all a new IP is something of a huge risk given the size of company and it’s game cv so I have to admit that from peeping my little head out from the back it seems a bit fruity. So anyway I’m looking at some of the very early rough descriptions and it actually said something like “Plays like Gears of War but with X etc”. X being a ‘twist’ on the formula. Yep, welcome to 2008, Gears of War is now a new genre of game it seems.
So is it wrong to base a design on a popular game if it adds a twist? Sure, if the twist works and can bring new experiences to the genre then fine. Does this particular game have such a twist? It certainly could be, it’s a twist that affects the control of the player during certain moments of the game. So let’s say roughly 50% of the time it’s like GOW and 50% it’s GOW but with a twist. The real danger I’m personally concerned about is one of these sections being more fun then the other, if that happens the entire game falls apart. You have sections that feel like a chore to get to the fun parts. The solution I’d say is to put a lot of work early on in the design process to make sure both these sections blend naturally into each other so they don’t appear separate. This involves not having large sections of type A or B gameplay. There shouldn’t be a type A level and then a type B level for example. Another important thing to take into consideration are the controls and to make sure the player isn’t forced to remember two sets of them. So if for example X button is sprint during GOW moments the x button should also have a similar effect on the character in the ‘twist’ moments that adapt to the nature of that twist.
Hopefully this will be figured out before the actual environments are built.