Pitch-An-Idea: Knytt Underground clone with multiple separate characters

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Offline Wrenbot

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Hi everyone, I don't have a game to show per se just an idea I'm throwing out for whoever wants to use it. Nifflas inspires me like no other developer, and while I learn programming to make my own games I thought I'd share an idea that I've had for a while, so that someone more experienced may use it for themselves if they like.  :)

Premise/Story

:juni: Mimi* is a young witch-in-training (think someone cute like Kiki's Delivery Service.) She's sort of clumsy but well-meaning and cheerful, and she is set on passing the Witches Exam this year so she can finally take part in All Hollow's Eve.

For her first test she had to summon a Familiar, like a cat or a bat or even a toad, as all the other witches have. But of course she couldn't do it properly and instead ends up giving life to a sarcastic jack o' lantern. :w9:

This is where the game begins, as Mimi and her pumpkin Pumpum* start working together to finish the rest of the trials in the Witches Exam.

* Tentative names

Gameplay

The game is going to be exactly like Knytt Underground, with inspiration from the classic C64 game Cauldron (which could be considered the precursor to WaDF-style games) along with some key differences:

  • Mimi and Pumpum are separate characters: Instead of the hero turning into a ball like KU, the player has to move them separately, by switching control between them with TAB or something.

  • As in KU, Mimi can climb walls and Pumpum can bounce around. Neither can swim but Mimi can cast spells to let her walk on water. Later in the game, Mimi will also get the ability to glide on her broom.

  • No inventory: Instead of item-collecting quests this game will focus on solving puzzles through realistic physics, like Limbo. Mimi and Pumpum will have to push around boulders, knock over trees, or throw down ropes and so on to help each other cross various obstacles. They'll often be in different screens of the map for most of the game.

  • Mimi will gain various magic spells after completing each quest/chapter. These will include the ability to walk on water, making her broom fly, or turning Pumpum into different forms (like a cat) so he can enter specific areas. So basically these will be the Metroidvania element of the game.



SO! How does it sound? Maybe this can be made easily in Clickteam Fusion by modifying WaDF/Knytt source code (if it's available.) I really love Knytt-style games and one day I'll definitely attempt to make this, if no one else does by then. :)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 07:23:03 by Wrenbot »
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Offline egomassive

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Anyway, This does sound like a good premise for a game. I'm not sure what physics based puzzles have to do with a witches exam. Shouldn't mastery of magics be the key to success?

A big drawback I see is if it's Metroidvania, then you'll have to navigate to collaborative areas twice. Maybe, Mimi could carry Pumpum around. Or, maybe there could be stations where one character could summon the other. Designing a large map that can be navigated and re-navigated as a witch and as a pumpkin will be a large challenge. In Knytt Underground there are many places which are easy for the the sprite to walk through but highly annoying to traverse as the ball. It sounds better suited to a level based design to me. A Mario-world map would allow for replaying levels with new abilities.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 00:37:36 by LPChip »

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Offline Wrenbot

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I'm not sure what physics based puzzles have to do with a witches exam. Shouldn't mastery of magics be the key to success?

Oh no, I mean physics-based gameplay. XD You know, like NightSky or Limbo. Realistic interaction with the environment/scenery. Here's an example:

The player and her pumpkin/ball come across a ditch filled with water that the witch can't cross (she doesn't have the water-walking spell yet.)

There's a weak-looking tree on the other side of the pit.

The player switches control to the pumpkin, bounces to the other side, and pushes the tree over the ditch by bouncing into it, creating a path for the witch to cross. ;)

There will be other scenarios like where the witch has to push around boxes so the pumpkin can jump higher, and using the pumpkin itself as an stepping stone for the witch, and so on.

A big drawback I see is if it's Metroidvania, then you'll have to navigate to collaborative areas twice. Maybe, Mimi could carry Pumpum around. Or, maybe there could be stations where one character could summon the other.

This is what I was thinking. :) The witch would get a Summon Familiar spell early in the game that teleports the pumpkin back to her. For balancing reasons maybe we could limit this spell to only work inside specially-placed pumpkin-patches? These could also work as save points.

Designing a large map that can be navigated and re-navigated as a witch and as a pumpkin will be a large challenge. In Knytt Underground there are many places which are easy for the the sprite to walk through but highly annoying to traverse as the ball. It sounds better suited to a level based design to me. A Mario-world map would allow for replaying levels with new abilities.

I'm picturing this game's world design as a mix of KU and WaDF: A single huge map divided into areas that can't be entered without specific abilities, along with some doors and portals that lead to self-contained "levels" as in WaDF.

At the center of the world will be the Witches School in the Witch Village. In the school there will be a chalkboard with a checklist of spells that Mimi has to learn before she can attempt the final exam. There'll also be a list of locations written on the board where each spell can be found, like: "Water-Walking spell - The Haunted Forest."

SO the player has to go each area, get new spells similar to how the ball gains new materials in WaDF, return to the school if needed, then go to the next area. Like WaDF there will be a balance of linearity and freedom to the order in which different areas can be visited. Some areas will require specific spells (like an island on the other side of a lake which can only be reached with the water-walking spell) and some areas will be accessible at all times.

The ultimate goal will be to return to the school after all spells have been collected, then enter the final level where Mimi has to use all those spells to pass.

Of course this is just my current vision, feel free to adapt and improvise as you see fit. :)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 07:24:40 by Wrenbot »
Check out the wiki at Nifflas.Wikia.com and help out! It needs entries and screenshots for characters, lore, secrets and easter eggs!