So like I discussed in the last blog, we have moved onto a new game idea called Optimise the Null, which we based on feasibility, scope, and our teams abilities. So what the heck is Optimise the Null? It’s basically Mario Kart… yup, we thought, ‘Hey! Whats something that would be easy for us to make? Mario Kart! Yeah.. that’ll be easy!’
Ok, so it’s not exactly Mario Kart, for obvious reasons, such as Nintendo would skin us, but it is a racer type of game, in the same vein with some twists and hijinx thrown in that make it a unique beast.
The basic premise is fast actiony racing on hoverboards, with similar kart racing mechanics such as pick ups giving the players the ability to fire at each other, lay traps on the track, or get a quick speed boost. You can also ‘drift’ to get round tight corners, which also gives you a speed boost if you drift long enough. Where our game differs is that the players can jump off their boards at any point, and start gunning each other down in a third person over the shoulder mode with an assortment of high powered weaponry.
Stylistically we wanted to do something a little different to what we have done before, and add a little more of our humor and personality to this game. Previously we have always designed the brief with a customer in mind, or keeping it very beige and PG-13 style stuff.
With OTN we decided early on we wanted to cuss, a lot. We all grew up with classic kart games, and we loved them, and still do, but we are now adults, and whilst the gameplay suits our tastes, the characters and content is… lacking.
So we want the characters to have attitudes, break the fourth wall, be hyper violent, and swear like fucking sailors. We don’t want to make a game for kids, kids aren’t allowed, and if you let your kid play our game then you are a negligent parent, and a horrible human being.
We also thought, hey, we are on boards, why not add tricks like kickflips and front flips? A good why not would be the fact that the required animations per player were already insane, and this just adds to that mess, but it’s also badassed. Tricks can be chained, and earn you cash, which can be spent to buy instant access to power ups.
Oh also, you can grind, I mean of course you can right? You are on a flippin hoverboard, omitting grinding would be sacrilege, but once again requires more animations, yay…
Let’s keep the scope down they said, let’s concentrate on our strengths and biting off what we can chew they said, then right out the gate we decide we want basically two player controllers. To be fair, nothing within the core mechanics of the game is outside of what we as a team are capable of, in fact the first iterations and prototypes came together very quickly.
The very first prototype that Wade put together with PlayMaker discussed in my last post can be seen below:
One of the main issues we are going to face is that this is one of the first multiplayer games we’ve really done, so while we have a small amount of experience with networking (enough to know what questions to ask, where to look, and where to start), it’s going to be new and tough ground to cover.
The main focus of the game is in fact multiplayer, we can do split screen stuff quite easily, which is great and there’s not enough couch games anymore. We won’t really be happy though until we can do multiplayer across a network though.
So basically, we still hate ourselves, just a little less… maybe.