BREAK DOWN OF THE PLAYER SHIPS POSSIBLE MECHANICS AND FEATURES.
Lets consider we don't bother with the potentially complicated color mechanic and focus instead on making a slick and well polished traditional 2d scrolling shooter that gives the player free directional and firing movement as well as free roam style nonlinear level world/design.
So I feel its important to get the players character/control just right. Without the color mechanic idea we have to try make feel/function/control of the ship just right. I think to have the player involved with having to do 4 things at once just to keep control of the game will add a unique challenge to what might otherwise be a boring traditional shooter. So the player will have to be moving the ship to avoid things, while at the same time and sperate to movement have their gun pointing at any threat, then being ready to fire at the right time all the while having to be ready to activate the shield at a moments notice. All 4 player control factors mentioned there all working together I think will make the shooter that little bit more interesting to play specifically in context to the player control/character.
Breakdown of ideas for possible mechanics of the Pod
lets start calling the ship a pod from now on
- Directional movement is controlled separate to the gun, so ideally the player will control the pods movement with keyboard/right analog stick and the gun will be able to rotate around the pod in 360 degrees with the mouse/left analog stick.
- Blips eyes will generally look in the direction of where the player has the gun pointing.
- The 4 shield generation nodes will spin faster the more power it has available to it, and stop spinning completely when the shields power is exhausted.
- The player will have to manually activate the shield holding down on a key/button, the longer the player has the shield active the more power is drained from the shield and that will be visually represent as said above with the slowing down of the rotation of the shield nodes, additionally the light/glow at the ends of each node may dim as shield power is exhausted.
- The shields power will be re-charged very slowly over time, or instantly topped up with power ups or another game mechanic for example having to find pockets of air or something.
- The gun may also rely on the same power source as the shield, so the player will be challenged to balance their use of gun/shield, In other words, there is a pool of energy that the pod is drawing from, when the shields power is exhausted that also means the gun is out of action too, and vise versa. A strong aspect of the game play may be that the player has to constantly make sure they have enough energy to balance out their use of attack and defence to get through an area or task.
- The projectiles the gun are firing can be gradually upgraded to make them faster, stronger, fire more at once..etc . The gun itself may also be upgradable to other weapons such as laser, missles..etc. In addition to the guns projectile and the gun itself being upgraded the game may feature a credits/shop system whereby the player can upgrade things on the pod at certain points throughout the game. More strategic use of upgraded weapons will be encouraged because stronger weapons will draw a lot more power from the energy pool of the pod. The shop may also have pod energy upgrades too.
- Along with the power source that is powering the shield and gun there will be a life support/pod damage power level. If the pod gets hit while the shields are down that level will reduce, and if the level depletes totally that means pod destruction/player death. Some enemy projectiles in particular bosses will be able to penetrate the shield to some degree thus gradually depleting the life support/pod damage level. The life support/damage level can be re-charged automatically over time, or be instantly topped up with pickups. The auto re-generation of the life support/damage level could greatly speed up if your shield/gun power is fully charged, although both powers sources systems (shield/gun and life support/damage) are separate and need to be topped up with two different types of power. Most if not all enemies in the game when destroyed will leave little energy balls floating that will help to keep both gauges topped up.
- In addition to Blips eyes looking in whichever direction the gun is pointing, his expressions may change depending on certain scenarios such as his pod getting hit, a kill streak, hitting his pod off a wall, getting angry.. etc etc
- There will be various pod reactions either in pre animated sequences or in engine / physics sequences such as the pod wobbling if hitting the side of a wall, or spinning if his pod gets hit without a shield, or rolling if he grazes the ground at speed, pod damage, and destruction
- The blue/glowing ends of each shield generation node may leave a long exposure blurred trail, so when the player is also moving in some direction and the shield nodes are spinning the trail should leave unique spiral/wave type trails that will fade out gradually. This effect may only activate if the player has the shield active, the effect may be a bit too distracting if its on all the time, but perhaps not if done subtly enough.
- If we end up implementing some sort of upgrade/shop system as briefly explained with the gun, some of the pods upgraded features and functions might include:
--- Faster pod movement
--- Faster auto shield/gun energy re-generation
--- Bigger energy capacity for shield/gun
--- Faster auto life support/pod health energy re-generation
--- Bigger energy capacity for life support/pod health
- Some other possible perk abilities or in game pickups
-- Antigrav projectile repulsion field (the pod temporarily bends enemy projectiles away from the pod)
-- Quantum phase shift ability (the pod fades temporarily and no projectiles can collide with it)
-- Quantum entanglement switch ability (pod is able to instantly re-materialize in another location on the screen swapping the place of a projectile it fired)
-- Planck scale mode (pod is reduced temporarily to a tiny tiny size represented by perhaps a glowing pixel or a few, able to get into really tight spots)
-- EMP wave (disables all enemies on screen (or within waves influence) from firing projectiles temporarily)
- Some other possible weapons, Weapons may be switchable during game play. All weapons will draw from shield/gun power source
-- Laser (A traditional type of laser weapon as seen in countless shooters)
-- Energy Missile (An energy projectile that will explode causing more damage on impart or proximity)
-- Radiation beam (A wide beam that will evaporate smaller enemies and cause significant damage to bigger enemies)
-- Energy Chaos dart (A dart of energy that will cause some enemy to fire at its nearest buddy)