What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

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What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:56 am

Creating this topic because I want to gauge what fans would actually enjoy seeing in a fan game of the one and only Shantae. =P This would allow any ideas the community has to chip in to enter the mix as well. Technically a suggestions topic, but still primarily just to see what fans want in general; at least what's within reason. You can also oppose any proposed ideas here as well, if you know exactly why certain conecpts would hurt a fan game rather than compliment it.

So, what would I expect from a Shantae Fan game?

1. Half the length of an official Shantae game, (2 Dungeons instead of 4.) because there are too few official Shantae games out there right now. While I'm not afraid of the thought of a full length game, if you make a free, yet "competing product" of something that's already in short supply, especially if the quality is great, people won't feel as motivated to hunt down the real thing. (Why buy one of the only two Shantae games if you already have a full-length game sitting on your hard drive? Seriously, some people love free content that much.) I don't want to hurt the chances of potential new fans seeking out the official games in any way, at least until there are more of them to choose from, then I would feel comfortable expanding its length.

This is only thinking about new players, however, because either way it gives existing fans more playable Shantae content, while still encouraging new players to get their hands on official releases with this "try before you buy" deal of a fan game. (People could pretty much gauge whether or not they'd like the game play and characters for themselves in a playable form. Sure beats watching Youtube walkthroughs any day.) They would already have that motivation from playing the fan game, of course, but shortening it gives them more incentive to do so.

Also, a longer scenario with more dungeons would also hurt the quality of the fan game too, and introduce more bugs to squish, whereas we want it to be as polished and solid of an experience as possible. If players want more Shantae action in one sitting, they can buy the official games, and I'd want a fan game to advertise those in form or another, actually.

2 . Full-blown co-op feature : Fully possible with my own engine, this would allow players to join forces and save Sequin land for the greater good, and also providing immense amounts of replay value. While Player 1 would control Shantae, Player 2 will control another Shantae with brown hair and green eyes. (Similar to her prototype color scheme.) And given how my mapping structure works, both players could be in entirely different places at once! For instance, P1 could be fighting in a dungeon while his/her less-skilled younger sibling could be in a town keeping the inventory stocked, and playing fun little mini-games for more gems to buy things with, or out in the overworld looking for more heart containers. The possibilities don't stop there!

Unlike most games, this would actually be acknowledged in the story itself. For instance, Bolo would wonder, "Hey, Shantae, you never told me you had a sister!", "Oh, she's actually me from another dimension. She's helping us get to the bottom of this mystery!", "Wow! Hey, what do I like over there? Am I more buff and get all the ladies?", and Shantae 2 would say, "If only I knew who you were!", ";____;".

3 . Open-ended platforming engine so players can create their own scenarios, character skins, and levels, or even all-original games from it. It's all too important for extending the life of any game by allowing players to create playable content for it themselves.

Now it's your turn, guys! You don't have to provide lengthy explanations at all like I did, just suggesting the idea is more than sufficient. ^_^

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Ex321 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:36 pm

The concept of being able to be a part of this sounds absolutely exciting! I'd love to work on art and spriting when the opportunity arises. However, I don't want to get too ahead of myself.

Dealing with plot is fine, but I think we'll need a demo of the engine itself before we can actually make choices for dungeons and such. I have a couple ideas in mind, but I want to know limitations before starting. Does this engine run like Game Maker, (where rooms need to be constructed by pre-established blocks) or can one simply create a large scale image and have it be programmed as differentiated flooring or walls?

This is me jumping ahead of myself though. I was kind of hoping to see the ability to play as Rottytops or Sky. It'd be cool to have it (dependant on the amount of buttons) to run around as Sky while using Wrench as a secondary weapon while Sky punches some Sirens out! Maybe use Rottytops agility to chase down quicker enemies (and have the ability to comically throw one of her limbs at said enemy). I don't know, maybe I'm thinking past the whole "don't make it better" concept.

Long story short: I'm freaking in! What do you want me to do? I can go ahead and start redrawing basic monsters from the games (I have all of the original Shantae's sprites on my iPod). Anything else I can do in the meantime?

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Nai255 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:59 pm

I like those ideas. Keeping the game simple will not only help development along and help it see the light of day,
but could also provide something new for both veterans looking for something different from the Metroidvania-style,
while giving newcomers a taste which could encourage them to try the official games.

I'm not against a fangame in the style of the official games,
though I got a couple ideas I thought I'd chip in just to see what you guys think.

A simple arcade-style platformer, perhaps?
Akin to a Mario game where you progress from stage to stage, perhaps with 4 or 5 Acts consisting of 3 stages each:
a standard platforming stage, a special stage where Shantae utilizes an animal form in some way, and a dungeon/temple stage ending in a boss. Bonus stages and shops could still be available at various intervals in the game to stock up on goodies and win prizes.

Or a tower defense game?
I got this idea from the opening battle in Risky's Revenge where you're situated in place as monsters approach from either side. Perhaps up the ante by having Shantae and co. having one piece of a valuable artifact in their possession that Risky is after, who herself is hunting the second piece. Each stage could be a different stop on the road to finding that second piece, while trying to keep your piece safe from waves of baddies. Gems collected after major waves could be used to strengthen your own powers, or that of your helpers. Upgrade Bolo for extra ground support from the rear, or upgrade Skye for extra anti-air power

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:55 pm

You know, both of those ideas could be easily added as extra game modes in a full-fledged game, or stand alone games compiled away from the main game. =P Just imagine making "Arcade Platformer Mode" like the Professional mode in Actraiser; same game without the story or overworld, just play the levels! I'm liking that tower defense idea too, it'd make a great alternate mode to add in fairly easily. They're both great ideas and could be explored fairly easily, either on their own or on the side of a much bigger project.

I'm trying not to come as adament here, but I really want to give fans new and old a taste of what the official games are like. That way they know what they're getting into when they buy the official ones. So if I can go for a short Metroidvania-style game, I'll do it. The more I can "sell" the idea to new fans and get them invested, the better. I know the main focus is on the existing fan base here, but anything we can do to attract new players along the way might help. (That, and fans could spread the game to their doubtful friends/relatives, so they know what RR's like before getting it on the eShop, for instance.)

And I'm liking the idea of a platformer as well. Shantae's got the potential for that here, and even then we can still add a story and occasional dungeons in the mix too.

Ex321 wrote:Dealing with plot is fine, but I think we'll need a demo of the engine itself before we can actually make choices for dungeons and such. I have a couple ideas in mind, but I want to know limitations before starting. Does this engine run like Game Maker, (where rooms need to be constructed by pre-established blocks) or can one simply create a large scale image and have it be programmed as differentiated flooring or walls?

It is running on Game Maker, but it isn't what you think. =P I created my own external level builder to get around GM's useless room builder and create something more effective for platforming. Sadly, it's still a bit buggy, but functional, and with more bug reports and such, it will stabilize in time. Check the topic below this one for a demo of the engine and the level editor. You can also see how it's put together if you have GM 5.3a or above. (Seems crazy to use that version, but it runs games pretty fast without the use of hardware-acceleration. Great for compatibility on older systems stuck with VESA cards! I totally want that "Win98 or later" label on the game. ;D )

Granted, it's having to handle Sonic-sized rooms at the moment, although it disables instances outside the view for both players, (That alone helps performance like you wouldn't believe!) and I have a library file for dumping unused bytes into the Windows swap file to get around GM's poor memory management. The engine is also using an external library (SuperSoundDll 3.4) for playing music and sounds in OGG format, so the game can focus mostly on itself. GM's horrible at sound playback and caching by itself anyway, I had to do something about that.

Shantae-sized maps will be significantly tinier than Sonic levels, (100 objects at most compared to 3000!) since they're broken up into rooms and sections, so you shouldn't expect anymore than a second's load-time on decent CPU's, while 3 seconds at worst on weaker CPUs. Right now it takes a whole 5 seconds on my 2.24Ghz CPU to load a map of 1200 objects and even then the engine uses 78MBs of memory at most, so imagine how much faster and lighter that will be in a Shantae game? Almost instantaneous.

tl;dr, there are some limitations, but I've done my best to cut out the worst of them. I've got years of experience with GM under my belt and I know what I'm dealing with here. The only limitation is my imagination at this point. =P

Ex321 wrote:Long story short: I'm freaking in! What do you want me to do? I can go ahead and start redrawing basic monsters from the games (I have all of the original Shantae's sprites on my iPod). Anything else I can do in the meantime?

You're blowing me away with your enthusiasm over here! :'D But slow down 'partner, we still gotta come up with ideas for monsters first, and decide which ones to recreate from the official games. I'd be happy to have you aboard with monster design and animation. ^_^ It will really help to have a villain set in stone first, if we decide on someone more sinister than Risky Boots, that way we can build some common themes for baddies to follow.

Ex321 wrote:This is me jumping ahead of myself though. I was kind of hoping to see the ability to play as Rottytops or Sky. It'd be cool to have it (dependant on the amount of buttons) to run around as Sky while using Wrench as a secondary weapon while Sky punches some Sirens out! Maybe use Rottytops agility to chase down quicker enemies (and have the ability to comically throw one of her limbs at said enemy). I don't know, maybe I'm thinking past the whole "don't make it better" concept.

You have no idea how much I'd love to make that happen, (Especially Sky, she's my favorite. :3) but I'm just thinking about what can done realistically right now. Granted, my skinning system is ridiculously flexible and external, so if we can create animations for those characters, they would be great additions to co-op modes as playable characters. And it sounds like you have some idea of how they're attacks could work out, which will amazing to keep in mind if we can do it. ^^

Oh, and I'm mostly trying to keep the number of buttons the same as that the first Shantae, but it's easy enough to assign different attacks using just the D-Pad and one button button, surprisingly. I've played with the idea before, and hope I can one day make my own original fighting game; it wouldn't be anything like what you see in the arcades. >:D

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:12 pm

Okay. I guess we need to revise the characters for Multiplayer a little.
Sky should a character, who is strong in the distance but helpless in Melee.
I just cannot think of her as a melee-fighter. But more like a character, who uses her war birds from a distance.
In similar manner as Link uses the Eagle in Twilight Princess.

The Melee-department is far more suitable for Bolo. But he wouldn't have anything to use from a distance.

Rottytops would be the agility-type of character, who depends on speed.
Using a mix of close-combat martial arts (tho Bolo's would be superior) and her removable limbs for distance.

Shantae would be the all-round character, of course.

Something like that.


As fo the gameplay-style. I think I have the perfect game that can be used as base.
"DISNEY'S MAGICAL QUEST: STARRING MICKEY MOUSE"
This game has more of an arcade-type of gameplay. But I think this gameplay-style would work for that fan-game of ours.
It even had "transformations" (Okay, different clothes with special abilities actually. But you get the idea) each with special abilities.
So I'd make that Shantae would learn the dances in certain levels and have permanent access to them from that point on.

OF course in New Super Mario Bros Style, you could re-visit already cleared levels and might find areas that you might not had access to earlier, since you lacked a certain transformations.
Towns and Shops would also be accessible from the Overworld-Map. Wink

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Agent Gold on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:35 pm

Being able to play as other characters is definitely something I think would be cool. The idea you have for an "alternate dimension" Shantae is a good one and I like your execution, so I'd so no worries if that's the best way to go. Another idea--if you wanted to take a page from some Wii games such as Super Mario Galaxy--would be to give the second player an auxiliary role, like playing Wrench. I imagine this would take quite a bit more programing though, since it's probably not quite included in the engine.

You mention both players can be in entirely different areas at the same time. Is this with some kind of split screen, or how would it work?

Are you planning to use music from the existing games? Remixes? Something new?

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:11 am

Yes, it will be split-screen; that detail kinda slipped my mind! :# It works by building map data in two completely separate spaces, (Like Player 2's room could be built a million pixels away from the map loaded for Player 1.) there will likely be a slight frame drop when either player enters a new room, but it will be short and painless given how much smaller Shantae maps will be compared to Sonic levels. Regardless, this is something you could never do with Game Maker's default Room Builder, its limitations have always made me want to punch a wall! >:X

And to ensure additional physics calculations aren't redundant, if both players are in the same "room", and yet in separate versions of a built map, the sprites are redrawn in multiple areas too. In less confusing language, for instance, Player 1's object would also draw its sprite animations in Player 2's room dependent on the map's starting origins, instead of spawning a similar object to control. This way, the game's performance is consistent instead of confusing players on low-end machines with impossible lag when they enter separate rooms. =P

The whole idea sounds crazy, but just imagine each screen as separate "clients" that interact with each other locally on the same machine. This is something I've always wanted to see done in a 3D adventure game, and I'm all too eager to toy with that concept here. >:P

Agent Gold wrote:Are you planning to use music from the existing games? Remixes? Something new?

Remixes or originals if I can get permission for either, since the best I can do in even a Midi Sequencer like Jazz32 is laughable. I want to avoid content scavenging of game rips for this fan project like a bat out of Saint Helens, for both music and art. I don't think getting permission to use remixes in an actual game would be difficult if the creators can be contacted. ^^

Agent Gold wrote:Being able to play as other characters is definitely something I think would be cool. The idea you have for an "alternate dimension" Shantae is a good one and I like your execution, so I'd so no worries if that's the best way to go. Another idea--if you wanted to take a page from some Wii games such as Super Mario Galaxy--would be to give the second player an auxiliary role, like playing Wrench. I imagine this would take quite a bit more programing though, since it's probably not quite included in the engine.

Making a playable Wrench would be ridiculously easy outside of debugging, (I can bang out GML like a spider monkey on Red Bull all day, but whether or not any of it gets the intended results is another story. ^^') so that's not a big deal. In fact, that would be easier than scripting a cute little "chao" for Cream into the Sonic version of my engine. It's an extremely interesting idea if you think about all the puzzles that could involve his truly wrench-like abilities, hmm. >:D And I'm glad some of you like the idea of an alternate dimension Shantae, thinking about her earlier concept art has me thinking of all kinds of uses for her older iterations. =P

---

Oh, and Paragon, it sounds like you're pretty much thinking of Super Mario Bros. 3 on that one! I don't think pursuing a platformer with a general structure like that would be a bad thing for Shantae. Yet I have this crazy image stuck in my head of a playable overworld with dungeons and mind-blowing coop, what do I do to fight it off? XD What about the "Professional Mode" concept I suggested earlier based solely on Nai255's idea? Although additional overworld content will need to be created to fill in a few blanks specifically for the mode, though, since the overworld would have to be compiled again separately as massive platformer levels instead of a cohesively looping string of 2D overworld maps.

Believe me, I'm sold on the idea, but I had something completely different in mind going into this. I really wanted to gut the platform structure from the Sonic engine, among other things, because full-blown levels, unless you separate them into flow-breaking sub-sectinons, will take forever to load on my engine, (like 5 to 7 seconds on a decent CPU! D: ) especially if they're prettied up with scenery. I need to meditate on this one so I don't wind up dumping all the map work on someone else, or worse, fail to come up with a better loading structure and stick with Game Maker's Room Builder, yuck! I refuse to go back to that metaphorical brick wall creating boundaries for my imagination, I just won't! ;__;

So the real question on my mind is whether we go with a platformer or adventure, or do both in one since the project will be relatively short anyway? Either one may not be more difficult to create than the other, but I feel one has more potential for all of our ideas to run wild, while the other could get tired quickly if enough level tropes aren't implemented; which means way more background art and gimmicks have to be created to ensure it's an interesting game experience all the way through. Either approach is no problem for me, but I'm really torn right now. ;_;

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Okay. I guess we need to revise the characters for Multiplayer a little.
Sky should a character, who is strong in the distance but helpless in Melee.
I just cannot think of her as a melee-fighter. But more like a character, who uses her war birds from a distance.
In similar manner as Link uses the Eagle in Twilight Princess.

The Melee-department is far more suitable for Bolo. But he wouldn't have anything to use from a distance.

Rottytops would be the agility-type of character, who depends on speed.
Using a mix of close-combat martial arts (tho Bolo's would be superior) and her removable limbs for distance.

Shantae would be the all-round character, of course.

Something like that.

Seems like an interesting way to balance them all out while providing the character builds needed, but should Sky be that useless in combat? I'm sure it takes a pretty tough woman to raise and breed war birds, of all things, these aren't cute little puppy chihauhaus we're talking about here! =P Although either way, I do agree that her stats should favor long distance abilities, but she could use something to attack with up close! I'm still left with what, though, she's so rarely seen in both Shantae games it's not even funny; I don't even know if Sky keeps a concealed weapon. D:

Another problem with multiple characters is how the options will be presented. I actually want to avoid a character select screen directly if it's not a game mode like Tower Defense or Arcade. It can also overcomplicate the UI with a flaky afterthought menu if we focus too much on creating the characters themselves. Presentation isn't and shouldn't be top priority, but it's still pretty essential for first impressions.


Last edited by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:20 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : A tiny, but annoying typo!)

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:23 am

Oh, and Paragon, it sounds like you're pretty much thinking of Super Mario Bros. 3 on that one! I don't think pursuing a platformer with a general structure like that would be a bad thing for Shantae. Yet I have this crazy image stuck in my head of a playable overworld with dungeons and mind-blowing coop, what do I do to fight it off? XD What about the "Professional Mode" concept I suggested earlier based solely on Nai255's idea? Although additional overworld content will need to be created to fill in a few blanks specifically for the mode, though, since the overworld would have to be compiled again separately as massive platformer levels instead of a cohesively looping string of 2D overworld maps.

Believe me, I'm sold on the idea, but I had something completely different in mind going into this. I really wanted to gut the platform structure from the Sonic engine, among other things, because full-blown levels, unless you separate them into flow-breaking sub-sectinons, will take forever to load on my engine, (like 5 to 7 seconds on a decent CPU! D: ) especially if they're prettied up with scenery. I need to meditate on this one so I don't wind up dumping all the map work on someone else, or worse, fail to come up with a better loading structure and stick with Game Maker's Room Builder, yuck! I refuse to go back to that metaphorical brick wall creating boundaries for my imagination, I just won't! ;__;

So the real question on my mind is whether we go with a platformer or adventure, or do both in one since the project will be relatively short anyway? Either one may not be more difficult to create than the other, but I feel one has more potential for all of our ideas to run wild, while the other could get tired quickly if enough level tropes aren't implemented; which means way more background art and gimmicks have to be created to ensure it's an interesting game experience all the way through. Either approach is no problem for me, but I'm really torn right now. ;_;

I just figured a different gameplay-style would be more suitable for a shorter game.
Since the "Zelda/Metroid-style" does seem to work only with a certain game length.
And if it'd would be as short as you say, it'd feel incomplete.

So a gameplay-style that more favours short games would be good, I daresay.

BTW: If you want to see the game I proposed.


Of course, I'd also throw in some traits from NSMB.
Like the overworld-map that I mentioned earlier.
But you get the idea.


Seems like an interesting way to balance them all out while providing the character builds needed, but should Sky be that useless in combat? I'm sure it takes a pretty tough woman to raise and breed war birds, of all things, these aren't cute little puppy chihauhaus we're talking about here! =P Although either way, I do agree that her stats should favor long distance abilities, but she could use something to attack with up close! I'm still left with what, though, she's so rarely seen in both Shantae games it's not even funny; I don't even know if Sky keeps a concealed weapon. D:

Another problem with multiple characters is how the options will be presented. I actually want to avoid a character select screen directly if it's not a game mode like Tower Defense or Arcade. It can also overcomplicate the UI with a flaky afterthought menu if we focus too much on creating the characters themselves. Presentation isn't and shouldn't be top priority, but it's still pretty essential for first impressions.
Why do you tell me that, but not Ex, who had the idea?
I merely revised it a litter, cuz I didn't like how he depicted Sky as a powerhouse in close combat, when she clearly isn't.
Of course, I'd also rather go with your idea of two Shantae's.

But oh well...

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:47 am

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Why do you tell me that, but not Ex, who had the idea?
I merely revised it a litter, cuz I didn't like how he depicted Sky as a powerhouse in close combat, when she clearly isn't.
Of course, I'd also rather go with your idea of two Shantae's.

Everything's still up in the air, so this is good brainstorming and I'm basking in the input here, really. The two Shantaes would be "Nintendo easy" (As in their games provide minimal to no options to streamline the experience for everyone, making it easy to pick-up-and-play; although this does get annoying in the case of not being able to choose controllers in the Wii version of Twilight Princess. ;_; ) to do and would work for either a platformer or adventure scenario, but if possible, making Shantae's friends playable would be a huge bonus. It doesn't hurt to have some idea in mind of what to do with them if we come to that point.

And I was mostly interested as to whether or not Ex had an idea of what Sky would use as a weapon, because I do agree she shouldn't be a literal tank on bullet-train rails. (A more comical way of saying unstoppable force.) Maybe she could attack with Wrench like a wrench, and swing him like a bat? =P Nah, too silly, it might be better if she used him like those Chao creatures in Sonic games. (Think Cream in Sonic Advance 2, just less overpowered.)

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:42 am

Nah, too silly, it might be better if she used him like those Chao creatures in Sonic games. (Think Cream in Sonic Advance 2, just less overpowered.)
EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND FOR SKY!!!

Yes, Cream and Cheese are good bases for Sky's gameplay-style.


As for the rest: Well, I did find it kinda unfair that you were whining at me, even tho the idea didn't come from me.
But okay.
I find it surprising tho that you now find it good, but found it bad before. :O

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:13 pm

Er, I think that was just from me typing up my posts too fast, and expressing how extremely conflicted I am about which genre the fan game should go in; still am. ;_;

While the inner mechinations of my mind are writhing in tormoil over the matter, how should the game's art style should play out? We'll have a 320x240 screen resolution to work with, as opposed to the GBC's 160x144, so should we stick with the chibi cartoon style used in the first Shantae, or draw the characters to match their more serious promotional art renditions?

And as for execution, I'm personally interested in going with something like what the SEGA Genesis versions of Aladdin or Lion King did. (At least so far as their character art and backgrounds, because the idea of drawing inspiration from their HUDs or UIs is hideous!) I very much liked the look of smooth, hand-drawn animations cleaned up in sprite form, and we could get the same effect with vectors and a little cleaning in MSPaint or KolourPaint after downscaling.

Examples :









I seriously recommend playing the Lion King, at least the first half before you're stuck looking at the hideously contorted animations of his adult form near the end; it'd give you the best impression of what I mean. That beginning half is fun and extremely fluid, even if it is marred with death pits. =P

So, art style ideas people! We need more of them. >:D HUD ideas too, because that's pretty important.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:09 pm

Interesting!

Before we talk about art, I'm still curious to know if a short, action platforming gameplay style is really the best option for a Shantae fan game because there's a lot going on right now. You got the main world that you explore, multiplayer, towns, dungeons, transformations, items, enemies, bosses, events, plots, mini games, and maybe more. If you really want to go for it that's fine, but I would highly recommend we start off with something simpler. Something that wouldn't demand a lot of time on our part to make as well as on the players part to play through (even if the game engine is ret-2-go).

I've been working on a concept (that I was thinking about sending to WayForward) for a simple Dance game that would fit Shantae perfectly (in fact, I don't think this game could work for any other character) and it wouldn't take as much time because it's basically a mini-game. This game would focus on rhythmic dance steps, music, and would only take place in one location (Dance Parlor). You wouldn't have to worry about making overworlds, maps, items, plots, etc...

If you want my advice, we should start with this dancing fan game. I'm not trying to come off as being pushy, but this game will work. And besides, it could double as the dancing mini game that would be in the action adventure fan game. I'm very serious about this and I can even create a plan of action of how to best execute this game.

If you're wondering why I'm taking this so seriously, it's because I want to work for WayForward. And I must prove my worth. I can do a lot on the visual side of things, but programming is still very tough for me. I really want this.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:44 pm

I don't think you're being pushy; you're just trying to get the point across, and I feel it's a valid one, honestly.

That would actually be a great stepping stone to something much bigger, and since dance moves are going to be necessary in something large anyway, there's no better way to put those animations to great use while the rest of the art assets are being made. It would even be the simplist thing to write in GM5.3a, I could probably write the basics together from scratch in a night, easy. We could even include backgrounds of other cities like you're moving up the ranks, (Like say you start out in Scuttle Town, and move up to the dance hall in Water Town. Even fireworks could go off around the Zombie Caravan depending on your performance!) but that's another story. And I think this mini-game would help us settle on an art style and UI for the main game as well. The usefulness and enjoyment to be had from this would be two-fold.

Personally, I really enjoyed the Dance Hall mini-game in Shantae and wouldn't mind converting the concept into a full-blown, stand-alone arcade game with much greater depth. We could even make the audience more alive and change up the HUD so you can pay attention to both Shantae and button prompts at the same time. There's a lot of room for little things and special effects like that here.

What does everyone else think of it? All great journeys start with that first step, this could be it. =P

MikeHarvey wrote: You got the main world that you explore, multiplayer, towns, dungeons, transformations, items, enemies, bosses, events, plots, mini games, and maybe more.

Meh, most of that just takes a little programming, debugging, and level-building, especially with such a short length; it's the art and animations for all those things that will take the most time to make.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:57 pm

If everyone's okay with starting off with a dancing Shantae fan game, then I'll get started on that plan of action I mentioned earlier. It would help keep us on track and I make it easier to understand the fan game we'll be making.

Just so you know, the idea I had in mind for this dance game will be completely unique from most other games in the rhythm game genre. Instead of using 4 arrows and hitting the correct keys at the correct time, this game would rely on the mouse or control stick. That's all I want to say about the controls for now, but is it possible to use the mouse or a control stick in the game maker program? If not I can make the game work with a 4 arrow keys option, but it wouldn't be quite as unique.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:13 pm

Game Maker supports up to two joysticks, their 24+ buttons, POV switches, more than 8 axis, and its mouse support is surprisingly great. (Because without it my level builder would royally suck!) Providing support for all of the above will be tricky to debug if I mess something up, but still quite easy to implement. Like all things it just takes time, especially since it will have to provide an options screen so players can easily assign actions to whatever axis/button they like. =P

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:42 pm

OK then. Thanks for the info .Luke. Now that I know what the controls limitations are I can get started on that POA (plan of action). It may take me a while to finish up and I'll be very busy this weekend, but I'll try and not take long. Maybe a week, 2 at most hopefully.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Ex321 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:53 am

Man you guys have been busy!... Brainstorming that is.

The dance game idea sounds interesting once we get more information on it Smile. I'm intrigued by the idea of it being mouse only ^^

Going back to the character contrasts, I wasn't just saying Sky or Rottytops, I merely used them as examples. Obviously things would be a bit different by the end. I was also thinking about Bolo and maybe Risky dependant on the villain we choose. It might even be interesting to see if we could do anything with Mimic! XD

Regardless, if you guys need art done, just pm me and I'll see what I can do for projects. My job's finally picking up its hours so things might get a bit harder to work with.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:08 am

I seriously hope this doesn't mean that the platformer-project is abandoned.
Dancing games are good and definitely suitable for Shantae. But they just aren't my cup of tea. Neutral

Hope this will be a mere stepping stone for the platformer-project.
Which I seriously hope will get made.

Cuz after all, it's all about making the fanbase grow closer and give new fans an idea what the official games are like.
And it wouldn't help to make a game that is different from the offical material, at least when it comes to introducing new players to Shantae.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:16 am

No, the main project, whatever it will be, is not canned. This dancing arcade game can be written/finished while the assets are being made and put together. Think of it as a fun tech demo we can use to show off the art style we're going with. =P

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Cuz after all, it's all about making the fanbase grow closer and give new fans an idea what the official games are like.
And it wouldn't help to make a game that is different from the offical material, at least when it comes to introducing new players to Shantae.

Then it might not be a good idea to make it a platformer, at least the main project anyway; we don't need to confuse new players by putting Shantae in the wrong genre. New fans will think Shantae is a platform game and may hate the official games when they try out RR or look at videos of it. (Some people were actually turned off after the beginning of "Shantae" because that linear first level made them assume it was a platformer, while others didn't like it being a platformer.) It might be better to create an unlockable platformer mode for those who just want to play the stages.

The more I thought about Super Mario World, the more I realized a platformer mode could work. If the levels are short and sweet, and split into with sub-sections, while the levels also being in great quantity, we won't bump into many of the loading issues I'd have with my current engine by structuring those levels like a Mario game. We could turn a lot of the overworld into fun levels, since that's mostly what they are if you think about it; they're like stages that connect all the towns and dungeons all together, except they're playable in either direction. We would need to make additional levels to fill in the blanks, but it could work if done right. They don't have to be as massive as Sonic stages either, so it wouldn't be overwhelming, and making little overworld maps to give it more depth wouldn't be any trouble either.

Hey, if the game's going to be short either way, we might as well fit as many ideas into it as we can! =P I'm still just bouncing off ideas here, so nothing's definite yet.

Ex321 wrote:Going back to the character contrasts, I wasn't just saying Sky or Rottytops, I merely used them as examples. Obviously things would be a bit different by the end. I was also thinking about Bolo and maybe Risky dependant on the villain we choose. It might even be interesting to see if we could do anything with Mimic! XD

Haha, there are a lot of primitive or advanced inventions Mimic could rely on to get around, like Tails does in Sonic Battle. The possibilities are limitless there.

Ex321 wrote:Regardless, if you guys need art done, just pm me and I'll see what I can do for projects. My job's finally picking up its hours so things might get a bit harder to work with.

That's perfectly understandable; we won't ask you to push yourself for this project's sake when life keeps you busy. I'm glad you're eager to contribute either way, though, any bit of help with the art assets is much appreciated. ^_^

MikeHarvey wrote:OK then. Thanks for the info .Luke. Now that I know what the controls limitations are I can get started on that POA (plan of action). It may take me a while to finish up and I'll be very busy this weekend, but I'll try and not take long. Maybe a week, 2 at most hopefully.

Ah, so you're putting together a design document for us to go by. ^^ That would be a very helpful and structured way to go about it, I will be interested in reading its contents once you have it done. How many dance moves do you have in mind, if you already have that one thought out? Is it the usual six animations or will be there more buttons to assign dance moves to?

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:16 pm

This dance game will be a bit more complex than I thought, but only because it's something that hasn't been done before (I could be wrong tho). There will be 10 dance moves and they will be automatic animations. If the dancing was button based then it would be easier to cue the dance moves, but the idea I had in mind was to only use a cursor and maybe the left click of the mouse (or one control stick and one button for anyone that uses a controller). The dance moves are preformed depending on how the cursor moves, not what buttons are pressed. Think of it as a Wii motion style gameplay where moving to a position in a timely manor will trigger an event. I'm still working it out and making sure I'm getting it all down it writing correctly. I'll also draw out little pictures to help get the point across visually.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:20 pm

I'm sorry I meant 6 Dance Steps and 5 Dance Poses.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:29 pm

.Luke wrote:No, the main project, whatever it will be, is not canned. This dancing arcade game can be written/finished while the assets are being made and put together. Think of it as a fun tech demo we can use to show off the art style we're going with. =P
Okay then.


Then it might not be a good idea to make it a platformer, at least the main project anyway;
WTF are you talking about?
SHANTAE IS A PLATFORMER!


The more I thought about Super Mario World, the more I realized a platformer mode could work. If the levels are short and sweet, and split into with sub-sections, while the levels also being in great quantity, we won't bump into many of the loading issues I'd have with my current engine by structuring those levels like a Mario game. We could turn a lot of the overworld into fun levels, since that's mostly what they are if you think about it; they're like stages that connect all the towns and dungeons all together, except they're playable in either direction. We would need to make additional levels to fill in the blanks, but it could work if done right. They don't have to be as massive as Sonic stages either, so it wouldn't be overwhelming, and making little overworld maps to give it more depth wouldn't be any trouble either.
Yup. nice thinking.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by .Luke on Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:34 pm

MikeHarvey wrote:This dance game will be a bit more complex than I thought, but only because it's something that hasn't been done before (I could be wrong tho). There will be 10 dance moves and they will be automatic animations. If the dancing was button based then it would be easier to cue the dance moves, but the idea I had in mind was to only use a cursor and maybe the left click of the mouse (or one control stick and one button for anyone that uses a controller). The dance moves are preformed depending on how the cursor moves, not what buttons are pressed. Think of it as a Wii motion style gameplay where moving to a position in a timely manor will trigger an event. I'm still working it out and making sure I'm getting it all down it writing correctly. I'll also draw out little pictures to help get the point across visually.

I will definitely have to see more written documentation on it, but the idea of using just an analog stick and one button (Or the mouse.) is pretty novel and minimalistic, which is my kinda thing. ^_^ It would be interesting to bring that to life.

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:WTF are you talking about?
SHANTAE IS A PLATFORMER!

I'd guess that makes the Adventures of Link and Metroid platformers too, but meh, I think my own interpretation of the term "platformer" is different in this case. Shantae has way too many adventure/rpg elements in it to be just a platformer, she's much more than that, IMO.

Also, I'm going to ask this again encase it was overlooked in the massive sea of text on the first page, how should the art style play out? Since we have a larger screen res to work with, should Shantae look more chibi or serious? This is important to me because I can't start on any vectors until I'm sure which one's the right direction to go in.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:41 pm

.Luke wrote:I'd guess that makes the Adventures of Link and Metroid platformers too
Basicly, yes they are. Tho Metroid can be called a "platforming shooter" or something...

but meh, I think my own interpretation of the term "platformer" is different in this case. Shantae has way too many adventure/rpg elements in it to be just a platformer, she's much more than that, IMO.
And then what's with her jumping around on several tiles of ground? That's platforming man.
Which is what she first and foremost is, no matter how it is shaped.

Also, I'm going to ask this again encase it was overlooked in the massive sea of text on the first page, how should the art style play out? Since we have a larger screen res to work with, should Shantae look more chibi or serious? This is important to me because I can't start on any vectors until I'm sure which one's the right direction to go in.
I'd go for the sprite-style of the official games.
But I think both work and are worth trying out.

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Re: What would you like to see in a Shantae Fan Game?

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:17 pm

Ok, I just finished the writing, but it may still be hard to explain without some visuals. I warn you, it's a lot of reading and I thought about how this game would flow from every angle I could think of. It like a mix of DDR and Rock Band, but with Mouse controls. Let me know what you think.

Spoiler:
SHANTAE'S RET-2-GO! (This is a temp name. It could be the final name.)

Shantae's Ret-2-Go! is a rhythm, dance game. The goal is to follow the correct steps on the dance floor, move to the beat, and score points

STAGE LAYOUT AND INFORMATION

During the dancing section of this mini game there are lots of stage pieces that must work together to make this game informative and (more importantly) enjoyable.

-The Dance Floor: It's is a huge circle where the player controls Shantae's movement, as represented by a simple Dot. There are 5 stepping positions on the Dance Floor: the center, right, left, up, and down. The Starting position for every song and difficulty will always be the center. The final step could be in any position.

-The Dot: This is what the player moves around on the Dance Floor. It's small but easy to notice. Think of it as the mouse cursor.

-The Spotlight: It's a smaller circle that moves around on the Dance Floor that the player must try to stay within during gameplay. Failure to stay inside the Spotlight from one position to the next (even once) will cause a Miss when the Spotlight reaches the next position. The Spotlight helps gauge how accurate your position is to the beat of the music on the Dance Floor. The closer you are to the center of the Spotlight, the better your score.

-The Score: When you move to any of the 5 positions on the Dance Floor, it gives you a score based on the rhythmic timing of the beat, the position you're in within the spotlight, and your position on the Dance Floor. There are 5 possible scores: Perfect (100 pts), Great (75 pts), Okay (50 pts), Bad (25 pts), and Miss (0 pts).

-The Step Bar: Much like the arrow bar that was used in the Dance Parlor mini game (Shantae GBC), the Step Bar will let us know which steps to make and the number of beats it will take to complete each step. The Step Bar will show a maximum of 8 steps in the following order they must be preformed. Once the step is done it disappears from the Box Cursor at the top of the Step Bar. The Box Cursor lets you know what step is happening at that time. The Steps themselves are far more complex than simple arrow key commands.

-The Beat(s): This will tell you the timing of your steps and the time when your score will be counted. All steps will last at least a minimum of 1 beat, but some will last as long as 8 beats. 8 beats will always be the maximum amount of time it take to perform a step.

-The Steps: These steps are far more complex than simple arrow key commands. These steps will tell you how you should move around on the dance floor. There are six types of steps and they have all been color coded to make identifying them easier ...

-Rest: This step tells you that you need to hold your position on the Dance Floor for 1 to 8 beats. There are 5 Rest steps: Center Rest, Right Rest, Left Rest, Up Rest, and Down Rest. The Center Rest is also used to show that you need to move to the center, in the event you're at the sides of the Dance Floor. The color code for these steps are GREEN.

-Slide: This step is normally reserved for moving to, from, or through the center of the Dance Floor. There are 2 Slide steps: Short Slide moves you from the center position to any of the side positions in 1 beat, and Long Slide moves you from a side position, through the center position, to the opposite side position in 1 beat. The color code for these steps are YELLOW.

-Quick Slide: This is a unique step reserved for side to side movement. Think of this step as 2 Long Slide steps being used back to back in 1 beat (1/2 the time for 2 Long Steps). The color code for this step is ORANGE.
Now to the fun steps...

-Swing: This step alone will separate Shantae Ret-2-Go! from all other rhythm games. Shantae is a belly dancer and she swings her hips back and forth. This step capitalizes on her dance style. The Swing step moves you from one side position to another side position without going through the center position of the Dance Floor. There are many variations of these steps based on movement, timing, and direction. I'll try and explain this as best I can. There are 4 type of Swing movement: Quarter Circle (1 beat), Half Circle (2 beats), Crescent Circle (3 beats), and Full Circle (4 beats). There are 3 types of Swing timing for each movement: Fast (1/2 the beat time and will have a lighter color code), Normal (will move regularly and have a regular color code), and Slow (x2 the beat time and will have a darker color code). I'd like to note than the Fast Swings will only work for Half Circle and Full Circle movement types. And Finally, there are 2 direction types: Red Swing (moves counter-clockwise), and Blue Swing (moves clockwise). There color code is in the name. When you combine all 3 factors together, you get a Swing step. For example: a Fast, Half Circle Blue Swing (or Fast Half Blue for short) will be shown as a half circle with a light blue color that takes 1 beat to perform. This is where the game gets complex, but we're not done yet. Where there's a swing, there's a...

-Sway: Swaying is both a step and a game mechanic. Let's start with the game mechanic. When a Swing step is followed by another Swing step, it must go in the opposite direction (Red to Blue, Blue to Red). The only exception to this rule are the Full Circle Swings because you move back to the position you started from, and therefore, could still continue to move in the same direction (this will keep the player on their toes). So what's a Sway step? A Sway step is a lot like the Quick Slide, but for Swings instead of Slides. Basically, it's 2 Fast Swings with the same movement back to back. There are 4 types of Sways: Quarter Circle Sway (1 beat), Half Circle Sway (2 beats), Crescent Circle Sway (3 beats), and Full Circle Sway (4 beats). The color code for these steps are VIOLET er... PURPLE. There is one more function to this step than any other. Normally, Slide and Swing steps have a direction and often times send you to a different position on the Dance Floor. Sway steps will always send you back to your previous position, so it really shouldn't matter what direction you decide to go in right? So during this step, the Spotlight will split into 2 Spotlights, and should they both meet during the Sway, then the player will earn double points based on their position (pts x2). This is because the 2 Spotlights will overlap and be in the exact same position.
With all these steps I think I better note what step could lead to other steps. So, here's the list...

CENTER REST leads to CENTER REST, SHORT SLIDE
SIDE REST leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY
SHORT SLIDE leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY
LONG SLIDE leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY
QUICK SLIDE leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY
RED SWING (excluding FULL CIRCLE SWING) leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, BLUE SWING, SWAY
BLUE SWING (excluding FULL CIRCLE SWING) leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, SWAY
FULL CIRCLE SWING (red or blue) leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY
SWAY leads to CENTER REST, SIDE REST, LONG SLIDE, QUICK SLIDE, RED SWING, BLUE SWING, SWAY

Now for the more advance game mechanics...

-Free Beats: During Quick Steps, Fast Swings, and Sways there are times when you'll pass other positions on the Dance Floor during a half beat or even a quarter beat. Since the timing on those position are tough, getting a Bad or Miss will not count against your Beat Streak or Multiplier Bonus.

-Beat Streak: If you manage to consecutively get a score of Perfects, Greats, or Okays in a row, then it counts as a Beat Streak combo. If you get a Bad or Miss (on Beat), then your Beat Streak will end.

-Multiplier Bonus: For every 8 beats in a Beat Streak you will gain a Multiplier Bonus. You always start off with (x1), and you'll get (x2) for the first 8 consecutive beats, (x3) for the next 8, ( x4) for the 8 after that, and (x5) after that. A total of 32 beats. If you get a Bad or Miss (on Beat), then your Multiplier Bonus will end.

-Groove Meter: For every Perfect score on Beat, you'll also get a Groove Point (GP) that fills out the Groove Meter. The Groove Meter can hold a maximum of 32 GP. At any point when you have at least 1 GP, you can click on the Dance Floor and activate Groove Mode.

-Groove Mode: During this mode, the Multiplier Bonus will double, and that will not end until Groove Mode ends. As an added bonus, getting a Bad or Miss on Beat during this mode will not count against your Beat Streak or Multiplier Bonus. At every Beat, your score effects the longevity of this mode (Perfects cost 0 GP, Greats cost 1 GP, Okays cost 2 GP, Bads cost 3 GP, and Miss cost 4 GP). The more GP you have and the more Perfects you get, the higher your chances are of keeping Groove Mode going.

The way Multiplier work in this game is a lot like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. You can earn up to (x5) during Beat Streak, use Groove Mode to double that multiplier, and faster steps are made a little safer to deal with. Here's a good example of the kind of score you can get in this game. If you have a (x5) Multiplier Bonus during Groove Mode, it will become a (x10). If you have (x10), you'll get 1000 pts for every Perfect (2000 pts when the Spotlights crosses paths during a Sway). Plus every Perfect takes 0 GP away, so If you manage to hold on to a Perfect Streak, then you Groove Mode will not go down and your Score will skyrocket. There's no negatives to using Groove Mode!

-Final Score and Ranking: At the end of the song the Score gets counted up and that will affect you rank.

HUB AND GUI

The Main Menu will have the following links: Showtime, Tutorial, Options, Credits. Showtime will take you to a screen that lets you select the music and quickly adjust the settings to your liking. You can start the game here. Tutorial will teach you how to play the game. Options will let you adjust the setting to your liking. Credits will show the player who made the game (us).

I forgot to mention that Shantae will be dancing during gameplay but I'm not sure how it should be handled. That will have to wait until I get the visual information done.

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