Here We Go Again!
Back in May, my life was starting to slow down enough to spend some time on game development again. Shortly after, I reached out to my old friend Eric to reconnect.
After a few weeks and several emails back and forth, we decided to start again, this time on a new project.
Eric suggested Chip’s Challenge (specifically, the Windows 3.1 version) in brainstorming ideas, which incorporates a few key elements:
- Collecting McGuffins (computer chips)
- Pushing things (similar to Sokoban)
- Avoiding enemies
While Chip’s Challenge is more complex than that, we decided to focus on those 3 design ideas and start there. Eric proposed the idea of the player controlling an angel and a demon trapped in limbo. The two would have to work together to solve puzzles to advance to the next level.
The McGuffin would be souls, which would be set free from limbo to either ascend to heaven if collected by the angel or descend to hell if collected by the demon. Collecting all of the souls would allow the player to exit the stage and move on to the next level.
We incorporated a Sokoban-like push mechanic and decided to give this ability to the demon. Blocks would be used to obstruct enemy movement/line-of-sight and also to solve key/lock puzzles.
But we also needed something for the angel to do, so we decided to include water tiles that only the angel could traverse, using the same key/button that the push mechanic utilized.
After getting these features working, I had the idea to introduce bridges that the angel could lower, allowing the demon (and, by extension, blocks) to traverse areas that would normally be cut off by water.
With most of the core mechanics working, there’s a lot to do insofar as creating assets (art, music, etc.), levels, and the like. Eric is primarily responsible for level design, so I leave it to him to work on cranking those out while I work on polish.