Thursday, August 15, 2013

You Don't Go to Lovely Planet

The plan was to prepare a game that is the not-FPS of today. I've played my share of first person shooters and not just the ones that go grey and brown where people swear a lot. What I couldn't find, what I think would make for a more original FPS experience, is a game that is about nothing more than jumping and shooting. So I wrote this game called Lovely Planet.


It's more Gun Ballet than Gun Fu, but I won't call it a bullet hell. It learns from old side scrollers like Contra and puts all its focus into the movement and shooting and leaves out the rest. So short levels with enemies that fire at you while you avoid bullets, shoot baddies and make your way to the exit. There are no level-ups, two difficulty levels and a single weapon with a rotating star on it which doesn't ever run out of bullets. More importance is given to the movement, being agile is rewarded and aiming is difficult. Taking pot shots on enemies that make timely jumps out of cover isn't the kind of gameplay that interests me anymore, it's monotonous, repetitive and boring. It's not about boosting your XP or earning ribbons and trophies for playing a couple of hundred hours or unlocking every attachment for every weapon. What stands between you and your goal is a bit of platforming and some angry turrets, not hours of farming stats or silly and unnecessary side quests that don't make any sense.



I've worked on a number of my own games to be sure that if I attempt a photo-realistic graphics style I will fail. A simple style pulled off properly is better than an ugly looking game, it only made sense to go the NPR way. NPR too comes in a lot of flavours, with no intention of putting any sort of budget behind this game at the time, I knew from the beginning it was going to be flat shaded and untextured. Except the particles and most of the text on the walls, everything is a model. That's for the style, where the theme and setting come from is a different story. At the time this game was being prototyped I was overly obsessed with a few Japanese pop music videos by this one artist which I still think are outrageously magnificent to say the least. Since the whole intention was to do the not-FPS first person shooter I thought it would be a great idea to populate the world with cute things. The palette is composed of a lot of vibrant colours and things generally have a cutesy look to them, little pink hearts make for grass on the ground and the architecture has a pleasant and cheerful vibe to it. Pretty things float in the sky and Lovely Planet along with its only moon are always visible in the distance.

It's not done yet, still thinking about boss fights and there is no music without which I won't even call it half complete.