[stella] Please consider this for Oystron

Subject: [stella] Please consider this for Oystron
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 23:51:19 -0700 (PDT)
Piero, I think I've got some issues here that are serious enough to be
addressed whenever you find the time and initiative to work on Oystron.  I
hope some of this inspires you...


I think the idea of the swiss cheese guys is okay, except for the fact
that if you allow them to block every row the game comes to a crashing

No more enemies arrive and since these guys are absolutely invulerable,
you must commit suicide to continue or the game will just sit there

This is a loophole in game design.

I think that if they all line up that regardless of the progress towards
the boss, that the swiss cheese guys should "summon" the boss for a
penalty round.  The swiss chess guys will disappear when the boss (or you)
are dead.  Either that or give the cheese guys very high hit points, like

Either that or come up with a different "mutant" enemy that has other
unique characteristics besides being an immovable barrier hovering over a

You see, once he starts hovering, it makes that row basically meaningless
other than as a barrier to the last pearl.  Seems like a waste of screen
bandwidth since enemies can not really overlap the same row.

If we replace the swiss cheese guys, let's say we stick to the underwater
motif this time... 

Try this one on for size:

You could have electric eel type characters that slithers from right to
left until killed, charge up (via brightness) and zap a row based on a
predictable time loop (like one per second).  This time loop could get
shorter (or more unpredictable) with difficulty or wave number.

The zap graphic would be an alteration of your "stolen pearl" glowing slot
algorithm, but with an appropriate sound effect.  If just pearls are in
the way of the zap, they disappear.  If you are in the way of the zap, you
die.  Or alternatively you could lose your pearls, then die if you get
zapped a second time.  They must be killable somehow.  To make things
interesting you may want to have them mutate BACK into the creature that
spawned them before they had a pearl rather than killing them.  That way
you could have things happen where something steals a pearl, mutates, gets
killed, mutates back, steals another pearl, and so on.  I think this would
really fit in with the highly dynamic style of the gameplay that Oystron
is evolving into.  What do you think? 

As far as mutation loops, the T-shapped barrier guys would be the most
likely candidates for annoying looping mutations since conventional
attacks are useless against them.  This would force the player into
becoming proficient at killing these guys by swooping in to the right of
them and shooting their weak spot.

Maybe to top things off, every time an eel mutates back to its former
self, the resulting creature comes down the slot faster than it did
before!  Quite an incentive to kill it.


The other pet peeve I have about the game is similar in relation to the
boss.  If you use up all your bombs and the boss is still alive, he never
goes away and you can't shoot the incoming enemies, so the only
alternative is, again, SUICIDE.

I think the boss wave needs to be seriously tweaked.

For instance, let's say the boss starts out easy to kill, predictable
movements, but the point value for killing him so soon are minimal.  The
longer you let him live, the more points you get.  As time goes on, the
boss starts getting less predictable and more annoying.  By annoying I
mean like when it seems to be just staying in one place, if you get close
to it it will jump out at you or curve around quickly and get you.  That's
kinda how he acts now--all the time.

But if you wait long enough he will just leave.

He kinda becomes, if you want an analogy, VEAL.

The minimum points for killing the boss can be high enough so that if you
didn't kill him at all you will smack yourself for being a coward, but low
enough to give you an incentive to risk waiting.  The excitement comes
from so many angles this way:

Having to purposefully avoid killing yourself and (ironically) killing him
and avoiding the junk coming from right to left while you can't fire back
at them, with minimal bombs available to kill the boss when you REALLY
want to would be challenging, but for the novice, if he gets stuck or runs
out of bombs, he can just wait it out and the boss will leave so he
doesn't have to sacrifice a life to continue. 

Maybe another approach (not necessarily mutually exclusive) would be that
when you run out of bombs that if you hold down the fire button long
enough (rising sound effect to accompany it) your ship will charge up and
create a new bomb after, let's say, 10 seconds, which is then released
when you let up on the fire button.  You MUST hold down the button
completely for 10 seconds, otherwise the charge has to restart from
scratch.  This in addition to the reverse method of depositing a bomb
makes it tricky and inconvenient enough to justify the crutch.  This way
you PAY for the fact that you used up your bombs by having to survive 10
extra seconds but after that you are rewarded with a bomb and get another
chance to kill the boss.  This would remove the need to have the boss
leave the scene by itself.

In the harder difficulties, the chargeup time could be longer.

If you really wanted, you could remove the link between pearl and bomb
entirely and treat pearls you have on board after the boss wave as bonuses
(ala Defender) and have all bombs be generated via holding down the fire
button and waiting.

== Glenn Saunders     http://www.lawguru.com/production/production.html ==
== krishna@xxxxxxxxxxx   http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/  ==
==       Stale homepage @ http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/1698       ==

Archives updated once/day at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/
Unsubscribing and other info at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/stella.html

Current Thread