Re: [stella] Homebrew Idea: Super Mosca

Subject: Re: [stella] Homebrew Idea: Super Mosca
From: "Erik J. Eid" <eeid@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 22:29:05 -0400
At 10:16 PM 10/19/01 -0700, you wrote:
Ok, so I've been lurking here for a few months, listening, learning, and
developing a few game ideas. I'd like to present one of my ideas now to
get your feedback.

Lurking is a fine tradition and a great way to absorb what is going on here... at least I think so. :)

I've pretty much got the enemies concept down, but the game *goal* has
been elusive. What goal does a fly have? The food idea needs to be
expanded; does Mosca simply fly over the food to "eat" it or is there
more game play involved? On the other hand, I'm pleased with the egg
laying goal; I see Mosca landing on a target where it must remain for
some amount of time, all the while vulnerable to attack. Perhaps the
eggs then hatch and destroy nearby enemies (sort of a reverse power-up).

I really like this idea, as it gives the player a couple of different things to do and keep in mind at all times.

Perhaps you could combine the two concepts together. Mosca spends some time flying over food to eat it, and then once a certain amount of food is consumed, then has to hunt for a safe place to lay the eggs, and then protect them. This means the player has many challenges: finding food, luring enemies away before laying eggs, then defending the eggs.

One game that I really enjoyed was Fire Bug, a game written by Tom Hudson and Kyle Peacock (whatever happened to them?) for ANALOG magazine. In this game, you are a mother bug moving through a large scrolling area of dirt, defending laid eggs from predators while attempting to destroy those predators, while also taking care not to lose the eggs to the bombs sprinkling the land. The predators often would merge together to spawn many other predators. In a situation like this, you are constantly trying to do many things at once and always have to balance your goals accordingly.

Now here's cherry on top, the element that makes Super Mosca different
from all other scrollers that I've seen: your control over the onscreen
player (with the joystick) is non-linear. The idea is to make Mosca's
movement appear as jittery as that of a real fly [...] Honestly, I don't know if such a control mechanism would prove to be fun or frustrating.

I think it would be frustrating after a while. It is good if a situation calls for it - say Mosca is hit by a certain type of enemy or flies through a particular object - but not on a constant basis. Otherwise the challenge of the game is lost in simply trying to work within the controls.

It's an interesting idea and I am looking forward to seeing more...

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