Re: [stella] Robot City (alpha)

Subject: Re: [stella] Robot City (alpha)
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 15:17:16 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 10 Aug 2002, Thomas Jentzsch wrote:

> Hi,
> this is what might become a new game from me. It's nothing special,
> please don't expect another Thrust. ;-)


> Tell me, what you think about it. And I hope, you have some ideas about
> gameplay improvements, because I think it's lacking something important
> to make it a really good game.

It's pretty impressive so far. Really challenging, especially the second
(green) maze.

Obviously, it needs more levels, and sound... that's not what you're
asking about. I think it needs at least one of these:

- Another type of enemy (think of the pterry in Joust, or the mothership
  in Space Invaders), maybe he only comes out every once in a while and
  is really hard to kill and/or avoid.

- Fuel that runs out, and a way to collect more fuel. You could just have
  `fuel dumps' appear randomly in the maze for a couple of seconds, or
  have an enemy supply truck that the tanks guard, when you shoot it it
  turns into a fuel dump (which is on fire, so you only have a few seconds
  to refuel).

- Smarter or faster-shooting & moving tanks as the levels go up (a la
  the robots in Berzerk)

- Hostages you have to rescue? Or is that too much like Choplifter? I
  always liked the idea that the whole point of the game in Choplifter
  and Defender was to rescue the hostages, and killing the enemy is a
  secondary mission goal.

- When some certain event happens, you lose the ability to fire your
  gun for a few seconds. It could be combined with the new type of
  enemy above, when he shoots you, you don't die, you just lose the
  ability to shoot. Or maybe your movement rate gets cut in half. Or
  two different enemies, one that stops you from shooting, one that
  makes you move slow. Or you could only give the player one life, and
  being shot by the regular tanks damages the helicopter (your guns
  get damaged & only fire sometimes, then they get destroyed & don't
  fire at all, then your engines get damaged... Like Star Raiders or
  Blue Max on the Atari 800).

- Bonus items. Maybe one allows you to shoot through the maze walls
  temporarily, and one gives you a shield that will deflect one enemy
  shot, and one gives you the ability to shoot through the tank shields
  (or temporarily destroy the tank shields, which regenerate a few
  seconds later. While a tank's shield is gone, you can shoot it from
  the front, of course).

- Bonus screens between levels. Maybe you play through 2 or 3 levels of
  tanks, and then you get a maze full of hostages you have to rescue, with
  a time limit (like the treasure rooms in Gauntlet).

...hmmm. All the ideas I've come up with are ripped-off from other classic
games. Maybe it's better to think of something completely new? (Is that
even possible? Sure it is, but maybe not for me? Or maybe just not for
me right this very minute...)

Anyway, it's pretty impressive so far, especially for a <2K binary.



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