We received a lot of great questions this week and while we answered most of them directly, we wanted to cover some in more detail while fleshing out the general gameplay and how we arrived at the idea for BioBeasts.
The idea for BioBeasts came from a mission concept that we haven’t yet visited in EpicDuel: The origin of the BioHazards and all the other vicious mutations created by Alydriah. These creatures have sentient minds and are very difficult to control. It made sense to consider what would happen if a freshly created BioHazard decided to betray its creators and escape. Since most games would force players into the perspective of a human fighting the beasts, we decided to flip the premise and allow players to control the enraged creations. This story will be expanded upon within EpicDuel as we develop missions that make reference to the events taking place within BioBeasts!
Before BioBeasts was even close to the concept it is now, we brainstormed games we enjoyed playing as a team. This conversation brought us back to our youth, we looked at games we played in the 80’s and 90’s that resonated well with us and left a lifelong impression. Not surprising, we all had similar tastes. From that discussion a bunch of simple game concepts emerged that could be executed fairly quickly. We wanted a fast-paced game that was instantly engaging, but offered enough depth to keep players entertained for hours.
We latched onto the concept of a gauntlet-like survival game with hordes of enemies to fend off, inspired by things like the Ratchet and Clank arenas, Gears of War survival modes, and a few smaller Flash titles. We wanted to put a new spin on those ideas and explored the idea of surviving while moving through a facility rather than making a defensive last stand. We also thought it was cool to control a beast that could evolve and mutate just like the yetis in EpicDuel, and thus BioBeasts was born.
After landing on a concept and getting a few things moving on-screen, we came up with a list of design pillars. These are concepts which we use to guide the development of the game and keep us on track when trying to prioritize features or make decisions. They also help paint a good picture of what we're aiming for when describing the game to people outside the team. Our current pillars are:
Reward Mastery - We want to give obvious rewards for getting better at the game through things like the combo system and how you gain currency.
Evolution of Strategies - You should be encouraged to constantly try new ways of playing the game, both during and between runs.
Tense Survival - The game should never feel too easy; you should always be wary of carelessly taking damage.
Consistent Discovery - You should regularly find new things in the game: new types of enemies, a new mutation, new combinations of mutations, or a new beast to try out.
Theme Everywhere - This is one of those things that should probably be a part of every game, but it doesn't hurt to keep around as a reminder. We want the art, sound, and gameplay to all point to a consistent theme, which is a laboratory setting within the EpicDuel universe.
Clear, Fun Choices - Again, a key element of any successful game. You should be regularly faced with choices that are clear, fun, and a little hard so you consistently can look back and say "I wonder what would have happened if I made a different choice?"
(Titan running out of walls to write on)
The basic gameplay of BioBeasts will involve using four directional buttons to dispatch waves of foes coming from four directions. All beasts will have a unique special power that activates with a central button, and will be things like a massive damage shockwave, bullet time, or temporary invulnerability. Enemies will have have varied attack patterns and abilities to up the challenge as the game progresses. As players progress through the waves, they can choose mutations to enhance their beast as they move closer to freedom from Alydriah’s facility. We’re still iterating pretty heavily on the finer points and we’ll talk about those as they solidify, but these core pieces will stay throughout development.
(Current interface concepts)