Recently I have had , due to some unfortunate circumstances, a lot more free time on my hands than anticipated. I have, due to that sudden increase of free time, considered which project I would like to spend more time on. Regarding engagement, potential for success and the amount I would learn from the experience. PixelBoy is that project.
It is one of those project which I have thought of an awful lot, but never felt that I had the experience to do it justice. It is like when you have a good idea for a story but lack the writing style. But recently, I have been watching Casey Muratori’s stream. Where he teaches / shows how to code a game from scratch in C++ (essentially in C with some C++ features). This has filled me with absolute joy and such an enormous amount of knowledge that I have regained my confidence to work on it.
What kind of game is PixelBoy?
This game draws on my love for the Metroid franchise, specifically the ones from the Super Nintendo and the Gameboy Advance. But also from more recent indie games like Cave Story and Capsized, both truly great games as well. Most of the time you will spend exploring the world, its flora and fauna in the different biomes. Fighting bosses, defeating enemies, backtracking, finding secrets and getting new items.
In this game I want to focus on super tight controls, with which I mean Super Meatboy tight. Wall jumping, angular jet packs, ledge grabbing, sliding and the like. I want to give the player as many options as possible to make the movement really feel good. Which is very important to me. Since moving around and shooting is about the only way for the player to interact with the game, this must feel absolutely flawless.
To stray away from blatantly copying other peoples games, I want to introduce additional mechanics. At first I wil experiment with the idea of one shared pool of energy, shooting, jet propulsion, wall jumping and opening doors or powering terminals will all draw from this resource. Maybe also your health. The crux is that your co-op partner can shoot you to regain energy. Yes there will be some form of co-op in this game. I hope that these elements will set this game apart from the rest.
So, how will this project progress?
I will be doing most of the work myself. That is part of the fun, trying to see if I am really competent enough to make a (starting) small game. The art, the story, the level design, the game design and the engine design will all be done by me. Only the sound and music is something that I would like to outsource to another team / artist. Since this alone is something I could spend a whole lifetime on. Plus, I have never played an instrument for more then 3 weeks in my life, so that would be more than a challenge on itself.
I will try to work on the game and all that comes with it, roughly 20 hours a week. That is my starting goal. Maybe if that works out, I could bump it up to 30 hours a week. But I don’t want to fail, all because I started way to overenthusiastic.
Thanks for reading and I hope to show you some more soon! – Peter Verzijl