I've been doing quite a bit of tinkering in Unity and trying my hand at 3D modeling as well over the last year. Kind of left my GameMaker and 2D pixel roots in the closet. Lately though, I've fallen in to a bit of a creative rut. When I saw the announcement for this years GBJAM, I felt excited and even a little invigorated. As much as I'd love to attempt a jam with my newfound skills in the 3D world, I'm thinking a visit to an old friend is exactly what I need (I mean, especially for a Gameboy Jam).
So my tools of choice this go around will be GameMaker (1.4.9999, none of that GM2) and mostly Adobe Photoshop for the pixel work.
It's late here. Not sure if I'll be digging in now or sleeping first and starting at sun up. I have decided to start jotting down my initial ideas though.
So, my first thoughts:
- Breakout/Alleyway clone, mixed with some shooter elements - basically on top of being a paddle and keeping the "ball" going to break all of the blocks, there would be enemies you'd have to contend with. Probably too similar to my previous GB entry. Alleyway was probably my second most played Gameboy game behind Tetris. On top of that, I've never actually made a "brick breaker" style game despite how it feels like it should have been one of those stepping stone games you make when learning to make games.
- Tetris re-imagined. I've had this idea that I've wanted to try just to see if I could (and to see if it would even work) where instead of rotating the pieces, you rotate the board. Yeah, after typing that out it sounds even more ridiculous. This feels like the right amount of work for a game jam, as far as the amount of content I'd need to generate. However, this may just be because I'm tired, but figuring how exactly to do "that" doesn't feel like the type of problem I want to solve this go around.
- Some other type of puzzle game. I've never attempted a match 3, but I was leaning towards something like that or maybe and match/falling game like Dr. Mario. I'd like to attempt my own spin on the puzzle game meets dungeon crawler, but I'm pretty sure I'd just end up doing a 10,000,000 clone or something. I feel like making each piece distinguishable would be a challenge with the 4 color palette. Not sure how I feel about that. Again, like the Tetris idea above. This type of game doesn't require a lot of content creation (little artwork and no "levels" to have to design by hand). Though, if I go the dungeon crawler hybrid, that wouldn't be the case.
- A Beat'em Up/Brawler. I've wanted to do one of these for a while now. I attempted maybe 3 or 4 years back and quickly became discouraged. I'd like to imagine my experience since then would help me get farther this time. Like the "match" game above, the limited color palette means I'd have to find other ways to distinguish the different enemy types. Though, I'm likely that challenge because it would most likely be through animation. Probably end up being more then I can handle in the time frame, but when has that ever stopped me. I don't really have any ideas for a story though. I just know I want to code and pixel guys beating each other up. Hmmm.
- Most of my other game ideas I've been hoping to realize wouldn't work in the Gameboy format.
I was hoping as I typed I would find more inspiration. Nope. Could just be I'm too tired. I'm leaning towards brawler. Mostly because of all the fun pixel work. It of course would involve by far the most content creation and I'm not even sure I'll be able to code a working brawler core with acceptable/fun game play. Again though, when has that ever stopped me?
Going to throw together some mock-ups to see if that sparks anything.