What’s next?

Now that Bits & Bots is out the door, I’d like to take a bit of time off to relax – just not too much time. I’ve enjoyed the momentum I’ve finally found over the past half a year after several years of messing around with the engine, and I don’t want to lose that. So, what’s next?

I kicked around the idea of a sequel/remake of Dragonrider (my old MS-DOS shoot-em-up), but.. I already made it once, and I’d like to strike out in a different direction this time. One idea I’ve had is for a Zelda-esque dungeon crawler; you’d only be able to carry two weapons/items, one piece of armor, and one piece of equipment at a time, and everything breaks as you use it. Say you have a sword and a shield, and you need to carry a key down a hallway full of archers: do you keep the shield to block arrows, or do you keep the sword to kill the monster at the far end?

Aside from that, I’d like to have the items break after a set amount of time or damage, to keep the player constantly using whatever is at hand to keep going. In games with lots of different equipment to choose from, I usually end up finding one combination and abusing it for a long time, while my inventory gets cluttered with all sorts of neat things I have no real use for. It might be fun to remedy this with short-lived items, forcing the player to branch out and use different equipment as they come across it.

Of course, a Zelda-like would need each action ‘rendered’ in three different directions (up, down, and horizontal), so it might be less work graphically to instead try for a simple platformer. I might just spend a few weeks doing random sprite art, and see what grabs me.

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