At long last, I am gearing up to begin rebuilding WizFight. As part of my move to rebuild WizFight, I have been rethinking the game’s core gameplay. At the time that I had made the first WizFight, I had set out to create a platformer and I really wanted to make a local multiplayer party game. As such, the gameplay style evolved out of a very narrow scope of goals.
With this new iteration of WizFight, I am going to bring the game into the 3rd dimension and add online play. This move will open up quite a lot of options that I simply didn’t have with the offline-only, side-scrolling 2D version. As such, I have been rethinking the game’s core gameplay.
I am fairly certain that I want to move away from the side-scrolling format. While it is accessible, there are certain limitations that that places on the way that the game is played, which places certain limitations on the way that I can design powers. I want the new version of the game to be more nuanced, more skill-oriented. I want there to be mechanics that will empower players who are good at the game to be even better at the game. Moving the game into 3D space will play into this goal far better than staying in 2D space.
The question is – how do I want the game to play? Do I want it to be a single-screen, 3D, quarter-view game? Do I want it to be a first-person shooter? This I have yet to figure out and I will probably iterate through multiple styles of camera in an effort to find the one that works the best. I already have several ideas for mechanics that would facilitate my goal. I am fairly certain that they lend themselves more to a shooter format, but we’ll see.
As a side-note, moving the game into a first-person shooter format would also solve the issue with Invisi-wizard’s power of invisibility putting the player playing him at a disadvantage.
One thing that live service games have had me increasingly thinking about is progression systems. Designing a system where players don’t necessarily need to unlock everything to compete, but want to unlock everything for the additional options that the unlocks provide can be difficult, but rewarding. It incentivizes continued play and later unlocks may be objectively better at doing certain things, but not necessary to win. Games that are really successful at offering this kind of progression system include Dead by Daylight and Hunt: Showdown.
My ultimate goal for a system like this would be to offer perks that could be equipped to your wizard’s powers to augment the ways that they work. I would likely make it so that each wizard has its own progression track, so that players are always unlocking perks that are relevant to the character(s) that they play.
If this is starting to sound like a completely different game, that’s because it really will be. I’ve had years to think about the game’s format and I fully intend to create something that is completely different. It will take the concept and capitalize on its strengths, rather than attempting to simply rebuild it.
In going with that theme, I do intend to give it a better name at some point. I just haven’t figured out what I want to call it yet.