I always wanted to use games to tell a story. Over the years I’ve scribbled down a ton of story ideas that might lend themselves to gaming and never really done much about it.
My current project involves a fourteen year old space hero and his fight to save the planet from an evil scientist / aggressor. Standard stuff. The kid is of course an ace starfighter pilot and perfectly capable of getting himself in to a scrape or two.
I guess the point of the exercise was to create a framework whereby the player could enjoy the action and just have the story unfold behind the scenes. To that end I am trying to stitch together a bunch of different arcade styles to keep the player entertained whilst the story is being told.
In some respects the story is irrelevant and in others it is pretty key. It’s also a useful dynamic for leading the player in to a situation and teaching them how the game should be played. To better accomplish this I’ve built in achievements.
So for example, in the first chapter of the story the hero is faced with a deep space minefield. The mines can be destroyed and for each mine that is destroyed a ton of energy is released. The more energy that is collected by the player the more charge goes in to the starfighter’s super laser. When the super laser is fully charged the player can reap havoc on anything that comes close.
This is clearly going to be of some use throughout the game so for the first chapter’s challenge I use it. i.e. Challenge #1 – collect enough energy to power your starfighter’s super laser.
If the player doesn’t achieve this it matters not. It’s purely a bonus. But I imagine that most players will achieve this as it is very simple. Not to mention hugely rewarding.
To drive the story I’ve created some cool characters.
The main character (the player’s character) is young Kyle. Kyle Comet to give him his full title. The somewhat precocious product of the Deep Space Academy that appears to know no fear.
His best friend and radio assistant is Lexa. A young girl who keeps an eye on the galaxy for trouble. She is an extra pair of eyes and ears for Kyle and operates from the safety of the space station.
The bad guy is one General Vore. A former scientist and good guy. A big brain and now a huge threat. He was cast out of the peaceful planet Tranquis (this appeared in a previous game) that Kyle and Lexa call home and now plots to return and take the entire planet for himself. Not only that he’s amased a sizeable army to help him.
Making games is a huge amount of fun. Making games to tell a story is just thrilling. I am at heart a story teller. I love games but I love crafting stories and adventures just as much.
I intend for this story to be the first in a series of stories that chronicle the life of my deep space hero Kyle Comet. Just now I call it Kyle Comet and the Dreaded General Vore. A pretty lame title but it gives me something to work with whilst I complete the game.
Hope to have it ready by new year.