Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pocket's Future; Pt.2

Hello readers! This is part 2 of my little series on where I'd like to go with Pocket Protector. Read to to learn about my ideas to "flavor up" the game, and better dazzle the players!

So, I realize that peoples' expectations for Flash games tend to be fairly low. This gives me two options. One, I let these expectations act as a crutch for myself and allow my game to deliver a fairly low amount of production value. Option two, I take this opportunity to make my game even more of a standout. I choose option two! Although my game isn't visually or soundingly stunning, and although it will never rival that of a first party game, keep in mind it is in Alpha! That said, the visual style is probably going to stay pretty constant from where it is, but I do have plans to increase the atmosphere exponentially.

That said, it's immediately obvious that the atmosphere of "The Pocket" is nothing but lacking. It fails to really warm you up to the silly community of Pockets that live there, and fill you with the quirky and comedically misled society that I'm aiming for.
For one, I need music in my game. I'm slowly working on my composing skills, but it's taking it's time. Music and sound is a huge part of a game's atmosphere, of course, and I really want to get that right in due time. To boot, some extra sound design would greatly benefit me. Perhaps some minor, silly voice acting would be appropriate, to the execution of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
And finally, I think I need to 'liven up' the Pocket a little bit, visually and interactively. More hints of people living their, and more things to do and explore! More on that in a bit.

One thing that I'm constantly suggested to attempt is multiplayer. Everyone says multiplayer would be great. First off, online multiplayer is very unlikely, and it's the only way I can see the game working with multiplayer. "Hot seat" gaming doesn't sound very good, it simply doesn't fit my gameplay or the topology of my control scheme. And from what I've heard, Flash isn't the best at live network gaming. In the future I might look into it, but for now the answer is "probably not". I wouldn't even think about attempting that without funds to set up a reliable server. That said, I think multiplayer would be absolutely awesome in my game, and if I were ever to redesign my game and reprogram it, I'd definitely make it with multiplayer in mind.

So, if you've really explored The Pocket, you probably saw the currently un-enterable building called "Protector Place". I really want to flesh out the world of the game by adding a full library of various things to read about the game. Learning about the backstory on your own whim instead of simply button-spamming through a cutscene so you can get to the action yourself. I'm actually pretty excited for this, although perhaps it's questionable at how significant this will be to players. Let me know, I really want to hear what people think!

Lastly, talking about the far future of my game! I'm very interested in porting and advancing my games for other platforms. If my game is successful, I might have a good leading entry into getting somewhere. I'm thinking about creating an Android port, as the game was originally intended to be a handheld game. But my 'dream port' would be for the Nintendo 3DS, which is probably unlikely, but that would be awesome. Although, know that the first thing on my to-do list after I finish the first complete version is to optimize the game for touch-screen devices, like Android!

So that's it for today! This was part 2 on my series about Pocket's future.
Next time: Some recent updates to the game, and design theory from me about why they're important.


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