Tag Archives: Sony

Game Ideas: Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush, for the PS Vita, is absolutely fantastic. Possibly, my most played game on the Vita so far. If you aren’t familiar with the game; it’s a 3rd person, open world, action/adventure title. You play as a girl, named Kat, who wakes up in a strange city and finds out that she has the ability to control gravity. I won’t go too far into everything about the game (there’s better places to find recaps/reviews about it) but, suffice it to say, the most unique thing about the game is the gravity abilities. Whether you’re flying, sliding, racing, transporting or fighting, the developers found a bunch of different ways to get you to use Kat’s powers. One thing that was conspicuously absent was the lack of puzzles in the game. So, I thought I might take a minute to offer a couple of ways that I think they could implement puzzles into a future installment (should they decide to make one).

Perspective Puzzles

Finding the right angle for a perspective puzzle could be difficult, yet engaging, if done right.

Perspective puzzles would give the player another reason to explore the game’s open world and it could tie in very easily with the “city life” feel of the world. You could introduce a new character, who’s into graffiti, and have him/her challenge Kat to find all of the tags they’ve left around the various areas of the city. The challenge, of course, would be to find the right way to line up objects in the city so that they form one coherent image. The player may need to be upside down at the time, looking straight down, or standing on the side of a building. There really would be a lot of possibilities with this because of the gravity mechanic that’s already in place. You could also use these types of puzzles another way. Have the player find three or four of them and then answer a riddle or guess what they mean. Kind of like Pictionary.

Simple “Fetch” Style Puzzles

The stasis field mechanic would work perfectly for finding parts around the city.

This one is the more obvious of the two, but I still think it’s a worthwhile idea. There are areas in the city where Kat can unlock challenges by repairing city systems. The thing is, all you have to do to repair something is pay a small amount of gems. It feels like a missed opportunity. I would have the player search for a part of some sort (depending on what they’re trying to repair) and then bring it back to repair the machine with it. The actual puzzle aspect would come into play when you try to repair the machine. That would initiate a mini-game where the player would be tasked with moving parts into place, securing them, etc. It would be a great opportunity to use the Vita’s set of features too. The mini-games could be operated using the front touchscreen, back touchpad, gyroscope, or maybe even find a use for the camera.

I’m sure there are even crazier ways of using the gravity mechanic to implement puzzles into Gravity Rush. These are just two that came to mind while playing the game tonight. I’ll probably come back to this topic after giving it some more thought.

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Game Ideas: Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale

I keep seeing hands-on previews for Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale where they talk about how fun the game is but then lament the fact that they don’t understand the health system. Personally, it seems simple enough. Your character has a meter. It has three levels. The more damage you inflict, the more power you build up in your meter. Once you’ve built up enough energy, you can unleash a level 1, 2, or 3 powered “Super” and gain a point for anyone you hit with that super. The part that seems to be tripping people up is the fact that you aren’t necessarily making the other players weaker as you hit them.

Build up your meter… then hit people. Doesn’t seem that hard.

Let’s compare this to Super Smash Bros, the game that PAS: Battle Royale will understandably be compared to for years to come. In that series, you have a percent meter. The more damage you take, the higher the percentage goes. Once the meter gets to a certain point, it becomes much easier to knock a character off-screen and score a point. Is this really that much easier to understand than the other? They seem like opposite approaches to the same problem to me. One is about increasing power in your character, while the other is about decreasing power in your opponent. They both offer viable strategies and unique gameplay.

Build up your opponent’s meter… then hit them. Same problem. Opposite approaches.

So anyway, I’m reading/watching these previews and I start thinking, is there a better approach that’s more understandable? Better might be the wrong word but I think you get the point. We can’t just stick a health bar in there because then it’s too much like every other fighter. That’s by no means a bad thing. It just seems like the people at SuperBot were going for something different and I want to try and stick with that philosophy.

The Aura System

So, this system would keep the core of PAS: Battle Royale the same. The three-tiered meter, knock outs only come from supers, and everything else, stays like they are. What this would do is add an aura around the player’s character that would change as they take damage. These are the four aura stages the players would encounter.

Green: This is the players starting aura. It indicates that they are healthy and at full strength.

Yellow: The player has taken minimal damage. It isn’t affecting their fighter but it will if they take anymore damage.

Orange: The player has taken extensive damage. Their character’s movement speed has decreased by 10 (random number chosen. This would obviously need to be playtested to determine the best amount) percent.

Red: The player has taken a maximum amount of damage. Their character is visibly exhausted and their movement speed has been reduced by 20 (same reason as above) percent.

The goal behind this system is to add another dimension to the game, without detracting from what SuperBot came up with. Having your aura depleted doesn’t allow other players to knock you out. They still need to hit you with a super to do that. This system just makes it harder to avoid those supers. Basically, it’s meant to give more meaning to all of the hitting besides building up your super meter (which seems to be the big complaint). Players will want to keep their aura green (or yellow) so that they remain quick and nimble, while at the same time, remaining in the thick of battle to build up their super meter.

It’s hard to say whether or not this would work for the game since I haven’t played it yet but I do believe it would address the concern some sites have expressed and possibly add to the experience. Either way, it’s just fun to think about. Personally, as long as the game is fun, I don’t see the problem.

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Game Ideas: Starhawk Multiplayer Modes

My current gaming obsession is undoubtably Starhawk on the PS3. If you aren’t playing it, shame on you. It’s a fantastic third person shooter with a unique multiplayer experience thanks to it’s “build and battle” system (I gush because I love). The game is clearly built as a multiplayer experience and I wanted to take a minute to put some multiplayer mode ideas onto the blog that I think could be really fun.

Rift Harvester (small to medium gametype)

If you aren’t familiar with Starhawk, then you’ll need to know that the game’s story is built around the idea of people going into a “gold rush” type frenzy over something called rift energy. This energy source is so important that the build and battle system also revolves around it. What I’d like to do with this mode is bring a little bit of the single player experience over to the multiplayer.

Keep the harvesters safe at all costs.

Rift Harvester mode would work kind of like a reverse version of Zones. But, instead of scrambling to capture and hold as many zones as possible, players would take turns trying to destroy the opposing team’s rift harvesters. It would be a turn based mode, with each team taking turns on offense and defense. The team on offense can only spawn within the pre-determined bases (they can build all they want within that space) and the team on defense can spawn/build anywhere outside of the bases. A match ends when all rift harvesters have been destroyed or when the game reaches a specified time limit.

This mode would revolve entirely around base defense except, one team has multiple bases that they’ll need to defend and the other team could be outside of any of them. We’d need to balance this out. Probably by reducing the team or map sizes for this game mode. That way things aren’t too spread out, making it hard for teams to attack or defend. If everything works the way I hope it would, then the final moments of a game would be one big battle over a single rift harvester.

Harvester Overload (small, medium or large gametype)

This one is pretty quick to explain and if you’ve ever played the chain reaction game mode in Uncharted, then you pretty much know how it works. Harvester Overload would require teams to take over zones in a specific order (numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) in an attempt to overload the other team’s rift harvester. There would only be the 5 zones on the map and anytime a team takes over a zone, the other team will need to recapture the previous zone before they can continue. So, if team 1 takes zone 3, team 2 will need to recapture zone 4 before they can move on to capture 3. Once one team has all 5 zones, a meter will start to build up, showing how long until the opposing team’s Harvester overloads.

Paycheck (small, medium or large gametype)

Another easy to grasp game mode. In Paycheck, there is a single rift harvester on the map and each team is fighting to complete the job. Players start on opposite sides of the map and rush to the middle to build their rift harvester before the other team. Whoever has the harvester in place, starts to collect rift energy for the client. First team to the specified amount wins. Teams would have a home base where they could collect weapons and vehicles before attacking, otherwise the game mode would be based around limited resources for whoever isn’t holding the rift harvester. This would need some serious balancing obviously but I think it could be fun.

‘Hawk Rush (small, medium or large gametype)

Flying in the Hawks is one of the best parts in the game.

For ‘Hawk Rush, think of a base assault or bomb the base style of play, only the players are always within a Hawk. There would be a single rift bomb in the middle of the map and each team would try to deliver it to the opponent’s base and defend it until it explodes. The other team could defuse the bomb by destroying it (yes that would probably make a bomb explode but lets suspend belief). This would probably need to be a best two out of three of three out of five game type but it depends on the difficulty in achieving the goal. I love these kinds of game modes and I think playing this gametype only within a Hawk would make for some intense matches.

So there you have it. These are just a few of the modes I was thinking about while playing Starhawk tonight. I didn’t completely flesh them out or try to think about balancing issues. It was more of an exercise in brainstorming and trying to think of things that could match the play style and the Starhawk universe. If you have any ideas or want to build on what I’ve written, leave a comment.

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