You know, like natural selection, only “ninjural”, because it’s selection by a super awesome ninja of death (that’s you). Kind of like Thor, with his two-ended hammer of life and death, you have two attacks of life and death. Shooting from afar with your gun brings death. But when you kick and punch an invader from close up, you hit so ninjurally that you hit eggs out of it, which hatch into new life.
It kind of works. The main issue is that the line between fun and frustration is very dependent on the particular level layout, and I haven’t yet figured out the sweet spot. Right now there’s just one predefined environment (though eventually I would like to have them procedurally generated) which gets the idea across, but could be better.
The tricky thing is that there are several layers of consideration, and an environment has to do well by all of them in order to be fun. First of all, the invaders move like Goombas, like marbles or water flowing perpetually down. The way the platforms direct this stream and funnel it is key to how you experience the environment. Secondly, the environment is also a means for you to navigate the space with your ninja-like abilities of running, jumping, wall-sliding, and wall-jumping. Platforms have to have enough vertical space to allow for big jumps, but close enough to jump from one to another above. And you want enough vertical surface for wall-jumping. Lastly, the environment is also a means for lining up shots with your gun. A long, flat horizontal platform is where you’ll find a lot of invaders bunched up together. If there is another platform at the same height, it is easy to stand on that platform and pick off invaders as you choose, or take the whole row out with one charged shot. But if not, you have to awkwardly jump, or go to trickier locations where invaders fall too quickly to get a good shot at them.
Anyway. Something to dream about, maybe. I mean, literally – I haven’t slept all night. I think it’s time to take a break, before I can do any more damage…
Later! I’ll be back.