Here’s the first idea I had. I don’t think it’s great or necessarily has potential, and it might change, but here’s my design so far. tldr; link to playable prototype http://www.andrewekeren.com/swf/trashcompactorpanic.swf
Trash Compactor Panic
1. The player can move left and right, as well as do a short jump.
2. Garbage falls from the ceiling and settles where it lands.
3. The player can jump on the garbage at any time.
4. Garbage can crush the player, causing a game over.
5. The bottom of the game space is a “grinder,” which slowly destroys garbage sitting on top of it.
6. Pistons occasionally appear from the sides of the screen, and crush an entire row or column of garbage.
7. Player can be crushed by pistons.
8. Player can stand on top of the row piston.
9. Difficulty increases over time, which increase the speed of the grinder, the drop rate of garbage, and the chance that a difficult drop pattern is chosen (more on this later.)
10. “Solid garbage” act as platforms. Solid garbage does not drop, is not destroyed by pistons, and garbage can stack on top of it. Technically, solid garbage will drop just at a slower rate than regular garbage, but it will scroll at the same speed as the background to give the look of it not moving at all.
Setup: Difficulty is set to the easiest mode, and the player is placed on top of a flat, two-layer deep pile of garbage positioned on top of the grinder.
A. One drop pattern is chosen at random.
B. The level spits out a row of the pattern at a time.
C. At the end of the pattern, a “reset” is called, which will crush the garbage below the player and spit out a row of garbage for the purpose of giving the player a flat playfield. A reset looks at the current state (garbage piles) and decides which blocks to drop based on what will give a flat playfield.
D. Difficulty is increased, and a new pattern in chosen.
E. At any point the player can be crushed by a piston, grinder, or garbage which immediately leads to game over.
I’d like to think of this as an action puzzle game. I want to work on these mechanics and make them fun, but if they show some potential I think that power-ups could add greatly to the game. Drill hats and wall-jump boots are two ideas. Honestly after prototyping the patterns in Excel I don’t have much hope for this design. At the same time game design is new to me so I don’t know what a potentially good design looks like.