June’s Game in a Day Theme: Fusion

For June’s Game in a Day, the theme is fusion:

fu·sion (fyzhn) n.

1. The act or procedure of liquefying or melting by the application of heat.
2. The liquid or melted state induced by heat.
3.
1. The merging of different elements into a union: the fusion of copper and zinc to form brass; the difficult fusion of conflicting political factions.
2. A union resulting from fusing: A fusion of religion and politics emerged.
4. Physics. A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
5. Music that blends jazz elements and the heavy repetitive rhythms of rock. Also called jazz-fusion, jazz-rock.
6. A style of cooking that combines ingredients and techniques from very different cultures or countries.

A lot of potential. I keep thinking of the episode of Invader Zim where the aliens try to fuse things together with duct tape. “Let’s feee-yuuuze him with this juicebox!”

I’ve been trying to come up with some ideas for this GID. I thought of one where blob-like organizms would combine together to form larger ones. Another one featured a Fuse Ray/Gun that would lock two items together: two enemies, an enemy and another object, etc. A third involves the main player riding around in a tank that would fuse to nearby objects that act as weapons or armor. Another ideas was a game where you have to mend pipes that are about to burst by fusing the cracks shut.

That tank idea apparently has already been done. TUMIKI Fighters is kind of like combining Katamari Damacy and a sidescrolling shooter.

I’ve decided to go with the Fuse Gun idea. I imagine it would be funny to see characters getting fused with objects and trying to move about. Two really quick characters might struggle to move together, resulting in a slow moving composite. Some objects might actually make them stronger, though. Fusing a metal bucket to a small creature would result in a living tank.

I’ve decided to use C++, Kyra, and SDL for this project. I think most GIDs seem to use Garage Game‘s Torque engine, but there is no rule about what you can use.

I’ve been warned by TomB in #gameinaday on irc.maxgaming.net that I really should pick something simple for my first GID. The fact that I feel I need a design means that it is too complicated. Perhaps he’s right, but we’ll see how I do.

The Design

Fuse Gun Blast, or FuseGB, is a game where the player can use a gun to fuse enemies and the environment together. I am thinking of making it an overhead game like The Legend of Zelda, and the player can move in 8 directions.

Fusing
When the player shoots the fuse gun, a charged bullet will continue until it hits a wall and disappears or hits an enemy/object. If it hits an enemy, the enemy is frozen and charged for a few seconds, and the player can shoot a second enemy or an object. The two will then fuse together, and their abilities and movements will be changed.

Enemies can be fused to existing fused groups. For example, if there are three enemies, you can fuse two of them together, then fuse the remaining enemy with the group. Objects, such as buckets, can be fused to these “enemy farms”.

For simplicity, two objects cannot be fused together, and nothing can get fused to the walls. If a fuse blast hits an already charged enemy, the enemy is simply stunned for a time, but takes no damage.

Levels
Each level is made up of a room filled with objects, walls, and enemies. Destroy all enemies to complete the level. The less ammo you use to destroy enemies, the more points you get. Fused enemies share the same life force, so fusing them together allows you to use less bullets to kill all of them at once. Objects such as dynamite and bombs obviously allow you to destroy larger enemies easily.

I’ll likely only have one level at the end of this GID.

Enemies
They can move about in 8 directions as well. Some are quicker than others. Some are bigger than others. If they touch the player, the player takes damage and/or dies. When fused with another enemy, their stats are kind of averaged out. Enemies with 1HP and 3HP in a fused enemy farm will have 2HP combined, for example. They will try to move independently, but obviously can’t. On the other hand, if they try to move in the same direction, the farm will move faster than either normally would.

Items
Some items will be explosives. Other items will be speed reducers, but they can also act as armor and add protection. I am thinking that some items can be fused to enemies, turning them into friends instead. But that might add too much complexity to an already complex design.

I’ll leave it at this for now. I’ll document the development process as I go and post a blog entry at the end. Hopefully, I’ll have a working game to show for my effort, but even if I don’t, it should be fun and I should learn a great deal.

Click below to track my June 2005 GID development progress:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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