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Iso Realms Project Proposal - Spindizzy Enhancements

This page contains a brainstormed list of proposed gameplay enhancements to Spindizzy Dimensions and the Iso Realms engine. This is not a final list of features for this project. I've added a "desirability" rating to each feature. Lower-rated features are less likely to make the final cut. Other features not listed may also be considered for inclusion. The Spindizzy Enhancement project is a proposal only; this project is not currently in development.

Zone Worm Holes

The ability to connect the faces of two spatially separated zones together, sort of like a portal. It's main use will be to create "wrap-around" effects for the game world (like the sides of PacMan). Zone wormholes will be seamless and invisible to the player (except in the map overview), as if transitioning between any other two zones.

Work: 8/10 - Requires development of a new plugin or utility to define zone face connections, a new zone renderer to visually connect two zones and work to make GERALD move through connections.

Desirability: 6/10 - An effective means of making a map appear spatially larger than it really is. It also adds an interesting challenge in deciding how to explore the map and reach specific areas. Finally, it would also be useful in a future Bobby Bearing remake, where the rooms don't always physically connect together.

Sloped Non-regular Blocks

Angled trampolines that change GERALD's bounce angle. Sloped ice blocks that accelerate GERALD uncontrollably. Others?

Work: 1/10 - Such blocks can already be created, but HangWorld doesn't uses them. The trampoline will need a small modification to reflect the angle of bounce correctly.

Desirability: 6/10 - A very simple, yet effective way to add variety to the map.

Timed Blocks

Block platforms that appear and disappear at regular intervals so the player must use careful timing to traverse them without falling off.

Work: 3/10 - A simple new TimedCommands utility would make this possible. The utility would activates and deactivates block states at specified intervals via scripts. This feature doesn't require any changes to the block set.

Desirability: 8/10 - Adds an interesting twist to many skill based challenges.

Textured Backgrounds

It would be nice to brighten up the game a little by adding a nicely coloured cube-map space background or something abstract, rather than the current plain backgrounds.

Work: 7/10 - A new plugin to perform a map pre-render. I would also need a way of loading or generating appropriate images to use. If image files are used, images will need to be created (e.g. in The GIMP).

Desirability: 4/10 - A potentially nice visual enhancement.

Enhanced Spindizzy Texture Set

A texture set based on the original Spindizzy look, but enhanced slightly with some shading, etc. to give a less "flat" appearance.

Work: 6/10 - New implementation of the Spindizzy Texture Set, or parameterized enhancement to the existing one, using appropriate algorithms to generate the textures as desired.

Desirability: 4/10 - Would give the game a slight visual boost, with no cost to performance.

Hazard Blocks

Blocks that destroy the player on touch (lava, spikes, etc.), as featured in Spindizzy Worlds.

Work: 5/10 - A new element set that supports a texture set, a surface processor and (optionally) a model (for spikes, etc.). Touching the block would trigger a script to destroy the player.

Desirability: 3/10 - Not a groundbreaking feature, but nice to have. It would be useful for a future Spindizzy Worlds remake.

Enemy-Triggered Switches

Enable enemy crafts to trigger switch blocks in the same way that GERALD can.

Work: 1/10 - Need the enemy to send a trigger command to the surface; probably a one line change.

Desirability: 4/10 - This might be useful in creating some interesting puzzles, using the movement of remote enemies to trigger switches as they try to follow your movement.

Multiple Spindizzy Block Sets

Two (possibly more) sets of coloured blocks per zone. For example, a maze could have a floor of one colour and walls of another.

Work: 1/10 - Already possible in the current engine (demonstrated in an early Iso-Realms development screenshot). We must instantiate an extra block set and a corresponding texture per zone plugin to do this.

Desirability: 5/10 - This could add some nice visual variety to the map, although care will need to be taken so that it isn't overused.

Randomized Palettes

The colours in the game are not fixed, but are generated each time the game is played.

Work: 3/10 - A new Palette implementation. It's not quite as simple as generating some random values though; I would prefer to limit the colours to some user-defined criteria (e.g. minimum and maximum brightness, hue, saturation, etc.).

Desirability: 4/10 - Will add nice variety when playing the map more than once.

Teleportation Surfaces

A surface that when touched, teleports the player to another predetermined location. Exactly the same as the teleporters in Spindizzy Worlds.

Work: 5/10 - Probably a new element, consisting of a animated surface that triggers a script on a per-element basis. Using a script-based approach, the surface could technically be used for other things besides teleportation.

Desirability: 3/10 - May be useful for certain puzzles, but teleportation is a cheap means of transport and is unpredictable to the player. It would be useful for a future Spindizzy Worlds remake though.

Conveyer Surfaces

A surface that moves GERALD at a constant speed when stood upon. The direction and speed of movement is visually depicted by panning a texture across the surface (like a conveyor belt). Note that this is subtly different from the arrow blocks in Spindizzy Worlds, which accelerate GERALD rather than move him at a constant speed.

Work: 5/10 - Probably a new element set with the necessary physical characteristics for its surfaces. Change in GERALD to accomodate for moving surfaces.

Desirability: 5/10 - Useful for adding some more interesting skill based challenges.

Enemy Turrets

Turrets that fire bullets at GERALD at a regular interval. GERALD can bump the turrets off the edge of platforms to defeat them. Bullets can either cause GERALD damage (time loss) or bump GERALD away (risk of falling from platforms).

Work: 8/10 - A new element set to represent turrets. A new model and a means of managing sub-elements (the bullets).

Desirability: 5/10 - Spindizzy isn't really an action game, but it could add a nice touch to skill-based challenge if used appropriately.

Fake Blocks / Invisible Platforms

Self-explanatory; same as in Spindizzy Worlds.

Work: 6/10 - Modification to the surface processor such that it provides the visual surfaces and collidable surfaces as separate sets. Modification to the block element set to designate a block as fake or invisible.

Desirability: 2/10 - A nice trick, but also kind of cheap. Useful in a future Spindizzy Worlds remake.

Curved Surfaces

Self-explanatory. Surfaces as seen in the game Bobby Bearing.

Work: 5/10 - A new simple block element set. GERALD will need to be modified to handle gradual changes in surface inclination, rather than only instant one-off changes as is currently the case.

Desirability: 4/10 - Creates a mildly more interesting environment. Also useful for a future Bobby Bearing remake.

Zone-based Camera Angle Enforcement

In order to assist the player in navigating unseen obstacles behind large structures, the camera should adjust automatically to show the best possible view of the scene.

Work: 4/10 - A plugin to supply a per-zone property for camera angle and means by which the map author can set it. Add support to the camera for reading this property.

Desirability: 5/10 - This makes the creation of larger structures - such as tall towers - much more desirable because the map author doesn't need to worry about the player's ability to adjust the camera. However, some players may not like to give up control of the camera to the map author. It's also only applicable to very specific cases.

Two-player Support

Two players play simultaneously over a network or the Internet in the same map. Each player can help the other solve puzzles by controlling switches, etc.

Work: 10/10 - Learn the necessary networking algorithms. Implement a networking infrastructure into the Iso-Realms engine. Implement networked craft element. Need to design the map around the possibility of two players (to avoid situations where a player may become trapped as a result of a switch by the other player)

Desirability: 3/10 - Interesting idea, but Spindizzy is not really suited to a multiplayer experience in my opinion. Taking two players into consideration may limit the map design possibilities for the single player experience.

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