The elevator pitch
Max Payne meets Binding of Isaac. A 2d, fast paced, action game where you shoot bad guys to save kidnapped babies all in glorious slow motion.
What you actually do:
You get dropped into a generated level as The Man. The level is filled with adult candy making bad guys you have to take out so you can get closer to your goal.
By shooting enemies you build up your energy that allows you to enter slow motion mode which is where the real game starts and allows you to enter the heart of the action, dodging bullets and controlling the crowd.
Currently you beat the game by defeating all the enemies, which allows you to progress but it also gives you an upgrade making you stronger. After two levels you meet a boss.
Deating him presents you with your prize, the baby.
Saving the babies is fun in itself but it has a benefits. The kidnapped babies move in with you to your house which will act as a pre-mission hub. Raising enough babies will make some of them return as adults (letís not discuss timelines and how they grow up so fast) which will open up access to shops, game modifying options and other fun things.
One example is a baby that returns as a lizard
This guy will give you access to Schrodingers Box. I personally dislike set difficulty levels but I also dislike how other games in this genre force you into more difficult gameplay just because most of them equates more unlocked upgrades = easier time. It takes away from the power fantasy that I want to create.
The box is my way of combating this. It allows you to decide your challenge level to get bigger rewards, but if you want a quick run feeling like the man you donít need to use it. For a small fee it will change variables like your strength, HP, enemy damage, toughness etc. these changes can be positive and negative (e.g. you can get more HP or less) allowing for varied runs every time. Youíll always get a positive loot multiplier though. Oh, yeah thereís loot in the game.
For a longtime I wanted to only have one gun in the game. Instead you would get accessories and modifiers to your rifle which would be an extension of your progress. I started implementing this and to be honest it wasnít really fun. I noticed that psychologically itís more fun to switch tools instead of just modifying things. So I had to go back to what I initially didnít want to do and created more weapons.
Much like Warframe I want the player to select a weapon for the run and stick to it, instead upgrades between levels will change how that weapon acts. So instead of weapons and accessories enemies drop various things which you will be able to use to buy several things between runs.
So in a way you got two progress paths
One is instance based in the current run when you get upgrades which will reset when you die or finish the run.
The other is the upgrades and tools you buy at the hub between runs
So whatís different from other rogue shooters?
Good questions. I fully realize this genre has a lot of competition and there are some fantastic games that I honestly donít know if I will be able to compete with (e.g. Nuclear Throne and Enter the Gungeon).
As much as I love them there are things that annoyed me with all of them and certain parts of my design goes the opposite direction. I will write up longer game design posts with more details but these are some quick points.
Itís more of a power fantasy than Dark Souls
Rogue games all have this challenge aspect, you bash yourself against this wall of difficulty until you get better. It can be fun and really satisfying. But that wall can be super annoying to. Baby Redemption is more about picking up a gun, getting cool upgrades, sliding around in slow motion and having fun. Thus the player has more HP than normal, enemies arenít as punishing and the player get more tools from the get-go.
The loss of progress
I hate that it always felt like I started back on zero when I died. Even if i unlocked an upgrade the initial stretch before you get close to where you were was such a drag. This is why you will be able to unlock upgrades (which you start with) between the runs. Thus you hit that feeling of accomplishment more often.
Slow motion is cool
I think thereís something cool about throwing a bullet-mine into a room filled with enemies, teleporting into the room, blowing up a barrel and shooting the enemies while dodging bullets. The difference in gameplay when you are in slow motion and out of it is a post in itself since it requires different styles of play. The game lives between those styles.
The end of the start
Thanks for reading This is my game, Iíve been working on it for 12 months on and off. Iím a one man band juggling this hobby, fulltime career and life. But itís only recently things are starting to come together and I really want to finish this to cross ďrelease a gameĒ off my bucket list. I also want to thank @schrodinger for a lot of technical help.
You can try an alpha if you want from my itch.io page. I would appreciate any feedback you have, it lacks a tutorial (shops and hubs are disabled) right now so I realize thereís a lot for a gamer to take in at once. I would ask kindly that you give it a few tries and instead of playing 1-2 minutes. Or you can do that and give me the feedback anyway
@ShotgunAnaconda on Twitter
Posts coming soon detailing weapons, tools, level generator and design thoughts. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to post or hit me up.