Reboot

THIS SECTION WILL CONAIN SPOILERS. This section is to discuss what ever may be in store for the future of Dark Castle. Nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Moderators: izdale, Jon God, La Porta, gruz

Reboot

Jon God
I have made 6000 posts, and all I got was this crappy rank
Jon God
I have made 6000 posts, and all I got was this crappy rank
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23 Feb 2010, 22:31 #1

I was just thinking, if they ever did what they've done with a lot of old games recently (Street Fighter IV, Prince of Persia (All the new ones), Tomb Raider, Monkey Island, Max Payne Tony Hawk, ect. ect.) where they 'reboot' a franchise by modernizing it, and making changes to it.

Imagine that the next Dark Castle title was to be a 3D game with top of the line graphics, for PS3/360/PC/MAC.

Now hold on, don't wince yet.


If you had to have it 'updated' to the modern standard for games, how would you make it? What parts would you keep the same? What parts would you change? What style would it be in? What would you be excited to see done well in 3D?

I will take some time to think of my answer, but I thought it might be fun to discuss such I thing.


(Also yes, I included failure reboots along with successful ones, in the above list)

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La Porta
Dark Castle Itself!
La Porta
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24 Feb 2010, 02:54 #2

Just a quick reply for now: sounds have to stay the same!
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shade
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008, 00:29

24 Feb 2010, 03:16 #3

I'd say something like what happened with New Super Mario Bros and (what I hope will happen for) Sonic 4. Make it a new game, but with the same/similar mechanics, and a buncha new fun things to do. So, basically, exactly what they did with RTDC, but rendered in 3D.

Or, if people are wanting to go full 3D, then I'd say a 3rd person shooter, with platforming segments (a la Metroid Prime, if it were 3rd person) would be a good place to start.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.
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Jon God
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Jon God
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24 Feb 2010, 04:27 #4

Another thing I just thought of was design layout. If it was in full 3D, should it stay the nera-freeromey-ness that it has in RTDC, or would it be better to go with the style of like BioShock/Tomb Raider/ect. (Where there are sorta large areas you explore/free roam for a while, going forward and back, and then finally move on to the next area, where you repeat.). I personally don't like the idea of linear Dark Castle, but perhaps it could also be done well.

I think it would be interesting to have it be in full 3D, but Perhaps have the main character be cell shaded, or even the whole game world (sorta like Dragon's Lair 3D, but actually good ( http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/20 ... een001.jpg ). ) I think that might jive with the atmosphere more then a hyper realistic Dark Castle would.

Gameplay wise, it would be interesting to keep the system there is now, just moved into 3D, you still are very weak, and it's more focused on platforming, and avoiding enemies rather then fighting. While the melee weapons could be cleaned up for better usage against the roster of enemies, it would be nice to see it still take the back seat.

I would personally love to see more of a story, with cutscenes and such, giving backstory and giving characaters depth. Still, take a cue from something like MGS where comedy and seriousness are blended, for if it's too serious, it certainly isn't Dark Castle, but if it's not serious enough, it would seem like Dark Castle Jr. or something.

Arcade style, or epic quest? I'd love to see an 8+ hour Dark Castle game, but I don't think that's what everyone would want. Perhaps they could pull a Tony Hawk's Underground 2, where they have 2 campaign modes, Story and Classic, being done completely differently, but with the same graphics and gameplay.

Multiplayer? I would say yes, even if it were some form of co-op, seeing 2 Bryant/Ducans jump into each other would be priceless. :) There's also something like Demon's Souls, where you can see other players, but not interact other then communication. Maybe some sort of tag-like multiplayer?

Sounds: I think they should either keep the sounds, or if the absolutely need better quality sounds, keep an option for players, since Dark Castle without it's sound effects is like Myth without Dwarfs. ;P

Uh, if I think of anymore, I will post again.

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shade
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24 Feb 2010, 09:30 #5

For multiplayer, I honestly think one can do no better than Zelda: Four Swords. The puzzles were designed with teamwork in mind, but when trying to collect Force Gems, it got a little competitive. Now, there's no reason for characters to collide, a-la New Super Mario Bros Wii (which is probably the least popular 'feature,' especially in the really crowded later levels,) but well designed team puzzles are always a welcome feature, in my opinion.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.
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Richard
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24 Feb 2010, 20:49 #6

Fully 3D DC just isn't DC. It would just be `The fourth(?) game in the DC Franchise'. Maybe it is DC Jr or whatever, but it's not the genuine article. DC-o-Shock, DCastle-Robber, Super-DC-Bros. Legend of DC. What-everrrr~.


Closest they could do would be to make it 3d a la Little Big Planet. i.e. basically a side-on platformer but fully 3D rendered, and much freer movement and more accurate physics to boot.

Could you still have Bryant/Duncan looking down before they fell? Maybe... Similar sorts of multi-player fun could also possibly work there too.


But DC's been done now; it's over. Anything else like it is really just another platformer; DC was and always will be in my rose-tinted-spectacle view the original and best. There are plenty of arcade-style platforms I could be convinced to play. There are many I could be convinced to write if only I could find some helpers. :)

That's not to say there couldn't be a `Fourth(?) game in the DC Franchise', but it wouldn't be DC to me, and though it might bear the moniker, it wouldn't have any more (or less for that matter) chance of me playing it than any other random title of whatever genre they choose for said platform.
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Bellix Z. Backstory
Rock Henchman
Joined: 29 Jul 2007, 08:58

25 Feb 2010, 15:05 #7

It might be cool to make it have HD graphics, and the 3D 2D plane was a good idea. Mm, and if the sprites were all sketchy style like Portable Ops.

I dunno, I just like that style.
That was sarcasm, by the way.
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Jon God
I have made 6000 posts, and all I got was this crappy rank
Jon God
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25 Feb 2010, 21:57 #8

I still like the idea of Cell Shaded graphics, even if it is 3d on a 2d background.

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Action Jack
Dark Castle Itself!
Action Jack
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28 Feb 2010, 21:41 #9

A third-person shooter that draws thematic inspiration from Dark Castle, using mouselook to throw rocks, could be a fun game. But that third dimension would bring so much other unwanted change with it.

Dark Castle's challenge is found in the large number of varied hazards flying toward you at any given time. Imagine a single instance of any one enemy in the game. It barely feels like a threat. No, success in Dark Castle doesn't come from downing a single guard- it comes from doing that, then killing the gargoyle, then the snake, and moving ahead past the spike trap without getting hit by a barrel before the guard comes back and you have to kill everything again. If you can't see the whole level at once, you'll never know whether it's safe to move. Which I believe is what killed the CDI port.

Not to mention the number of enemies that would require significant alterations in order to belong in a z-axis. Vultures would be profoundly difficult to hit without auto-aim. Guards would have to be more humanized, because an enemy that walks endlessly in a straight line and shoots a crossbow at a predictable trajectory would not be a threat to a player who can strafe. It would no longer be acceptable for the Black Knight's mugs to travel through floors (an ethereal eyeball, on the other hand, would be fun and indeed incredibly terrifying, as long as it couldn't float up under the player and cause an instant unavoidable death).

And the jumping. That would be frustrating. Think of how much exponentially soul-crushingly harder the West Tower Wall would have been if you had to turn in exactly the right direction before you jumped. Prince of Persia flourished in the transition to 3D because the hero got a bunch of cool freerunning moves. But Duncan's a clumsy twat, and he'd lose all his personality if he ran up a wall, and at the highest possible point jumped in the opposite direction, grabbed a ledge behind him and pulled himself up. And I'd bet there's a good reason that I don't recall Prince of Persia ever having a moving platform.

I would scoff at elaborate cutscenes as well. After BDC's Advanced ending flipped my $h*t in less than ten seconds in a way that's only been equaled, never surpassed, by today's million-dollar games, I have an expectation of less-is-more from Dark Castle. I immediately stopped relating to Bryant as soon as he talked. Perhaps a series of expressive gestures would do the job, but I think adding a convoluted plot to Dark Castle would be missing the point.
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Action Jack
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28 Feb 2010, 23:08 #10

So, then, surely it would serve the series to stay in 2D. I continually think back to the co-op experience. I've heard that New Super Mario Bros. is rather obnoxious in co-op because the players can accidentally steal powerups from each other and collide in mid-air. So perhaps an Army of Two sort of approach, with cooperative moves wherein the players help one another reach new areas. Even reviving a downed teammate would work well in a Dark Castle game; it would be harrowing to find a proper point where you were safe enough to stand still for four or five seconds (much like trying the locks in BDC's dungeon).

It might even be fun to have the players split up, activating switches that would allow the other player to advance. But think of how often players die in Dark Castle, or worse, get sent to the dungeon. If I can't get to you to revive you, but the level doesn't restart, we're screwed. If I fall into the dungeon, and you have to wait for me to escape on my own and fight my way back to the current level to hit my next switch, then we've got five minutes of boredom for you and five minutes of decidedly non-cooperative action for me.

Dark Castle is hard enough when one person has to clear the level perfectly. If two people need be perfect in unison for three consecutive levels, it would be nearly impossible. I only know one man who would sit through that sort of agony with me; as someone who's never played Dark Castle and who prefers a more cerebral challenge, he would be an interminable liability. We'd have endless laughs together, for sure, but we would get nowhere.
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Action Jack
Dark Castle Itself!
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28 Feb 2010, 23:17 #11

And when did they reboot Max Payne? That seems superfluous, given that PS2 is still pretty modern.

Was it any good?
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Jon God
I have made 6000 posts, and all I got was this crappy rank
Jon God
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01 Mar 2010, 02:54 #12

Action Jack @ Feb 28 2010, 03:17 PM wrote: And when did they reboot Max Payne? That seems superfluous, given that PS2 is still pretty modern.

Was it any good?
It's not technically a reboot, but the new game is made by another company, and bares little, if any resemblance to Max Payne 1 and 2 (and the movie, which was crap, as well.)

Looks like they genericized it, IMO.

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Action Jack
Dark Castle Itself!
Action Jack
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01 Mar 2010, 10:18 #13

Oh, wait. I was so busy killing everyone's buzz that I missed a great idea you put out.

Tag. Brilliant. I can see it so clearly...

Warning: gratuitous technicality ahead

Curtain raises on the Great Hall, with two players standing in the middle of the room. Defense is it, frozen for five seconds, giving Offense time to navigate to a chosen level group. Whenever the players are not on the same screen, Defense sees an arrow denoting the desired exit (or in the case of scrolling levels, the appropriate direction).

If Offense reaches the end of the level group, Offense gets a point, and both return to the Great Hall, switching sides and beginning anew. If Offense dies or touches Defense, the same happens (minus the point). If Defense dies, Defense restarts the level, much the same as in single player (Defense has infinite lives).

If Offense falls into the dungeon, Defense is immediately notified, and Defense is not dizzied upon hitting the bottom of the chute. If Offense escapes the dungeon without being tagged or killed, Offense gets a point. If Defense falls into the dungeon without Offense first doing so, Defense just respawns in that level as if Defense had died.

Many levels require backtracking to complete, and Offense will often be trapped and unable to avoid Defense. To counteract this, we adapt melee weapons. Before each round, both players are given their choice of anything but the sword (they can take the crossbow if they wish). Defense can change to a different weapon after seeing which door Offense has entered. A hit from this weapon will cause either player to become dizzy. However, to prevent abuse of the system, no health is lost in this transaction, and upon being hit both players are immune to each other's damage until three seconds after regaining control. Defense cannot tag while dizzy. Bombs have this same effect on an opponent, though they will still kill whomever planted them.

It almost sounds perfect. But a few more things need to be tweaked...

-The moving platforms in Fireball 2 would be destroyed long before Defense arrived. They must be made invincible.
-Not every area is accessible from the beginning. Players would either need to be granted whatever powers are necessary to complete a level upon entering it, or just start with all the powers all the time.
-Whenever a gargoyle would attack, two gargoyles must spawn in unison, each one to attack a specific player. The gargoyle attacking your opponent will be a distinctly different color. The same applies for every variety of eyeball.
-Guessing games (three-chain puzzles and the BDC dungeon doors) in single player are a test of one's ability to survive, but here they will spell frustrating defeat. They must either be removed, or always solve themselves after a set number of attempts.
-Shovel henchmen may keep Offense in one place long enough to guarantee defeat, and may need to have reduced health.
-Offense can camp the edge of a rope with a weapon, wait for Defense to come near, and make an unavoidable kill every time. And so... uh... wow, that's REALLY broken.

Okay, I just ran out of steam. Jump in if you're still on board.
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Richard
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01 Mar 2010, 21:45 #14

Action Jack @ Mar 1 2010, 10:18 AM wrote:Oh, wait.  I was so busy killing everyone's buzz that I missed a great idea you put out.
nah, I did that earlier ^_^

I agree completely that 3D isn't the thing to do.

Now the 2D tag you mentioned or to be precise some other ideas on cooperation have been running through my mind for a while now. Queue previous hints about wanting to program if I could find some helpers. The tag game is kinda cute though, albeit with some serious problems you identify.

I'm not convinced it would work networked due to latency/lag (unless extremely low latency - i.e. both on the same wired ethernet) given the fact that DC fundamentally requires almost the same level of pixel accuracy as Touhou. However 2P on the same box would work.

Now; as I say, I had some thoughts on co-op. But not a Duncan and Bryant thing; no, they're both doinks, so the combined level team-play would just be too doinky for sanity.

What about though if you paired to characters who are more opposites of each other. Queue back to my fanfic and the initial premise of a Rei x Bryant combo. (Insert other name if you're fundamentally opposed to my anime fandom).

i.e. one person is a doink but has hammer-space and his own ways of bending physics (is that an cross-bow in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me...), along with another person who can't bend physics [at least in that way], but whom has some rather different innate powers of her own.

So my thoughts were much more about possibilities for co-op play and what sorts of rooms one could design with this in mind (well, not just rooms, queue whole outside areas).

However, following on from that, the idea of 2v2 tag (or king-of-hill, or even outright death-match) becomes a very interesting possibility. You might need computers to fill in spare players; but by not having all characters being doinktastic, the gameplay could be opened up dramatically.
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Action Jack
Dark Castle Itself!
Action Jack
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02 Mar 2010, 01:29 #15

Yeah, okay. I think you're on to something. I would suggest the non-doink be a character in the vein of the original Prince of Persia; somebody slightly more durable than Duncan, with acrobatics that allow access to more places (perhaps adding a few moves from Flashback), but who lacks a ranged attack.

And as you were likely expecting me to do, I'd encourage you to leave characters from separate existing fictional universes out of it. I clearly don't know Rei the way you do, and am thus not qualified to say that her presence would ruin the atmosphere of Dark Castle. But consider this...

It seems like a common worry here is that a Dark Castle reboot just wouldn't be Dark Castle anymore. There are two ways that could happen: subjectively (all the pieces are there, but for whatever reason it "just doesn't feel like Dark Castle," such as if it were in 3D) or objectively (pieces are included which are by definition not Dark Castle, such as adding Rei).

However, if you're the one making this, then in order for it to be a good game it will be crucial for you to use what you know, and to use what you love. If you want Rei's influence, I would propose that you instead use a character who is obviously inspired by Rei, with a similar set of abilities. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't step on a man's PNF (personal nerd fantasy). I know how mad *I* would be if I programmed a painstakingly realistic ninja simulator, and some doofbag whined about how the protagonist can't throw a fireball.

Oh, and in terms of wanting help... I'd love to, but I don't know how to program. I would playtest and do my best to break the game, I'm very articulate in explaining why I like and dislike various fundamental design choices, and I've got a decent amount of experience in sound design (though more of an artistic than a technical nature, and I've never composed music). I'd also be thrilled if there were were any voice-overs I could provide, and I've got quality instruments to record them.

If any of that interests you, my sword is yours.
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