Xorbient: Prototyping Challenge

This is a game about absorbing things around you. It’s possible to make this game with several themes, but the theme I’ve chosen for it is a children’s game. Imagine a yellow blob of goo that was infused with life by a mad scientist. It was supposed to grow to become a monster the scientist could release on the world but the experiment failed — the yellow goo has a conscious. One of the coolest properties this goo has it that it can absorb light energy from things around it. Now that the goo has a mind of its own it realizes how dangerous this scientist is and wants to shut down his lab permanently.

One of the coolest things about this game is lighting. Each level, a section of the mad-scientists lab, starts of almost completely pitch black. The goo has a small halo of light that outlines its shape and the outlines of forms very close to it. As it moves through the level, triggering switches to open cages and electric doors and pressing buttons to open trap doors, it can pick up light energy from electronic equipment around the lab. The more light energy it picks up the brighter it becomes and the more it lights up things around it.

Now, lighting up is what the game uses to its advantage. There should be sections of the game where the goo cannot see switches or other things it can use to get out of the level until its bright enough. The light surrounding the goo will make bigger circles until it can see things much farther from it (like places it can’t reach until it’s hit a switch), that may give it clues as what needs to be done next.

I’m assuming this would use the arrow keys to move the goo left and right, and that it will make a kind of bouncing/rolling motion as it goes. Use spacebar to jump and enter to flip switches and buttons. Using the shift key would fire any goo globs it has in its inventory (it can hold up to 20 at a time). In order for it to defeat enemies (monster goo of different colors then itself) the goo will have to land on top of them and kind of “absorb” them. If it does absorb them they disappear, the goo gains a goo glob and the goo’s light energy is enhanced making it glow brighter and increasing its health/light energy meter.

Now, if the goo hits enemies it looses some of the light energy it has. If the yellow goo runs out of light energy everything in the game goes dark and the goo can no longer sustain it’s solid shape and it melts into a puddle loosing 1 life. If the player has more lives the goo can use these to re-solidify itself.

The goo would start off with 5 lives. Once all lives are gone it’s a game over. The goo can gain an extra life by killing x amount of monster goos. The amount would depend on how many monster goos are in that particular level.

If the goo has a goo glob, it can spit those globs (they’re colored the same color as the monster goo that was absorbed) at monster goos to melt them into puddles. The yellow goo cannot absorb monster goos that have lost their shape, only ones it’s jumped on top of and absorbed. After a few seconds melted monster goos fade and disappear from the screen.

Now you could add all sorts of other neat elements to this game. The puzzle aspect could be expanded upon, making it so the yellow goo has to shoot goo globs at certain switches or buttons. You could add items that give the goo weird, unexpected properties. For instance, one of the scientists machines could make it go weightless for a while, so it can float around or reach much higher places. One item, a mystery pill, could make it so the goo can suddenly stick to walls like it couldn’t before. This could be useful for areas where the goo has to roll along walls and then jump from platform to platform.

There could also be scalpels or needles, or some kind of sharp objects that will take away some of the goo’s light energy if it hits them, making it harder for the goo to get through the level.

And of course, at the very end of the game, the goo will have to fight the mad scientist to shut down his lab. Using all the tricks and techniques he’s acquired from the very beginning of the game — absorbing monster goos to get goo globs, hovering in the air, shooting goo globs to hit the scientist, getting pills to stick to walls and absorbing light energy from enemies and machines to keep his health up.

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