March Game of the Month Ideas – Haunted houses, flat shading, cyber tank battles, giant robots

I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my March #1GAM and a few ideas have floated around. I am exploring the haunted house genre with the idea of exploring dark rooms with just a flashlight and hearing cool sound effects of floor boards and distant doors slamming. I remember being really into ghost stories and horror stuff as a kid. I still love a good scare. I’ve been thinking about the old Alone in the Dark game with its impossible combat against Lovecraftian beasts in an old mansion. Another great haunted house was in the Vampire Masquerade game–the abandoned hotel. It had some legit scares! Designing a virtual haunted house would be cool and making the gameplay  more about exploration and stealth (hide / run for your life)  rather than a shoot-em-up would be neat. I’d make it first person with good headphones and a dark room mandatory.

After watching that, I may have to go back and play that game!! Here is Vampire’s haunted hotel… This may be more my style, but perhaps with the old school graphics?

How about the creepy toy following you around… Or the kitchen scene… or the light bulbs bursting. Nice effects…
Then I’ve been looking into flat shaded 3D graphics (oh and this one is cool too- check out the Italian youtube at the bottom)which harken back to when 3D games first started hitting the arcade when I was a kid. Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, Cyber Sled were some of my favorite things to play. On modern computers the style actually looks really cool and I might be able to pull something off with it. I also like the idea of a robot arena fighting game like Cyber Sled or Virtua On. A Cyber Sled remake might be fun and not too far out for my one man studio if I get cracking now. The sleds are like bulky tank robots, not too hard to throw together. The spider one might be hard but I don’t have to include special models – maybe just a few sled/tank types with different speed to firepower to armor ratios. Do that, a few arenas, some enemy AI and we  could call it a game. Here is some footage of the game:

Virtua On was much more polished and the robots you could choose from were a little more involved. I’d love to play or make something like it tho. The robots were mostly fast and they could jump over buildings, engage in hand-to-hand combat as well as ranged attacks around an arena. I played the army looking one with the night-stick arms. It would probably take more that the month to do it right tho and the 3D modeling.

Finally, another idea I’ve been toying with is a creating a classic style game like Pacman and do a tutorial series as I make it so that folks at home who want to try Unity can follow along. Pacman would be cool because it would teach moving a character with the keyboard, building maze levels, creating simple enemy AI, pickups, power-ups and points. The framework could be an easy jumping off point for learners to make their own games – a dungeon crawler isn’t much different: a maze with a different texture for walls, enemies that swing swords or throw fireballs could easily spring from a pacman clone. Tutorials are a big undertaking, but I think we could create a game for the month and document How-tos at the same time. Perhaps I will start here, but those games above are near and dear to my heart so look for games inspired by them someday from me.