2.28.2018 - Welcome to Gone Viral
To kick things off, we'll talk about some of what is key to us when designing Gone Viral. We're tackling a few completely new features we haven't seen before while doing our damndest to take some standard roguelike/lite tropes up a notch.
This is something new - what is it and where did it come from? Instead of Gone Viral being primarily about shooting and dodging from afar twin-stick-shooter-style or memorizing attack patterns ala Dark Souls-y style melee, we wanted to try something different.
Your basic melee attack is a Wallop - it sends enemies flying, which feels pretty cool in its own even before we start building on it. Some damage happens on the basic hit, but even more damage happens when you whack NPCs into things - other enemies, obstacles, you name it.
The goal is that combat shouldn't just be about knocking down a health bar, but rather to have a more dynamic combat caroming your enemies into other baddies and/or spinning blades, pits, spikeballs, and other deathtraps.
This adds movement and environmental interaction to every combat to keep fights feeling fresh. It also means that the best defense is a good offense - enemies can't hit you if they are busy falling into a pit or being mashed to death.
Wallops tie into two other fundamental systems:
Killing with Style - Carnage
The setting for Gone Viral: You're busy escaping a post-apocalyptic prison arena and you have to earn your freedom by winning over the audience. Your badassery is being streamed to psychotic post-apocalyptic viewers, and earning their respect (and goodies) depends on something simple:
Fans. Love. Carnage.
Carnage can be gained in a number of ways but the rule is - the cooler of a move you pull, the more carnage you get. Using the positioning power of your wallops, the audience fricking loves it when you can knock an enemy into an explosive barrel - setting it off and killing 3 more enemies outright while blowing a 4th into a pit of death. Each of these events is a Stylish Move, and combo'ing them together creates lots of Carnage, which makes for more happy and bloodthirsty followers.
And your nutball viewers reward you with strands of the Mutation Virus, which ties into...
Having abilities, items, enemies, and game itself combine to add up to something special on each run is an area that's been done before - and done well - but we fricking love it, and want to take the concept another step forward. Having all sorts of emergent gameplay is key to having the depth necessary to be fun over the long haul and (in the era of Twitch and YouTube) fun to watch over the long haul as well.
We get to play with some new toys here. First of all, because of walloping, we get to do fun stuff with walloped enemies. Have an effect that spins your shots in odd directions (with audience bonuses if you can hit)? Cool, walloped enemies spin too. Smack an enemy with the right mutation and they might sprout spikes for extra damage, fly in the air, crush rocks on impact, shock anyone nearby, leave a trail of fire - all sorts of stuff. Mix all those at the same time and you might get really crazy. Then when you find a spikeball shooter, you might fire spikeballs as area-denial weapons with all those effects. Get a rocket launcher, and watch it fly in a circle and hit you in the noggin while emitting sparks and acid willy-nilly. The audience might well love it...the zanier, the more carnage (and often the more dangerous to you!)
Welcome to the Party!
Anyhoo, there's lots more to talk about - but that's a start. We're relatively early in the development of Gone Viral (as of 2.28.2018) and are in the process of adding a slew more content (which is where the fun is for this kind of game) while we finalize our base systems.
So there's a bunch in place, but a ton subject to change as we test and get feedback - and that's where you come in. We're having a good time .