The idea of Sharkwing is simple: make a game that celebrates the best of Einhander, a side-scrolling 3d flying shooter game.
Sharkwing will be a 3d game that is feasible with the Unreal 4 engine. There are no plans to use other licensed content.
When I was a kid a company called Square Soft made a really fun game called Einhander. And nobody has made a game quite like it in terms of mechanics since (or if they have, no one's told me). You flew around, picked up weapons and destroyed waves of enemies as they flew onto the screen, and the occasional, giant terrifying boss.
I think there should be another game like Einhander. The idea of flying around and picking up weapons is quite appealing to me. At the same time there were some things that weren't possible at the time (due to a lack of 2 sticks on a controller, you had fixed angles of attack on weapon systems).
I'd like to make a game where you can fly around and pick up secondary weapons like Einhander. Enemy mechanics should be pretty standard fare for a shooter of this genre (for example, there should be small ships you can shoot down, and eventually boss type enemies). The novel feature of the game is that you control the orientation of your secondary weapon system. Different weapons have different firing arcs, based on their flexibility they have different tactical use cases.
Sadly, I don't have much time to put this together. Some features won't be done by the time the game is evaluated. One of the features I'd most like to have is a well implemented 3d camera system. This doesn't seem like a big feature – most of the time your ship will be flying in an orientation that is essentially 2 dimensional. However, it can be used to tell some expressive action sequences when the camera pivots slightly to queue large threats approaching the player.
The sparseness of key features in this list is because, I am aiming at a fairly well defined genre. There should be waves of small enemies that are shot down. There should eventually be some scoring mechanism. There should be different types of enemies, in terms of speed, AI behavior, and weapons. There should be bosses, and probably location based weak points on those bosses. At this point, I am aiming for some very specific things, a full game is honestly not one of them.
Key Features To Be Implemented
- Pick-up Secondary Weapons
- Aim Secondary Weapons along firing arcs
- 3d Camera
Side Scrolling Shooter
PC, Consoles with controllers comparable to X-box 360. Mobile is difficult to imagine implementing, since you obscure the screen area with your fingers. I'd have to study examples of how a flying shooter is implemented visually before I committed to it. This will be a single player game.
At what point do you think this will be a game, and not a 'game'?
It requires at least a month of development. And this is a super optimistic projection. I think with the resources I have 3 months is just optimistic. Other requirements for me to not consider this a development project are:
- A level that takes 10 minutes to clear.
- At least four weapon systems.
- At least one solid player ship that is fun to fly around
- At least one type of 'infantry' craft.
- At least one type of 'medium' craft.
- At least one type of weapon carrier.
- At least one boss.
- A difficulty mode and a notion of what that means
- A UI that lets you get to all the above.
- Custom art for the above. My source material used PS1 era, wedges for their infantry ships. It has to be at least that good.
- A style and tone for the game. Right now, it does not have that.
At that point, I believe that I can sell this with a promise of further development to something like Greenlight, or put it on Patreon or some similar service.
One level? That's a game?
I make a destinction between a development project, a game and a full game. I think a game at this point is a product that I could sell someone (without feeling bad) with the promise of delivering a full game. It would represent the overall quality of content of the finished product. A full game would take, at least a 9 months to make. The requirements of the full game are not defined, but they would require at least a constant multiple of effort to make one level and the ability to deal with as yet undefined requirements.
What if this becomes a game? How much do you think this would sell for and make?
I think a price point of 5-10 dollars is realistic. I hope it would sell at least 5000 units. I expect to lose 20% of that to friction (revenue sharing models on services, Paypal taking their cut). But gross profit should be 25000 dollars. The basis for the price point requires community feedback - how much enthusiasm the game generates.