The side-scroller: Outdated or underused?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by unreason, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. unreason

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    I'm thinking of doing a side-scroller, probably one similar to a cross between metroid and contra. I notice that I don't see very many of these games in the more prominent indie game sites. Is this because they're not successful, or just because developers haven't been doing them lately? Is there a market for my game if it's well done, or would I be better off spending my time making something different?
     
  2. princec

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    There have been a few lately.. Absolute Blue and Jets 'n' Guns spring to mind. They could do as well as any other game in theory.

    Cas :)
     
  3. unreason

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    True, but those were more a gradius style-side scroller, as opposed to a metroid type of thing. The only thing I can think of like that is Abuse, or Duke Nukem: Mathatten Project.
     
  4. nvision

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    I love side-scrolling platformers...shooters, too, but moreso platformers. I think that well-made action platformers could sell just as well as any genre, provided that they've got quality gameplay and gfx.

    If you're interested, I have the core gfx made for just such a game (main character, HUD/FX, one level of tiles/enemies). I produced them while working at my former company, but since they failed to pay me (bastards!), the gfx are still mine. If you'd like to discuss a possible collaboration, I'd love to get these graphics working they way they're supposed to. PM me if you want to talk further...
     
  5. GBGames

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  6. Dan MacDonald

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    I'm working on one :)
     
  7. Ricardo C

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    I would say "underused". A good side-scroller will always be very welcome indeed.

    Hell, when the PSX and the Saturn came out I had little interest in either because the move to RT3D meant few old-school side-scrollers would be produced.
     
  8. impossible

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    Cave Story and N, both released last year, both freeware. Although N technically isn't a sidescroller (no scrolling.)
     
  9. Pyabo

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    Definitely check out Cave Story. Great little game.

    And I would definitely say UNDERUSED.
     
  10. PoV

    PoV
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    Now I know all your secrets. Glad to hear you're up to something Dan. It seems I'm doing one as well.

    Keith goes painting was an interesting little platformer for those looking for them.
     
  11. impossible

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    The thing is, during 8-bit and 16-bit console gaming sidescrolling platformers were ridiculously overused. You still see a lot of them on mobile platforms (GBA, NDS, mobile phones, even PSP.) I'm sure that 10 years from now people will be saying the same thing about FPS games.

    Also, I don't think sidescrollers were ever very popular on PC, mostly due to the lack of decent gamepad support. This is still a pretty big barrier, and will continue to be until a company like Dell starts shipping a standard (Xbox 360) gamepad with all of their home market computers.
     
  12. Anthony Flack

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    I think it's a combination of tricky controls and the fact that they're quite involved games to make. But the game I'm making is sort of one anyway. I love them.

    You might want to reconsider the Saturn - it's a 2d powerhouse, with plenty of great sprite games. Even the Playstation had a few funky platform games, like Skullmonkeys.
     
  13. Mike Wiering

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    And I'm working on a system to (easily) create side scrollers :)
     
  14. electronicStar

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    I think there is a potential market among the thirty something nostalgics.
    I plan to do a sidescroller as one of my future projects.
    The only thing you have to take care of is to implement modern, state of the art graphics and effects, what I mean is that it should look more like a neogeo game than a megadrive one(even better:atomiswave). And make sure the gameplay,progression and the controls aren't too hard either because people don't have the same patience nowadays, and a downloadable indie game should definitely not have the same difficulty than an arcade one ,or even a console one.
     
  15. PoV

    PoV
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    Doesn't everyone that makes one do that anyways? Or are there people out there that write games just to throw them away? ;)
     
  16. lexaloffle

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    Sure, I do. Writing something in a way general and robust enough for other people to use is much harder, right? My development philosophy is to start with an elegant robust core and expand it with a large outer layer of extremely hacked up, un-reusable meatloaf. The idea is to finish the game just before it starts crumbling, to achieve the optimum compromise between quality and development time.

    Despite my sophisticated approach, I've still spent a long time working on my current platform game. It has 21 levels, and I could easily spend a couple of weeks refining the code which is particular to each level. So, yes, development time is a big factor.

    I can't believe there isn't a decent audience for platform games though - portal unfriendly controls and all. If someone came up with a nice simple platform game with proper action (none of this casual-platformer fluff), I would buy it in a second. And there must be people out there like me. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.
     
  17. papillon

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    Side-scrolling beat-em-up, not too difficult, not too complex controls = Dad'n'Me.

    unlike the alien game that was insanely hard, that one is pretty easy to pick up and experiment with. It's psychotic and evil, but it's easy to play, and popular! :)
     
  18. djdolber

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    Im working on a 2D vertical/horisontal scroller. Ive always been asking myself why nobody makes 2d platformers now-adays. Just think of the possibilities with the new consoles for example. Just think, a new Castlevania:SOTN or Super Metroid... I hate it how everybody goes for 3D... :(

    Super Metroid > Metroid Prime
     
  19. unreason

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    Thanks for the offer or graphics, nvision, but I already have some artwork, and I'm probably doing this as a solo project.

    Based on everyones replies, I guess there is a demand if the game's done right. A side scroller it is, then!
     
  20. Mike Wiering

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    It's actually a kind of game maker for platform games / side scrollers.
     

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