MatterFormer #1

MatterFormer #1

by Nick Carver

May 15, 2020

Previous post: Fronterra Devlog #9

Overview

So, this week I started work on a new prototype project called MatterFormer (working title!). It’s a multiplayer platformer (potentially for lots of people to play simultaneously) where players must cooperate in order to escape maze-like levels using their platform-summoning ability to overcome obstacles, hazards and enemies.

Here are a couple of gifs of the core mechanics in action:

Visual 01

Visual 02

And here is a short video where I talk about the core mechanics in more detail:

Below is the one page design for the game as it stands currently:

What is it?

Matterformer is a co-op 2d platformer/exploration game where players must escape maze-like levels using their platform-summoning ability to overcome obstacles, hazards and enemies.

What’s the hook?

Players are dropped into a procedurally generated level which is made up of many interconnected chambers. They must reach each level’s goal by exploring the environment and using block-shaped platforms that they create themselves with the press of a button. The player can use their blocks not only to aid traversal of the level, but also in other varied and interesting ways, for instance:

  • Blocking off enemies
  • Taking cover from hazards
  • ricocheting projectiles back where they came from
  • Imbuing blocks temporarily with additional attributes (sticky, slippery, deadly, bright etc.)

The variety of these interactions in combination with a roster of varied enemies and other dangers creates a wealth of interesting, one-off scenarios. Additionally, the level is patrolled by an Overseer, who, once awakened, will pursue players relentlessly, destroying any terrain in its path.

What’s the goal?

The players’ goal is firstly to locate and close anomalies within the level. Closing an anomaly is achieved by placing an antimatter block on it. Once all anomalies are closed, the location of the level’s exit is revealed and players must then race to get there before they are caught by the Overseer. It’s imperative that as many players as possible reach the exit and so cooperating to achieve this goal is vitally important. Self-sacrifice may be necessary for the greater good!

What’s the Story/Lore?

Players assume the role of ‘future archeologists’. They use an invention that can create solid matter out of thin air, but that also (unexpectedly) opens portals to mysterious locations in alternate dimensions of time and space.

Visual/Audio Hooks

Visual 03

Visuals – Heavy emphasis on silhouette in the playable foreground space, and vibrant colour and lighting in the background. 2d character sprites on Painterly 3d backgrounds. Labyrinthine temple complexes of ancient alien civilizations. Reclaimed by nature. Lots of depth and parallax.Ancient, unfamiliar, advanced technology.

Audio – Music ref: Prince’s Prize by F*ck Buttons, Hyper Light Drifter OST, Sonic 2 Mystic Cave Zone,

Next Steps

Visuals – Heavy emphasis on silhouette in the playable foreground space, and vibrant colour and lighting in the background. 2d character sprites on Painterly 3d backgrounds. Labyrinthine temple complexes of ancient alien civilizations. Reclaimed by nature. Lots of depth and parallax.Ancient, unfamiliar, advanced technology.

Audio – Music ref: Prince’s Prize by F*ck Buttons, Hyper Light Drifter OST, Sonic 2 Mystic Cave Zone,

Next post: MatterFormer #2