Tuesday, August 7, 2012

200th post ! and new cactus canyon rules

200th post to this blog ! :-)

Anyway more about the new Cactus Canyon rules I'm programming.

I have not everything defined yet, don't know what the final result will be.

My first idea was to just take the existing CC rules and just extend them with a few extra modes (like Bionic Bart). But the more I worked on this, the more I realised I had a lot of freedom.
I can turn this into anything I want, not what the original designers wanted.

I can take every insert on the playfield and make a special mode for that (catch train, stop train, ..).
I can define myself if modes can be stacked or not, the way they're started, ..
I'm bound by the inserts but can totally change what they stand for - what will you have to do to earn stampede, showdown, combos, .. ?

These unlimited changes make it easy and hard at the same time.
I really like the way this machine plays now. The game rules that exist are fun.
I do not want to ruin this. I also want to keep the same general feel - if you are a CC owner now and like how it plays, I want you to get the same joy when you play my version.
I also want to keep the flow. I was thinking of having modes start as bounties (so you have to shoot the saloon each time), but that will probably make it too much stop-and-go.
One idea was having to shoot the beer target a lot, but that's not an easy shot and making it too much is also not fun for a player.

Otoh I've been studying rulesheets from a lot of other games with more depth, and do want to take over certain things. I'm still searching for the perfect combination - some easy and familiar things that already exist in CC, but at the same time make it a lot deeper, add stacking or mode modes, add more rules and modes, make it more challenging, make strategy more important, ..

I now have programmed 4 new modes and 2 existing ones.. They run in visual pinball. No animations have been drawn yet - this is for later when all modes are ready, then I'll start on dmd animations and fine polishing everyhing.
The idea is to take over other modes like stampede multiball, showdown multiball, goldmine multiball.
I do have settings so you can make the game similar to the existing, or make it more challenging.
Defeating Barts will be changed, that is not programmed yet but I know what I want to do with them.
I also know how I will make Bionic Bart.
But still know I need about 4 other modes and only have a general idea that imo isn't excellent enough yet.

Some things I know I have to implement and I even have no idea how I will do them.
I just have to implement something, try how it plays together with the new modes I have added, then try something else, and see what goes best.
Gunfights are one example. I like how they're implemented now (ball is stopped on the up-post, animation is played, and you have to shoot one raised droptarget on time). But I have no idea what will trigger them, what they will earn when you complete them.
Right now no mode uses the up-post on the inlanes, so I have to make something that uses them :-)

Ranking up is another thing. Now when you defeat a Bart you get a gunfight, win it and you rank up.
That's 2 other things that depend on defeating Bart. I don't really like this, and am considering other goals that would trigger you to rank up, but have not found one that I really like.
Bounties too. What are available bounties, when will you earn one ? No idea yet..

But I do want to make everything as good as possible, and make everything together consistent.
I could easily make up 20 modes in which you have to make certain shots and have them all started as a bounty. But that would make gameplay totally different from what it is now, and it would not be fun or consistent.
The story and experience the player gets playing this game towards the wizard mode needs to be correct.
It has to be fun, challenging, but make sense. All parts have to fit together logically.

Any comments and input are welcome.. if anyone reading this blog is familiar with CC game rules and rulesheets for other games, and want to brainstorm, let me know.
People that enjoy playing pinball in Visual Pinball and want to test, please also let me know.
Within a few weeks I should have a version that's fairly complete with all modes and then need testers that want to play it all in Visual Pinball and give feedback - bugs, but also if it makes sense, if modes are fun or not, ..

No comments:

Post a Comment