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How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:25
by EldritchNexus
It's been nearly twenty years since the last game in the CK series was made, and there has been no word of another installment being made. So I would like to ask a few questions to my fellow Keen fans as to how the next game, if it ever sees the light of day, should be made.

1: What company should make the next Keen game? id Software or another ZeniMax company? 3D Realms? Someone else?

2: Should it be a sequel/prequel to the earlier games, or a complete reboot? If it's a reboot, should it share continuity with Wolfenstein/Doom like the original games did?

3: What kind of gameplay should it have? Should it stay a 2D platformer, take the leap to 3D, or ditch platforming altogether and become an action-adventure game or even a first-person/third-person shooter?

4: Who should compose the soundtrack for the game? What style should the music be?

5: What tone should the game have? Should it stay lighthearted and kid-friendly, or switch to a darker, more adult atmosphere? Or perhaps a mixture of both?

6: should it be made for computers, consoles (home or portable), mobile devices, or any combination of the three?

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:59
by Roobar
1. I think it should be developed by third party/indie developer in collaboration with 3D Realms and distributed by 3D Realms. id software is a no-no.
2. Sequel
3. The same 2.5D platformer
4. Alexander Brandon and/or Tee Lopes
5. Lighthearted/kid friendly
6. PCs, Consoles, Mobile - the more, the merrier.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 16:38
by Gridlock
1: No teams within Zenimax really jump to mind as a good fit, but I'd like to see a mid size team (at least bigger than a scrappy indie team) take it on.

2: I think the Keen series needs a complete reboot if it's going to be commercially successful and reach a wider audience. It should be faithful to the tone, cartoonish style, and "keenishness" of the original games but effectively be a modern do over. Continuitiy doesn't really matter to me, but maybe it would allow Keen to get more attention from other id fans.

3: I imagine that a lot of people can't imagine Keen as anything other than a 2d platformer. However, 2d games are also incredibly oversaturated in the market right now, and I'm not sure that Keen could break out of the mold. As less of a traditionalist, I'd almost prefer seeing Keen rebooted as a 3d platformer/adventure game. I think that would allow the creators to fully realize some of the Keen universe's most iconic locations, and that could be a big factor towards helping new players understand the series' unique appeal. It would definitely be tricky to get the camera style, platforming, pogo, and shooting just right, but I'm sure talented developers could figure it out.

4: This one is tricky. There's something unique about Bobby Prince's style of music that sets Keen apart from other games, so I would like to see something similar using modern instrumentation.

5: People's opinion of tone in Keen games seems to vary wildly. Some people who played Keen back in the day just saw it as being about a cute little kid collecting candy and nothing more. Others, like myself, have been interested in exploring the more serious side of the universe. For this reboot, I think the ideal is somewhere in the middle. Just because it's a game that kids can play doesn't mean it has dumb itself down to appeal to them (aka the Nintendo approach from recent years). Why can't this be a space epic suitable for all ages filled with creative world building, great atmosphere, and a good level of challenge?

6: I'd say it should be made for the standard set of consoles, including PC, PS4, XBox One, and especially Switch. This isn't going to be the kind of game pushing graphical boundaries, so it should be relatively easy to make cross-platofrm. I think marketing it as a mid-tier game and more than just an indie would give it more of a chance in the market.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 0:51
by hairmonster12
When I think about a brand new Commander Keen game, I imagine an open-world sandbox style game, set on some beautiful Alien planet far away in the galaxy, where Keen could be free to just explore the planet. There would be many interesting and dangerous locations (levels) to uncover, forests, caves, strange alien fortresses, even a few alien cities where Keen could go to meet alien people and uncover the plot of the game, do quests, that kind of thing. Keep the tone like the old games, kid friendly and fun with that classic Commander Keen look and humor, but challenging and engaging. Most importantly, I want to fly around in the BWB Megarocket! Zooming around the surface of the planet, landing and exploring places, taking off again, flying into space and having battles with other spacecraft, maybe fly out to the planet's moons to search for quest items hidden deep within abandoned ruins… maybe that doesn't sound like a classic Keen game, and it's already been done by other game titles, but it sure would be a cool adventure for Billy Blaze.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 15:43
by Keening_Product
A bit late to the party here, but...

1-6: Tom Hall should be in charge and make all these decisions, assuming he still wants to. I don't care if the resulting game/s change significantly from the originals as a result, if it's what Tom feels is right then that's what it should be.

And it's not out of the question. If Romero's company or someone else small with big connections manages to licence the IP, we could end up with a game.

Nice idea for a hypothetical topic by the way, EldritchNexus. I hope the above didn't come across as dismissive of your original post.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 13:09
by EdmundG
I trust Tom. Doesn't matter if the changes are big or small, as long as they feel organic and not forced just for the sake of mixing things up. Or staying the same, for that matter.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 15:17
by Roobar
Tom tried... And failed with his $400 000 (!) platformer endeavor...


Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 0:08
by Commander Spleen
Some thoughts from the Discord server:
Commander Spleen wrote:I was thinking about that thing someone posted a while ago in the new Keen concept thread about an open world reimagining. Maybe that is the kind of remake that's needed...
Some kind of casual drop-in/drop-out game world might be the sort of thing that holds my own attention longer these days as well. I tend to get a few levels into most mods and it becomes more work than reward.
Plasma Captai wrote:Tbh since I don't find a lot of time to play games anymore, I find it easier to be able to play a game if I can play in short bursts. It's not so much an attention thing as it is just being able to spread the experience out

Keen has always had a modular approach with its selectable levels. I imagine it would lend itself very well to drop-in/out gameplay or perhaps to more segmenting of levels or the checkpoint system seen in some of the more recent mods

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:05
by Roobar
Can you be more specific about the drop-in/drop-out part? Give an example.

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 14:12
by Keening_Product
Open world made me think of Skyrim. Get Bethesda to make a new open world Keen - the engine will only a little newer than Galaxy's, making it more authentic!

Re: How should the next Keen game be handled?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:38
by Commander Spleen
Hard to say regarding Skyrim. It's too heavy on boring RPG stuff to consider the open world aspect on its own. Maybe something like what Uru was intended to be but with creatures and other hazards to consider. I'd still expect the levels to be compartmentalised. Maybe lots of smaller sections and randomly generated variations.

I guess drop-in/drop-out just refers to the basic functionality of any server-based multiplayer game. More broadly I'm probably referring to a more casual level access method that doesn't rely so much on an overarching storyline.

Couldn't say whether I would even play a new 3D Keen game even with these components, but it would be neat to see a slightly more advanced Galaxy engine that allows levels to be added and explored in a more fluid manner. Or something, iunno. Just some passing thoughts for now.