What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

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clbroadbridge
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What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by clbroadbridge »

For a long time, I've wondered what a new Keen game would look like. With the new Zenimax game being announced and the trailer being so divisive among the fanbase, I thought it'd be interesting to see what the ideal game would look like to everyone! Let your imagination run wild, and put your ideas down here!

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Nisaba
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by Nisaba »

hey there clbroadbridge and welcome to the forums,

why don't you introduce yourself real quick to the community? what's your connection to Billy Blaze? what do you love about this old school game? when did you discover the pckf? what's your favourite Keen character? and have you ever played a fanbased mod? if so, which one do you like best?

that all said, your question above got discussed in the forums quite a bit. don't be shy and use the searchbar. I'm sure you'll find lots and lots of interesting opinions, statements and arguments around this very topic.

(marginalia: "divisive" seems to be a very euphemistic term for that cash grab of a mobile-"game", don't you think!?)
"We have come to conquer you all and bring you lots of candy!" | about me | my current project: play Keen mods on a GameBoy |

Benvolio
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by Benvolio »

A perfect Keen game for me in 2020 would look the same as it would have done in 1992.

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troublesomekeen
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by troublesomekeen »

The perfect Keen game is easy. It's an amalgamation of every DOS game combined into one.
Primarily it is just like the previous: sharp-shooting, carefully-calculated-resource-driven (mostly ammo) side-scrolling platformer action propelled by discovery of secrets and hidden areas, littered with puzzle-solving mixed with hazards and pants-kicking action armageddon.
HOWEVER! Since this new game has tons more memory space, there are tons of new environments and planets to travel to within the same game, no chopping it up between shareware and sequels. This also means that each level has a unique music track, and each planet has new monster/creature sets. You might do ten levels on a forest planet, ten levels on a lava world, and five levels of jungle madness between five levels of diddy-kong underwater splatooning.
ALSO! Keen has an inventory! But not a pain-in-the-butt inventory. Keen can switch guns--guns that have differing effects on creatures and surroundings, and Keen also has supplementary abilities that play second fiddle to his pogo.
BUT DON'T FORGET! Since there is space travel in this game, the mode of the game itself will change for space levels, meaning that there will be Tyrian or Raptor-esque levels where you must pilot the Bean-With-Bacon Megarocket in a crash course through fumes and foes to ultimate safety.
This means in additions to Keen Weapon upgrades, there will also be ongoing BWB upgrades that empower and modify the ship and is reflected by the graphics and by the subsequent x2 slicing and dicing.
This gives the point system in Commander Keen more use than just collecting enough for extra lives.
We also incorporate the big innovations from the likes of major mods, Atroxian Realm and Underground Ultimate. We also push the concept of Keen Friends helping in-level like we almost saw in Battle of the Brains. We go big, bounders to the walls--but we also keep it true to the original, careful that everything is put away neatly just as it was before Mom and Dad get home. In this way it remains small, silly, tongue-in-cheek--but mind you, not too silly. This universe has rules and not a one shall be broken.

Now that this new Keen game has been greenlit on Steam, we need to be thinking about multiplayer modes. Pogo tournaments (Snoopy's Silly Sports), Battle Royale (NetKeen) and maybe a bit of co-op play (Commander Genius). It's just too bad Tom Hall isn't around to give his blessings.
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DoomJedi
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by DoomJedi »

Yes, flying between planets and feeling like you are exploring Keen universe would be nice.
Maybe even with randomly generated planets, worldmaps and features, within range.
Parallaxed backgrounds (even multiple) obviously would add alot. Weather effects - to be more immersive. Local sounds (like water/steam etc?) that you hear only when Keen is near something like that?
Maybe light and particle effects (??)
Maybe not 1-hit kill? Or is it considered a core gameplay here?
Splitscreen could be nice, for Keen to have a pal to help him out...like Barker or someone. Anything of multiplayer...maybe even options for game modes, even versus ones.

I don't think gameplay itself should be more complicated, simplicity is the charm. Though some elements from modern platformers can be considered (dash, wall jump etc).
Core of Keen gameplay is fine as is, though do envy of Mario platforming pace sometimes. Though again, Keen was for me always more of a "meditation"-style game, that has no time limit to complete the level or borders that scroll to push you forward. A game where you can stop and look around, or rest.
But some levels could be a racer or something (love racers), of Megarocket flying between asteroids or something....

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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by Nisaba »

troublesomekeen wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:04
The perfect Keen game is easy. It's an amalgamation of [...]
Amen!
"We have come to conquer you all and bring you lots of candy!" | about me | my current project: play Keen mods on a GameBoy |

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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by Gridlock »

You know, it's funny, but several of the ideas I've seen in this thread are things I want to do for Voyage to Veota. Not so much freeform planet exploration, but things like weather/light effects, a light upgrade system based on points, multiple weapon types, playing as multiple characters, a health system for Keen, and maybe even BWB shooting segments.

That said, the biggest thing I could take or leave is the classic platforming style. Don't get me wrong, I do love it, but I'm personally feeling a little tired of it. With now at least a dozen high quality Galaxy mods and other fangames, I'm starting to feel the traditional Keen platformer has run its course. Not to mention that platformers are probably the single most played out genre in the medium. Which is why I'd like to innovate on it in a way that feels familiar and still fairly simple, but also a little different.

Personally, I've always been inspired by the older Mario RPGs from Nintendo, like the first two Mario and Luigi games and the old Paper Mario games. I really like the way they approach their storytelling, and I think a bit of that style could compliment Keen well. I don't necessarily envision Keen as a RPG (though I do believe it could work), but I do want to explore doing a Keen game with a somewhat similar narrative approach.
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proYorp
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by proYorp »

Hi there clbroadbridge! I would welcome you to the forum, but from the looks of it you've been registered here for a lot longer than I have. :eek Well, welcome to posting at any rate. :)

Hey, I see you posted the same topic to the r/commanderkeen subreddit. Even got a few short comments from Tom Hall. Seems like he's around there pretty frequently.

Hmm, I wonder if ol' Tom is still planning to reveal the plot of The Universe is Toast on Keen's 30th anniversary.



Anyways, what would a perfect Keen game look like to me?

If it was a platformer, I would imagine that it would it be reminiscent of the originals, while also adding some cool new maneuvers, much like the changes from Vorticons to Galaxy. Things like wall jumping, maybe horizontal poles (I think those were planned to be in Tom Hall's game Secret Spaceship Club, those would be cool). Probably also multiple weapons and parallax backgrounds as shown in Romero's Keen 7 Tech Demo.
But I would also hope that it would still keep things from getting clunky and over-complicated, control-wise. In Keen Galaxy, there's the action keys (Jump, Pogo, Shoot, Status) and the arrow keys (Move, Look, Interact) plus various combinations of the above to do extra actions such as Impossible Pogo and down-jump. Compared to Vorticons, Galaxy only really adds the up and down arrows for controls. I like the straightforwardness of it.
In short, pretty much what DoomJedi said.

If it wasn't a platformer, well, it could be so many things. Whatever it is, I would like to still see all the most notable aspects of a Keen game: exploration, puzzles, secrets, and action.

One thing I would really like to see is the expansion of lore details. Worlds, creatures, characters. The story section in the original games is rather limited. Even so, I kinda like the fact that so much is left to interpretation and the imagination. It's a lot of fun to make theories about the various aspects of the Keen Universe with what little info there is and what can be inferred.
But I bet that could still be done with an expanded lore, we'd just have more to work with (although by definition, there would also be less possibilities in theories since more canon would make it so that some things are automatically proven false). As long as someone on the dev team is making sure it stays consistent, and of course if Tom Hall was creative director, then it would be the perfect Keen game IMKO.
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Re: What would a perfect Keen game look like to you in 2020?

Post by Syllypryde »

A wise man once said that to create a good sequel, not only does it have to be true to the first film, but it also has to be more than the first film. A Keen sequel (aka mod) should follow this same logic. Just look how the original games themselves evolved, from Vorticon to Dreams, from Dreams to Galaxy, and I think we can safely say that TUIT was going to evolve as well. A so-called perfect Keen game should also do the same. It should be true to the original games, but also have a touch of modern gaming technology. I think with a good balance of both, the game definitely could work.
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