Some more ideas popped into my head:
Character abilities (activated with the "pogo" key):
: "geezer time"- a temporary slow-motion mode that could be activated. However, bullets would move faster than their usual slow-motion speed, effectively giving the player a combat advantage.
: glide- while jumping or falling, the player could activate glide, stopping all vertical movement and allowing the player to glide left and right. Pressing the key again would cause lindsey to fall down.
: "spotty vision"- allows the player to see secret passageways and maybe even secret markings on walls.
: ankh time- the player can create a temporary bubble around Barker that lasts 5-10 seconds, but only while standing still on the ground. The player might still be able to shoot left/right/up while the bubble is activated. I'm thinking no movement while the ankh bubble is active because that just makes things too easy.
Still not sure how character switching would work. Maybe you can switch characters at any time while standing on the ground. Maybe there are specific character swap points. Or, gasp
, maybe all the characters would be in the scene at once and have a.i. to move around with you
If I go Unity, I've also been brainstorming some other gameplay changes that might be cool to see:
- Maybe it's time to ditch extra lives. They served a bit more purpose in Atroxian Realm with the checkpoints, but I think it would be better just to give the player unlimited tries.
A health system
- One hit kills have been synonymous with Keen, but why not try something else? Maybe Keen could have a health bar with multiple segments, or "VITALs" in this system. Vitalin pickups could restore Keen's health, and rare kegs o' vitalin could increase your maximum health. Some hazards would still be insta-kills, though.
- Why not expand Keen's arsenal to include the raygun/pistol from Keen Vorticons as well as something like boobus bombs from Keen Dreams and Netkeen? The raygun could be stronger but have much rarer ammo, and the boobus bombs could be good for breaking down enemy armor as well as revealing secrets in walls.
- Seems like ammo is always impossible to balance in Keen games. On easy mode you can sometimes reach 1000+ shots, while on hard you can be fighting to have any at all. Perhaps a max ammo cap could solve this. However, there might be items that would increase your max ammo. I think I read that Ceilick was considering a max ammo mechanic for Sign of the Vool, and I'm thinking it might make sense here too.
Changing in-game saves
- I've always felt that in-level saves break the game design and are really only necessary because of one-hit kills and the lack of checkpoints. A new save system could fix this by restricting saves to the world map (if there is one) or specific save stations in levels.
- A very unimportant but still cool idea. It would basically be an extra hard difficulty mode with changes to the level design and other systematic changes, unlocked after beating the game on any difficulty.
- This is a pretty drastic change and is taking some inspiration from more modern games (think the Merchant from Resident Evil 4). You would encounter a character frequently throughout the game that would sell you items and upgrades in exchange for your points. These could range from simple ammo and health refills to upgrades like increasing your max health or max ammo capacity. Or, maybe each character has improvements to their abilities that could be unlocked for a price. Example: spend 100,000 points to increase the length of Barker's ankh time.
Speaking of this merchant character, I just came up with an idea/design. Kinda fits since you're basically selling him your candy. Say hello to Smirks:
These are pretty drastic changes to the Keen formula, and I'm curious how people would respond to these. Would they keep the formula fresh and remove some of the problems with the original games (in-level saves, one-hit kills, points being useless), or would they be too much of a departure? If I go Unity, these are definitely ideas I'll consider.