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Game Idea: Ne+

An Introduction

Ne+ is the name of the project I will be working on for the next year or so. The name is in reference to the element Neon, because the visual style of the game will be very similar to Geometry Wars in terms of colors and lighting. I first thought of the idea when considering what an ideal first video game would be for me to work on, as I have little experience thus far in my career. I had a more grand idea before this one, but it was too grand and complex for me to start with. The main idea behind this game is simpler, but I think it still provides an interesting and stimulating gameplay dynamic that is full of possibilities, while still remaining a meaningful endeavor.

The Core Concept

The reason that I have chosen to pursue the GW-style visuals is because of Ne+’s focus on lighting. The game is to be purely sidescrolling 2D, but lighting will play a central role because the primary game objects are all lights. I find it easiest to illustrate the gameplay with a simple example. Imagine a spotlight that projects a “light platform.” This light platform is just like any other surface in the game world. Now, imagine another light that nulls all light effects in the game, and when pointed at the light platform, the platform disappears. Some of these lights will be manipulated by the player, while others will be stationary objects in game scenes. It’s easy to see how this idea could expand, with other potential light effects:

The idea behind these is that they all combine at runtime to create a very dynamic experience. Each light will be assigned a color, and so as colors combine, so too will their effects. To top this dynamic concept off, different types of lights will be present (basically spotlights or area lights), with different properties (that can be manipulated with respect to time to create flashing and pulsing effects), as well as a relation to the audio that provides a unique audio-visual experience:

A Puzzle-Platformer

At the moment, I think that the best way to explore these gameplay concepts initially is to have the player progress through scenes, utilizing them to advance. By navigating situations that can only be completed through proper application of the concepts, the player should be able to participate in a solid puzzle experience with a platforming element. This is the essence of Ne+.