Mix one bored afternoon, a scarf, and an old game idea I've been kicking around and you'll have yourself the latest game I'm developing. My old game idea was a high-mobility 2D platformer with concealed weapons. The scarf provided me with the theme and motivation because hey, scarves are cool.
The goal of the following components that make up this game is to create an intense, PvP experience with a lot of yomi that rewards reading your opponent, requires a moderate amount of technical mastery, and allows for a good deal of customization and play styles. With this mission statement in mind, here is my "Rock-Paper-Scissors (RPS) Fighter".
The basic idea that emerged was still a high-mobility 2D platformer; the mobility inspired by "Dustforce" and "SpeedRunners". It's PvP (player vs. player) with up to eight players on teams. Before battle, players can equip different sized and functioning melee weapons. You also select the element of each weapon: rock, paper, or scissors. The weapons are concealed under your scarf, which can be adjusted in length. The longer the scarf, the more weapons you can hold but the slower you become and the less high you can jump.
The objective during the actual battles is to deplete everyone else's health to zero and be the last man/woman standing. Your current weapon is hidden until you attack once, at which point your weapon stays revealed. Attacks that connect with another player deplete health, but attacks that collide with each other "clash". This is where the RPS elements of the colliding weapons come into play to determine the victor. The loser of the clash experiences a penalty yet to be determined. The caveat is that weapons can only be switched to in the order you equipped them and are discarded when you switch to another. If players expect to win clashes, he/she must carefully consider when to switch and the consequences of doing so.
Switching to another weapon unravels some of your scarf that will trail behind you. Unraveled scarves can be used to swing on certain objects, granting increased mobility. Each time you change weapons your unraveled portion increases in length, allowing you to swing faster. However, other players can grab your scarf and pull you in.
Competitive PvP has been an area of immense interest for me since I started playing "League of Legends" and learned that "Super Smash Bros." even had a competitive scene. Now I want to make my own competitive game and I hope that this can be that game. The few times a friend of mine discussed weighted RPS mechanics also fueled some of the design.
These mechanics make for dynamically changing opponents and players to be constantly assessing the situation. You might go through this thought-process during combat: "Is my opponent's scarf longer than before? He must have changed weapons and no longer has the rock-attribute weapon he had before. Therefore my scissor-attribute weapon should be safe to use." Or you might notice you're at an attribute disadvantage and change to your next weapon so no one will know what you're wielding. Then again, you might want to avoid making your scarf longer, refrain from switching, and attack as to avoid clashes. Out of battle and during customization, you might carry a lot of paper-attribute weapons into battle and focus on anyone carrying rock-attribute ones. The possibility space is quite expansive and hopefully has more depth than pure complication.
There are a few design issues I see with this game. How do I ensure players feel like they have meaningful choices with weapon attributes? Will weapon swapping feel more restrictive than strategic? Are the pros and cons of choices balanced (scarf length, large vs. small weapons, etc.)? How should different weapons function? Is the game just too complicated? Luckily the game has many separate layers that can be added and removed without affecting the others. I'll need to do a lot of playtetsing, but considering I'm not near many potential testers, I'll have to work off of theory for quite some time.