#1 Edited by D_W (1197 posts) -

Heylo everyone. 
After watching the SNES TNT, particularly the Tetris Battle Gaiden portion, I thought to myself, "You know what would be cool? A community made GB themed/inspired version of that game." After letting the idea gestate a bit I figured I would reveal it to the community and see if anyone is interested.
 
The idea is for the community together a make an awesome/absurd/silly/etc but fun and balanced game in flash/unity/game maker, any game making software. Which software would have to be determined by programers. When I say community, I mean community. Anyone who has any sort of ability can/should help out. Even if it is just providing feedback and testing. What we would need is at least one of the following a programmer, artist, and audio producer. Why no designer you ask? Well that's because everyone and their mother's pet turtle are designers, but few realize how absolutely tedious and demanding the job actually is. Now I'm a composer and sound designer(I really need to update those sites), so I would most like to do the sound effects and collaborate with the music while taking more of a coordinator role.  

I cannot stress this enough that this project would not be a money making venture at all. This project is something that will be done in the contributors' spare time and will probably take more than six months, perhaps way more, because of that. A project like this is a great way to start in game development. It would be pretty low stress and is something that could be put on a resume some day. The amount of experience isn't really relevant. I know we have our fair shard of talented musicians, artists, and programmers who are at all different levels and it would be great if many of them decide to help out.
 
OK! Now on to the meat. 
Why did I pick Tetris Battle Gaiden and not some other game that GB is known for? Well it's very simple. The game was never released outside of Japan, is pretty crazy, and is fairly simple. When I said inspired by GB what I mean is something that has characters based of GB characters and things popular in the community. NOT people. I don't like the idea of having versions Jeff, Ryan, Vinny, Brad, and Patrick as playable characters. They could appear in some subtle way (in backgrounds perhaps) but that's it. I was thinking more like having LuchaDeer, Cool Baby, Lincoln FORCE, an Endurance Run themed guy, a Terrible Pilot, Big Jeffery, maybe a Trackmania-like car. Things like that. I don't think we should be too ambitious with the amount of characters honestly. No more than 8 or 9. 4 is more realistic.
Like TBG, each character would have four spells of increasing power and players would only be able to use their strongest spell. I think the general rule: Level 1 would be a Utility(Clear your lines, rearrange them), Level 2 would be Defensive (blcok on coming spells/lines, destroy opponents magic), Level 3 would be Offensive(freeze opponents board, bombs, inversion), and Level 4 would be a mixture of offensive and defensive (Switch boards, steal all magic, etc). There would need to be a lot of balance testing of course. We might find that having offensive spells at level 2 is better. 
 
When it comes to thinks like art and music styles. That's a up in the air. I think there should be some sort of 16-bitness to the graphics in honor of the original and the music... Well there should be some amount of dubstep-esque music against my better judgement.  
 
EDIT: OH yeah! How could I forgot. This would need some sort of multiplayer. Certainly local, but also internet based. I know that flash and other languages can pull this off, but I don't know how difficult it would be. Single player should also be included, but to what extent will have to be discussed.
 
If people are interested then I'll write up some expanded ideas in a google doc and share it. I hope so because this could turn out to be a lot of fun!
 
EDIT the second: There is now a rough and very incomplete draft of the Dev Doc. You can read it here.

#2 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

And we wont get sued right....just making sure.

#3 Posted by bushpusherr (848 posts) -

I'd love to contribute, but it might be awhile before I can know enough to do anything meaningful. I have my bachelor's in computer science, but it's a general programming degree. In a few weeks time I will start my masters degree at DigiPen, and will be quickly learning more relevant information. Once I have some of that under my belt, I'd love to help. If I get to that point and this project is but a memory, perhaps we could resurrect it.

#4 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -
@Vinny_Says: It would be for free so the worst that could happen is a cease and desist order. However there seem to be quite the few non-licensed Tetris clones out there, so I don't see that happening. Hell on Kongregate alone there are over 2700 tetris themed games. The goal would be to make it different enough from the original so it's its own thing but still captures the spirit so to speak.
#5 Posted by mandude (2666 posts) -

Not sure what I could contribute at this stage (maybe art or music), but it'd be cool to see something like this pan out.

#6 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -
@bushpusherr: Absolutely. 
This a spare time sort of thing. It would not surprise me if it took over a year or even more than a couple of years (based on my experience with projects like this). Of course the idea is to start small an get a working prototype first. We could even decide to pull a capcom and release slight better versions every couple of months with increasingly long suffixes and prefixes. Tetris Battle Showdown. Ultra Tetris Battle Showdown, Ultra Tetris Battle Showdown Hyper ' Edition, and so on. 
A little off topic but! As some advice since you're going into a creative field, it's always a good idea to learn as much as you can outside of school while going to school when doing anything creative. So you may want to look into some basic game making software and mess around with it whenever you can. It will really help you in the long run.
#7 Posted by Chojin (109 posts) -

@D_W:

I have a licensed copy of Game Maker Studio and do pretty much everything but music and sound. Hard at work at my own ios game though. But if you do get this thing going and need help with something specific, I will of course help out. Checked out your stuff at freesound, (my main source for sounds) and really liked the menu interface stuff. Loved the 8 bit music as well. Think I might pm you a version of the game in a couple of months and see if you`re interested in doing some music:)

#8 Edited by D_W (1197 posts) -

Since there does seem to be interest in this, then I'll start writing up a design doc and post it here when the basic stuff is done. So maybe tomorrow sometime. 
 
@Chojin: Thanks. RIght now I'm a bit swamped with other composing projects but I'd still be glad to take a look. When it comes to freesounds I have about 300 sounds that have been waiting to get descriptions for about 3 or 4 months now. hah. Mostly more household stuff.

#9 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -

I spent a good chunk of time writing this up! I bring you the first rough draft of the development document. In handy google doc form. It is most likely riddled with spelling errors. 
 
Comments, feedback, ideas, suggestions, discussions! Goooooo! 
 
If you have ideas for characters. Post them.
Ideas for different builds for characters. Post them.
Ideas for different block states. Post them. 
Create some spells! Do it and post them. 
 
Side note. You have no idea how deep the Tetris rabbit hole is... Who know it could be so complex. Interesting stuff though.

#10 Posted by AlexW00d (6435 posts) -

I like the idea of the Pilot character, and you could have say, an accidental rocket barrage from a Black Shark (or whatever is realistic for the art style) that takes out some of your lines; a Mustang that crashes in to the opponents aisle and mixes stuff up; something aeronautical that blocks the next 5? lines that appear on your aisle from the opponent clearing; and then something special that does like, a combo of all three or whatever?

I have no actual skills for other things unfortunately, and I dunno what is realistic, but those are some ideas I thought of in a few seconds.

#11 Posted by FilipHolm (669 posts) -

This sounds like a cool idea.

If this game takes place in the middle east, this should be the main theme: http://soundcloud.com/filipholm/lawrence

... Just sayin..

#12 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I think it'd be cool if you flipped the Spells system on it's head, and made the offensive things be specific to who you're using a particular level against. So say you are playing as the Brads, and you go up against Samurai Dave. Casting your level 3 takes away his controls and gets him strafed by an aircraft (which could do something like destroy random blocks, similar to what Pumpkin Man's level 4 does in TBG.

I dunno, Tetris isn't really my area of expertise. lol.

#13 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -
@AlexW00d: I actually had a similar idea for the pilot character and updated the doc with a concept. 
 
@FilipHolm
That track is nifty. My hope is since there are a lot of musician here that we'll all colab and most stages will have music written by different people. 
 
@MordeaniisChaos
Interesting idea, but it's a bit to ambitious and would get really complected if there is more than 3 characters.
#14 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@D_W: Not more complex than if the spells were based on who used them. It wouldn't be specific to the mathup, jsut whoever it was used against. Maybe it could be a specific level, fro example, in TBG level 1 spells always help you clear lines/blocks, that sort of thing. One of the levels could be a "trigger" that makes the character they are fighting experience their backfire. Could help with balance issues when you go up against a character that is harder to play against another, you can use their backfire to help even the match a bit or something.

#15 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I have no meaningful skills to help with this (I'm a writer only I'm afraid), but I'm pretty sure the background of one of the stages has to be Jeff eating Ryan

#16 Edited by mandude (2666 posts) -

After reading the document (and this thread), it's obvious that I know absolutely nothing about Tetris. Anyway, would the music be done in the traditional 8 bit style, or will it use proper instruments?

#17 Posted by InfiniteStateMachine (215 posts) -

A GB community game certainly sounds fun. If I had more time right now I would commit. Good plan to not have a strict timeline. Community games where people work in their spare time naturally drag on.

If in the future it's still going I'd be happy to help (code, art, whatever needs to be done).

#18 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -
@mandude: The music would be video gamey. However the composers choose to make. There could be 8-bit elements but that's not essential. I think there would be a need to have one person do all the final mixes for each piece so that there is some coherency that way, but if the musician collaborate well enough that might not be necessary. 
 
@InfiniteStateMachine
Yes, putting any sort of restriction on time wouldn't be a good idea. Hopefully more people come out of the woodwork to help out.
#19 Posted by D_W (1197 posts) -

Hey I just wanted to let everyone know that this project is still going on. I've updated the dev doc a bit here and there. Right now I'm in Seattle but still haven't quite settled (don't have my own place, etc).

I was able to play some of Tetris Battle Gaiden and... I'm not sure if you know but that game is legitimately awesome. I was thinking about maybe doing some more in depth study of that game once everything is settled.

So yeah, If anyone has any ideas etc. Please feel free to post them.