Here’s the current idea for our prototype about arcades. You explore an arcade in first person. The games cost tokens to play, and reward you with even more tokens if you do well. Use the tokens you’ve earned to play more expensive games. It’ll be exciting playing the games because you’ve got tokens on the line. Eventually you become the King of the Arcade and save it from being turned into a condo or something.
We’re also hoping to let players design their own arcades, then host them online so that other players can visit. You’ll see people play games in real time, compete with them on the high score tables, etc.
We’d also like players to be able to create their own games and run their own arcade servers online. This will be done via a scripting language, similar to how it works in Garry’s Mod. We’d also be interested in letting users distribute their games via the workshop.
Layla has been learning Bolt and has already gotten our networking off to a running start. Currently we can join a server and watch other people playing games.
James has made us a C# API for creating NES-inspired games. It keeps things retro and lets us optimize the way frame data is serialized, so we can more effectively stream real-time gameplay to spectating players. It also lets us compile and package the games independently. In Approval, an older prototype that evolved into the Arcade, all the games existed in the same Unity project and it was getting messy. Here’s an example of how the API is used.
I ported over my game Mazing – here’s the original version if you want to play it.
Craig’s been helping us out with setting and world-building. Tweet him terrible names for fictional 80’s game publishers.
Rob’s made us some concept art.
Why We Want To Make This
We’ve got fond memories of being in arcades, trying to decide what to spend our limited tokens on, watching someone get to a stage we’ve never seen before, etc. Even in our early tests it already feels cool to play a game with people literally & virtually watching over your shoulder. And it’d be even cooler with VR support.
There’s also a a huge span of games that game developers generally don’t get to make… because they’re too small. This solves that problem and lets us work on any game we want – no matter how small its scale is.