I really dug(ha ha) this. The body part swap out stuff is cool and the spelunky influences work great. Cool intro too. One criticism would be that movement was a bit floaty but otherwise this was sweet. I like the weird winged bear thing.
Frankenstein's Monster's Monster
A downloadable game for Windows
Some Background: Design/Process
I'd been sitting on a game idea where you assemble your character over the course of a play session using body parts that you find, all of which have some stats/abilities for a while (like, 5 years). Corpse Fueled Rocket was a good fit, so we decided to do it for Wizard Jam 5. When we set out, I knew that for that core mechanic to be interesting, it would have to be procedurally generated to some extent, but I had no idea what the moment-to-moment gameplay would be like, or what the game's overall structure would be for that matter.
Never having done any procgen before, I started by looking at the excellent Spelunky level generator tool that Darius Kazemi made. I stared at it for hours, for days. I think I fell in love with Spelunky's level gen algorithm--there's so many things about it that are so, so smart. After I got a very basic copy of Spelunky's level gen propped up, I realized that since we needed to be collecting body parts, digging was a good primary verb. We made it so you could punch blocks and destroy them and I had fun playing the game for the first time, running around and smashing holes in the level. This led me to a level shape that was tall and narrow, and to room layouts that were more positive space than negative space (Spelunky is mostly negative space), where that space is filled by a set of blocks with a variety of properties. The block types allowed me to make room layouts that force players to do some route-planning as they moved down to the exit door at the bottom. Coupling this with high-risk and high-loot rooms off the crit path (which is generally safer but less lucrative), just moving through the levels started to be fairly compelling.
At this point, we were consistently generating 'good' levels, but I remembered that even though the thing I set out to learn on the project was procedural level generation, the core of the game was the body part switching. And in order for the combinatorics of that mechanic to work, we needed a non-trivial number of body parts (we had 1 at that point). We originally specced out about 60 body parts, but that proved a little overzealous (surprise!). We managed to implement 30ish by the end of the jam, which I think is enough to prove out the whole Frankenstein/Mr. Potato Head thing (but a 'real' version of this game would need way more). A lot of the body parts that we were able to complete are fairly simple stat changes--I was hoping to have more that modify the play space and force you to improvise.
I also wanted to have more body parts with active abilities, since I am apparently fascinated by the idea of mapping a controller's shoulder buttons onto left/right top/bottom actions on your avatar (I've also made a driving game that has individually articulated jump-jacks in the four corners of your car, like in the movie Speed Racer). There's some weirdness with scaling the avatar by -1 on the X axis that makes it hard to know which side you have an arm or leg equipped to (but hopefully the pause menu paper doll helps with that), but outside of that, the few active-ability body parts that we made successfully bolstered my belief that this sort of literal spatial mapping of controller buttons onto player avatar abilities is cool. Whoops.
Anyways, spending all that time on level design/procgen and implementing body parts meant that the platforming and combat stuff didn't get a lot of attention (enemies got added on the last day). The game feels like junk! Sorry! Hoping to return to it and tighten that stuff up (I'm really happy with the rest of the prototype).
Thanks for checking it out--hope you enjoy it! Feedback welcomed, of course :D
Oh, one last thing, for those wondering: you need 61 rocket fuel to win (which is the episode number for Corpse Fueled Rocket because I'm a big dork).
The UI only shows controller input, but keyboard is supported.
Left Analog - Move / Aim Attacks
Right Analog - Pan Camera
A - Jump
B - Dig/Attack
X - Interact
Y - Use Head
RB / LB - Use Right/Left arms
RT / LT - Use Right/Left Legs
Start - Pause
WASD - Move / Aim Attacks
Arrow Keys - Pan Camera
Space - Jump
Ctrl - Dig/Attack
Shift - Interact
Numpad 8 - Use Head
Numpad 6/4 - Use Right/Left Arms
Numpad 3/1 - Use Right/Left Legs
Numpad 5 - Dig/Attack
Numpad 2 - Interact
Esc - Pause