My Wario Land-inspired project in the works!

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#1
Ahoy, everybuddy! Thought this might be something of interest since many have voiced their hopes for a new Wario Land game. I have recently started plans and development for a game inspired by our favorite greedy treasure hunter/entrepreneur and his misadventures.

Do keep in mind that, as of this writing, the project is in its very early stages. So things might still be rough. However, this will basically be a development thread, so things will be added once more progress is made. Comments, feedback and even ideas are fully welcome! Without further ado...

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Title (Maybe tentative): Banzai! Mint & Toffee!

General plot: Two best friends obsessed with treasure hunting have stumbled upon some interesting talks on the internet! Apparently, a group of faroff islands hold many treasures as well as a very, very special one. What could it be? Banzai! Mint and Toffee set off for adventure!

Characters:
Mint (the player character)
  • 16 years old
  • Somewhat short
  • Sarcastic and passive; usually cool-headed
  • Hates heights
  • Loves baseball
Toffee
  • Mint's best friend and partner
  • 14 years old
  • Taller than Mint in spite of being younger
  • Cheerful, resourceful and bright; but can be rather mercurial
  • Hates coffee
  • Loves money
Gameplay Details: Every level is essentially one big treasure hunt. You control Mint as you collect coins (called doubloons) while also hunting for all the hidden treasure chests. How you find the treasure chests will vary by level, of course. Once you find all the treasures, you will head back to Toffee, who will appraise everything you've picked up.

Assorted Ideas to (Possibly) Implement:
  • Unlocking branching paths within levels?
  • Have a use for doubloons?
  • Needing adequate access to bosses in order to fight them?
  • Defeating bosses unlocks a few more levels on the current island?
  • Special treasures that serve a purpose in levels or the island map?
  • Ending depends on treasures you collect?
Scrapped Ideas (as well as why they were scrapped):
  • Two characters, Cinnamon and Red Velvet. The former was meant to be the game's main antagonist, but I really couldn't figure out how to properly place her within the story. She would have been more of a rival character, mostly getting in Mint's way and being an overall nuisance to the end. She was also going to have an army of goblins at her beck and call. But with her design, I felt people might try to relate her to Tron Bonne (doesn't help that I imagined Cinnamon being quite proficient with machinery). As for Velvet, she was a very old design, but up until now I haven't figured out what I want to do with her, if anything. I once considered her being a merchant.
  • Mechanic that would put Mint into a "greedy" state, increasing the value of doubloons you collected. Scrapped because I felt it to be pointless.

Ideas I'm Struggling With: Basically, what I've been going back and forth with is a mechanic for Mint herself. As in what she can do within levels to find treasures or overcome enemies. I'll list below what I've considered:
  • Mint having to lift and carry objects and enemies to throw them at other things.
  • Mint having a striking weapon similar to a sword or a bat. This would be combined with her stomping on an enemy to stun it then using said weapon to finish them off. Or hitting things in the environment to cause a reaction.
  • Mint using a robot helper, built by Toffee, for attacking or other tasks.
  • Mint using gadgets she obtains from Toffee to carry her through levels.
  • Mint being able to "collect". Think of it similar to the Villager's Pocket in Smash Bros. Mint will basically "pocket" an item (or an enemy) and place them in her "inventory". And when she needs to, she can chuck out whatever she has. Or, if she keeps them, they will be appraised by Toffee who'll make a comment about them.
In addition, I haven't completely thought of many good boss ideas yet. Well, except one about an effeminate octopus... Grrr:

List of Treasures (subject to change):
-Bottomless Chalice
-Dark Pearl Necklace
-Lavish Rug
-Golden Hercules
-Fairy Satchel
-Lullaby Box
-Mysterious Gear
-Crown of Greed
-Legendary Net
-Fang Jewel
-Ruby Apple
-Vintage Drink
-Mouse Pendulum
-Forgotten Painting
-Vanish Shroud
-Almost-Finished Puzzle Cube
-Ring of Eternal Love
-Porcelain Girl
-Dynasty Teapot
-Robe of Greed
-Invaluable Armor
-Intrepid Goggles
-Wishing Stick
-Fishbone Spear
-Astonishingly Ancient Parchment
-Hope Diamond
-Overdue Tome
-Songbird Ocarina
-Very-Comfy Cushion
-Cerulean Scale
-Super Tasty Potion
-Relic Mask
-Gauntlets of Greed
-Guardian Bust
-Miracle Medicine
-Skull of Greed
-Fanciful Cake
-Flamboyant Feather
-Unstoppable Shield
-Prehistoric Amber
-Loyal Boomerang
-Goddess' Fashionable Earrings
-Unknown Seedling

Mint_Sheet.png


Finally, here is some pixel art done for the game thus far, done by the very talented Angus Doolan.

And that is all for now! Do wish me luck with this project, you guys. VforVictory:
 
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CM30

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#2
Nice ideas! Definitely love the main protagonist sprites, the pirate esque look absolutely suits a game like this one and works really overall.

And while I've heard about more aspects of this game on Discord, the rest seems pretty good so far as well. So yeah, can't wait to see proper screenshots or videos of this one.
 
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#4
Thanks, guys! And don't be shy to add your own input on my ideas or suggest your own. Every bit of help counts and I will do my best to make this game awesome!
 

Koopaul

Yes. I'm that Koopaul.
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#5
You know it's funny, I always had an idea to make a Wario Land inspired game too. Except it starred a fat but burly dwarf with a big ol' hammer. Like most dwarves from Germanic mythology, this one loves mining jewels.

In the game you explore various interconnected mines with different biomes in search of jewels, treasure, and ore. Smash through rocks and enemies with your hammer, toss enemies around, solve puzzes, and beat up bosses for even bigger shiny rewards.

I would elaborate more but you have your own game to discuss.
 
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#7
This sounds very interesting.
But if you're going to have a game about two main characters, I feel like you should make them both playable.
Maybe make it so that you can switch between characters (either anytime, or only at specific points), and have each character have their own unique abilities.
It just kind of feels like wasted potential to have two main characters, but only one playable.

Coins deffinetly need a purpose.
One thing that we all loved about the Wario Land series is how coins served a purpose.
In 2 and 3, they were used to play minigames, optional in 2 and mandatory in 3.
In Shake It, they were used to buy new world maps, which means they were needed to progress to a new world.
Something like that could work really well.

I would also be great if at least some of the treasures served a purpose, like in Wario Land 3.
This could tie into your idea of unlocking branching paths, as well as powerups.

Also, good job giving each treasure a name. Please also give treasure a Shake It-esque description, so that browsing the treasure gallery becomes even more enjoyable.
 
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#8
I would elaborate more but you have your own game to discuss.
Color me interested though! If you don't mind, I would love to hear more.

But if you're going to have a game about two main characters, I feel like you should make them both playable.
Maybe make it so that you can switch between characters (either anytime, or only at specific points), and have each character have their own unique abilities. It just kind of feels like wasted potential to have two main characters, but only one playable.
You do have a point. I never really considered it. I mostly envisioned Toffee as the Roll Caskett or Otacon of the duo, hanging in the back, doing more of the technical stuff.

Coins deffinetly need a purpose.
One thing that we all loved about the Wario Land series is how coins served a purpose.
In 2 and 3, they were used to play minigames, optional in 2 and mandatory in 3.
In Shake It, they were used to buy new world maps, which means they were needed to progress to a new world.
Something like that could work really well.
Point taken. For the moment, I just can't think of anything solid. In the very early draft of this idea, I considered coins being something like the beads in Kirby's Epic Yarn, where you get a better score at the end for collecting them all.

I would also be great if at least some of the treasures served a purpose, like in Wario Land 3.
This could tie into your idea of unlocking branching paths, as well as powerups.
Yes! I definitely wanna see if I can do something like this.

Also, good job giving each treasure a name. Please also give treasure a Shake It-esque description, so that browsing the treasure gallery becomes even more enjoyable.
I plan to do just that! They could be written in Toffee's viewpoint, since she's the appraiser. So we'd get something like this:

Fanciful Cake- "A gorgeous slice of cake that almost looks too good to eat. Actually, don't eat it Mint. Seriously. It's pretty old."
 

Locomotive Mania

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#9
Coins deffinetly need a purpose.
Yeah, I echo this. Collecting coins is pretty fun in its own right but there has to be a point, the player is probably going to stop trying to get every last coin at some point if they aren't rewarded or encouraged to do so. You could do something really neat with the idea that affects the gameplay, like the number of coins you possess increases your power, or changes something about the way the character controls, etc. That could add a lot to the usual platformer gameplay, rather than just a typical shop to exchange coins for items/upgrades. Just try to think outside the box and work it into your vision for the game.
 

Fanbot

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#10
I see great potential in this game. Can't wait to see more.

Some things i was thinking about:

Based on the sprite we've seen I would say that it fits into a agile puzzle-platformer.
Something with easy to learn controls and emphasis on level and enemy design.
Lifting and throwing stuff and pulling lever might be sufficent. It should be more about how you do it instead of what you do.
Enemies have secondary functions like floating on water (as platform) or explode to destroy obstacles after being thrown.
Obviously your character has to lack some abilities for this to work, like not being able to jump out of water, can't climb ladders and lower jumps while holding items ( small enemies, keys, etc.)

Since you plan to have multiple islands I should ask if the player is able to select the island he wants to start in.
If he can than the player is able to access the final island from the beginning.
In that case It needs a mechanic to lock it up. I see two possible solutions:
1.) Collects specific treasures (all boss treasures or all treasures in general). But it forces to play everything which might be discouraging with lacking experience so they don't finish the game (which wound be sad). Probably better suited for something like a perfect ending.
2.) Collect a specific amount of money. In that case the levels should have a maximal amount of coins that can be aquired (like a collectathon).
I makes it impossible to grind the money and promotes exploration if there's a way to see the total amount of coins in each level.
Interesting would also be the option to turn the treasures into money. Want a faster access to the endboss (for speedruns) or collect all treasures for the perfect ending. It also gives coins a function as key to the end of the game.

About playable character:
Only Mint should be playable. I think that would be the best for multiple reasons:
1.) I assume it's your first game (sorry if it's wrong), so implementing two playable character is probably a bit much to ask for. (Unless it's just a different sprite, but even than might be difficult since Toffee is taller than Mint)
2.) Having support character for some fun interactions (for example during the apraisal of treasure) to build character is always nice.
3.) Someone has to make sure nobody takes your hard-earned money while you're away.

*I'd add some more but I have to go for a while.*
 
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#11
Thanks a lot, Fanbot! These are great! I was also thinking of the puzzle-platformer route with this idea.

Since you plan to have multiple islands I should ask if the player is able to select the island he wants to start in.
Being able to select the islands wasn't something I had in mind, no. But I'll definitely be taking the rest of your ideas into consideration. Thanks, guys! Really appreciated!
 

Koopaul

Yes. I'm that Koopaul.
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#12
Color me interested though! If you don't mind, I would love to hear more.
Well the game is about Orek Slamhammer who just inherited a bunch of land from his grandfather. The land is covered in ruins and mines filled with jewels, ore, and lost treasure. There is one problem. Over the years monsters have made a home in this land. Now Slamhammer, and his lust for riches, must take back this land that is rightfully his.

The game plays similarly to Wario Land 3. Slamhammer is invincible but loses money when hurt. There are a lot of obstacles and puzzles he can't get through without the right equipment which he will find throughout the game. (Better hammer, better gloves, better boots)

Unlike Wario Land 3 the levels aren't selected via a map screen. Instead the entire game is interconnected like a Metroid game. Most of the various areas in the game can be accessed through the underground mine that connects everything.

The basic controls are similar to what you'd expect from Wario Land (ground pounding and slamming into enemies) but invlove using your hammer instead of your shoulder or butt. There are no transformations in this game instead you you get helmets that work like the hats from Wario Land 1. The helmets are based on the Norse gods and give you powers based on them.

There are tons of treasures to discover in the game, some that are hidden, some that require puzzle solving, and some that require you to beat a boss.
 

Fanbot

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#13
Being able to select the islands wasn't something I had in mind, no.
So it's more of an linear experience. I'd liked to see a more WL4-like approach to progression, but that doesn't mean your way is worse.

But the question now is: Does this mean you can't return to previous islands (since you can't select them)?
> If yes: Is this for story reasons? (like WL2) -> like branching paths within levels?
What happens if you miss a treasure? (Is collecting the treasure the purpose of a level? Like in WL3)
> If no: Does every island build on the mechanics of previous islands or increases in difficulty?
Or does only the aesthetics change (like WL1)?

Will there be a treasury? I really liked how WL1 displayed all the treasures you earned.

Do the coins float in the air? I really like those. They are kind of mesmerizing.

Do chests only contain treasures?

How combat-centric is the game? A game like Mario vs. Donkey Kong does a great job with almost none combat.

What games are the inspiration for your game?
 
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#14
An epic idea, Koopaul! :cool: Here's hoping you come around to making it a reality!

So it's more of an linear experience. I'd liked to see a more WL4-like approach to progression, but that doesn't mean your way is worse.
I could do something like that anyway...

But the question now is: Does this mean you can't return to previous islands (since you can't select them)?
I don't see a reason why you wouldn't be able to.

Will there be a treasury? I really liked how WL1 displayed all the treasures you earned.
That could be arranged.

Do the coins float in the air? I really like those. They are kind of mesmerizing.
I had that considered, yes, haha. But not every coin will be out in the open.

Do chests only contain treasures?
Hm. I had a very old idea that there were certain chests that contained only coins. But you would be able to tell the difference between them and the ones with treasure.

How combat-centric is the game? A game like Mario vs. Donkey Kong does a great job with almost none combat.
Well....at this point, I can't say. I'm not really planning anything combat heavy, but I do want to have boss battles.

What games are the inspiration for your game?
Wario Land 3 as well as the portable Klonoa games (namely Empire of Dreams).
 
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#15
To add, I had a possible idea while at work. That Mint is able to increase her "treasure hunting level". And this is done by collecting doubloons (the coins). So the coins are essentially EXP. Points in this case. Once you hit a certain level, Mint will be able to sniff out hidden treasures on the island map itself.

What do you guys think?
 

Fanbot

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#16
To add, I had a possible idea while at work. That Mint is able to increase her "treasure hunting level". And this is done by collecting doubloons (the coins). So the coins are essentially EXP. Points in this case. Once you hit a certain level, Mint will be able to sniff out hidden treasures on the island map itself.

What do you guys think?
If you plan to have treasures to collect, then the ability to locate the ones you missed is mandatory IMO.
But collecting money to gain powers is hard to believe.

Mint could have something like a treasure tracking device and it's part of the ship (I assume you have a ship since you travel between islands). It's part of the captain cabin with a telescope visible from outside or something. Anything that's really big that can't be carried around. Now it can function like a level select ("hey look there is something!"). It also gives information about the amount of coins in the level (I'm talking about floaty coins) and if there's a treasure.
(It's really high-tech. Don't question it.)

Now there are multiple options:
- That's all the information the player gets. There is something? -> go and get it!
(wherever it might be, maybe even without saying how many coins there are and if there is a treasure in the level)
- The player UI (that probably exists) gets an upgrade and shows the amount of coins already collected and if the treasure has been found.
- Like the previous one, but upgraded with an indicator to show if there's something hidden ("Hey! You missed something D:")

You might think: "Man, that can also be used to select the difficulty if I start a new game", then you are totally right.
You might also think: "That sounds like a lot of work", then you are probably also right.
I'm not sorry.
(Also: Don't make them choose between easy, normal and hard. Call it something clever like normal, hard and super hard.)
 
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#17
If you plan to have treasures to collect, then the ability to locate the ones you missed is mandatory IMO.
But collecting money to gain powers is hard to believe.
Well, it's not so much "gaining powers". It's more so Mint having a sense for more treasure the more she collects.

Mint could have something like a treasure tracking device and it's part of the ship (I assume you have a ship since you travel between islands). It's part of the captain cabin with a telescope visible from outside or something. Anything that's really big that can't be carried around. Now it can function like a level select ("hey look there is something!"). It also gives information about the amount of coins in the level (I'm talking about floaty coins) and if there's a treasure.
(It's really high-tech. Don't question it.)
I did consider something like that, courtesy of Toffee. But your overall idea is awesome too.

You might think: "Man, that can also be used to select the difficulty if I start a new game", then you are totally right.
Could you possibly elaborate on this last part?
 

Fanbot

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#18
Could you possibly elaborate on this last part?
I refer to the function of the treasure tracker. Since we can define how many it has, we can change it depending on the player's choice.
Want to have all informations about everything at every moment (including hint) or only the general "there is something" to allow them to find everything themself?

Now that I think about it: The player should be asked if he wants to use these features (or some of it) at the beginning of the game and the option to change it later should he desires so. (Sounds better than choosing the difficulty once and being stuck with it.)
Like give Mint and Toffee the ship with a manual for the tracker inside and the question is now: "Want to use it?".

It's good.
 
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#19
I refer to the function of the treasure tracker. Since we can define how many it has, we can change it depending on the player's choice.
Wouldn't it be better to just have the tracker on? Frankly, I would probably have it so that the player knows how many treasures they will have to find in each level anyway. You've played "Klonoa: Empire of Dreams", so I'll make this comparison: it's basically like finding all of the Moon Stones (the stars) to pass a level.
 

Fanbot

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#20
Having the tracker activated all the time would probably the best by keeping things simple.

About multiple treasures in each level:
I'm not a big fan of the idea. Treasures are losing their flavour the more there are.
If you want something to collect to pass a level, then Moon Stones have the same purpose.
(You don't have to use all of your treasure in only one game (Quality over quantity). But that's just my opinion)
 
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