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  Mechanic #021 - Pellet Quest
Posted: 05/29/07

An RPG built on the concept of PacMan, where each pellet is both experience points and money.



Pellet Quest is a simple idea that started off as a mental challenge to myself, to take an old school videogame concept and bring it into contemporary sensibilities - all without changing it into a completely different game. So, I decided to take PacMan and turn it into an RPG... but it's still PacMan (at least more so than PacLand or PacMan World ever were).

At the most basic level, you basically walk around mazes and "eat" pellets. The pellets are placed in every walkable tile, and the maps are designed such that there are never a bunch of empty tiles next to each other - you are always in a corridor of some sort. Your goal is to eat ALL the pellets and avoid any enemy which may cross your path.



This map took WAY too long to make...

Unlike your typical PacMan implementation, Pellet Quest is an RPG with a very large, persistent world. The idea is that you travel around and eat those pellets. Just like a typical exploration heavy game, there will be areas you need special abilities to get to, like the ability to swim to go in the water and reach that island.


There is no combat in the game. If you touch an enemy, you get hurt. However, there will be a wider variety of traps, enemies and behaviors to watch out for. For instance, a skeleton might just wander around aimlessly, while a spike trap will pop up at specific intervals. There could even be enemies which stand in one spot, looking around, and if they see you, they'll charge at you at top speed. The entire game is about timing and exploiting how the enemy works.


The purpose of the game is to get pellets, and pellets are both you experience points and you money. You can spend pellets to buy keys, items, and abilities from shops (since there is a static number of pellet, care must be taken to ensure that you can't buy the wrong stuff and not have enough pellet-money to progress... perhaps a use for Mechanic #004 - Environment Tree?).

The game also keeps track of how many pellets you've collected total, and certain areas of the game will be closed until you reach a certain count. For instance, the castle may require 10,150 pellets to enter. Once that number it hit, the draw bridge will go down and you can enter.



Dungeons are a special type of zone which are separate from the world map. Upon entering a dungeon, you are forced to get every pellet on each floor before the entrance to the next appears. As such, it is sort of like an arcade game with individual levels. At the end of a dungeon is a boss type event, and defeating that earns you a new ability. Like a Zelda game, there might be a dozen or so dungeons around the map of varying sizes and difficulties in addition to the already sizable world map.



Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.