Update: Alpha 0.2 released, see http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums...d.php?t=512251
The basic idea is very simple: instead of spider mines the ML fires canisters that contain various Invasion monster classes, and maybe some custom monsters as well (i.e. Satore pack, Zombies of Nightmare etc.).
New!08/06 It also fires ordinary spider mines, in case you simply wanna blow stuff up!
New! 08/06 The stronger a monster is, the more 'ammo' it costs. Say your starting ammo is 60, max ammo is 180 (60 per pickup), and the max number of active mines and/or darts (see below) is 6, then relatively weak monsters like pupae or flies would cost 10 ammo, and powerful ones like queens & stone titans (assuming you use the SMP addon) 120-180. This would of course have to be done carefully to get the balance just right.
New! 08/06 Monster types are selected by holding down Alt, and scrolling with the mouse wheel through a menu that appears on (say) the top left side of the screen. The classes are listed along with ammo costs, and could be color coded for additional convenience.
Primary fires a monster mine just like it would fire a spider mine. When someone approaches the mine, out pop the monsters (actually they could appear through little "portals", which kinda resemble a warp flash) and attack him. The monsters will also attack anyone else who gets near or shoots (at) them. This includes their "owner", and if he gets fragged he'll get an especially humiliating death message, and loses a point.
Alt fire controls the monsters with a laser beam like the original does. In this mode they won't attack you, so whenever one of your own mosters gets too close, just point him somewhere else with alt. Of course it may actually be someone else's monster, in which case it's ...TIME TO START RUNNING!! Or fragging. Whichever you prefer.
Alt fire, pressed down + prim fires small homing darts. These projectiles remain stuck in whatever body part they hit, and send out a signal that attracts monsters (how many depends on moster size) which are spawned the moment someone is darted. The monster(s) keeps attacking until either it or its/their target is killed. Needless to say, you can hit people multiple times (up to a tbd max), and have a bit of a laugh as they're chased around the map by a gaggle of assorted monsters, perhaps triggering monster mines in the process. The darts could be animated with a blinking/flashing sequence (different color for each monster class), and sonar-like sound effects could be added as a finishing touch of sorts.
When you die your monsters vanish -- or they could just keep roaming out of control, attacking both players and each other, unless someone quickly grabs their former "master's" weapon and thereby becomes their new "owner". He can then direct them around with the laser beam.
Obviously, there would have to be a limit to the number of active monsters, don't wanna crash anyone's PC after all... MMLs would simply refuse to fire when max is reached (when too many players are using them), and there would be a max amount of active mines per player (6?), which, when exceeded, would automatically remove the first mine / monster, then the second one etc., as happens with spider mines. Ideally this kind of stuff would be configurable via a menu.
For an added bloody & chaotic twist, you could have a mute that randomly makes the monsters explode when killed, the type of explosion being related to the monster's size/strength.
A lot of stock material could be used for this weapon, which should make the job significantly easier. Basically a weapon (ML?) would have to be (re-)skinned, monster canisters either custom modelled or some suitable existing object skinned, custom animated darts made, and everything coded together (hardest part). Needless to say, this could be a cooperative project if so desired / required.