My New Years resolution was to make at least one post a month. I guess I’m sticking to that, but it really wasn’t my plan to wait until the last day of the month to post it. I have a good excuse though, honest! I spent much of the month planning and organizing the St. Louis Game Jam, which went on over the weekend. Around 40 people from all over St. Louis got together and made some pretty great games in around 24 hours under the theme of extinction. I blogged the event over on the Jam’s site and I don’t want to restate it all, so when you’re done here click on over to stlgamejam.com and read what I wrote. It’s like 4 blogs in one!
The game my team made is called Lil’Bro vs. DinoStuff, and it’s a stylistic Score Attack game about a meteor that flies around quite literally slicing the stuffing out of the last remaining dinosaurs on earth. The dinosaurs are all stuffed animals, and when your sword collides with their bodies a burst of stuffing is emitted that shoots out in a random direction until it fades away.
This was a departure from my usual game design method. Usually I begin with a set of mechanics and systems that I want to validate the enjoyment of, but we began with the ridiculous premise and just ran with it, adding in as much cool stuff as we could think of. It’s a lot more style-over-substance than I’m used to, but I think the final game ended up being pretty fun. Premise-first development allowed us to find what works and iteratively design the game around that, rather than create complex gameplay interactions that might be too convoluted for their own good like I did in last year’s GameJam game.
The thing I’m probably most happy with was our team’s ability to evolve the game from a single enemy type, placed randomly, to three separate enemy types with scripted spawn times and positions in less than two hours. The amount of hackery involved in accomplishing this feat was legendary, and I’m much more confident in my ability to solve tough problems with creative solutions by myself now.
If you’ve got a Windows machine and you’d like to play a silly score attack game, please download Lil’Bro vs. DinoStuff. Post your feedback and scores below! Also check out our site’s other games. There’s some good stuff in there!