Last week Manu was sick, so Krishna and me decided to have our very own little Game Jam. Both of us would work on our own games on Game Maker that were infinite, could playable on smartphones, were one hit kill and about finding oneself. You Who was my attempt at that. It is fairly crude. The level generation logic is random and needs a lot of work. I don’t think I am pursuing it any further at the moment.
You must escape the darkness. If you collect yourself you get some bullets to push the darkness back. If you bump into others you will shrink and eventually succumb to the darkness as well.
Move the mouse around to move around and left click to shoot when you have bullets.
Sometime back when I was in a Night Club and totally out of my comfort zone, I got an idea for a game. I can’t dance to save my life and I took this concept literally. Imagine you had to play a sniper whose job is to kill the guys in the Night Club who can’t dance. This was the seed of the idea for Night Club Sniper.
Around that time, Yorrick Mendes decided to join forces with Yellow Monkey. I pitched the idea to him as a warm up project/prototype and he liked it. We began prototyping it on Unity. We got some cool free “Clubby” tracks from royalty free music sites and we setup a basic prototype. Inside a night club you could see from a first person view, a bunch of dudes dancing. Each song would be broken up into “sections”. Each section would have a set number of legal steps and exactly one dude would be completely off timing with his dance. The key difference between this game and a Whack-a-Mole is that here everyone would be doing a different legal move. You would also have a bunch of laser lights which would look exactly like a sniper rifle laser guide (which was your only weapon). The player has to shoot the guy who was off timing, If you shoot correctly a new person would take his place and someone else would do the incorrect move. This would enable you to get combos. We started off this test with an animated cube that Krishna worked on.
We liked the result but were not sure if it tested the skill-set of spotting off timing dances with humans. We decided we needed human dance animations, and since we didn’t have any animators who had enough time to do this, we went the Kinect way. We setup a poor mans mo-cap rig using a Kinect and all of us and some of our friends choreographed and danced (kudos Kapil Samant) to various sections to populate our dance step library.
After battling lag and quite a few rejected animations we had what we needed.
NCS Prototype (you will need the Unity Web Player Plugin to play, we suggest full screen play!)
We playtested that prototype and realized that we needed very tight animations, something which was difficult to achieve with Kinect mo-capping. We also needed a huge library of unique dance steps (upwards of 100 unique steps a song on an average) and while the core gameplay was challenging and interesting, we weren’t sure if it was strong enough to carry the game by itself and justify the high content requirements. Finally we have decided to shelf this project for the time being as we are not sure after all this effort if it will be worthwhile, but it was an interesting project to try out and we had fun. On the bright side, the shelving discussion also spawned the idea for our next prototype which all of us are really excited about! :D
PS: We spent close to 3 weeks perfecting the laser projections to give this crazy BIT.TRIPesque confusion and the link had a build without lights. Great! Anyway we fixed it now. Enjoy!
11th November, up at 4:30 a.m. to reach Dadar station to catch a bus to Pune for the Nasscom GDC. Just the night before night Krishna and me realized that we would infact have the time and could actually attend the NGDC. At first we thought it’s too last minute but by midnight we decided, lets go for it. So, groggily we met up at 5am outside the station and got on a Shivneri after a 4 hour journey spent in a half asleep state, we reached Pune and head right to the venue, Taj Vivanta and “freshened up” there. EXCEPT! that was NOT the venue! After speaking to a couple of friends we realized that the venue was Hyatt Regency (I still can’t recollect why we were so convinced that the venue was Taj). Feeling like a bunch of idiots we head towards Hyatt and spent 2 days attending sessions and meeting lots of interesting people.
There were some really good sessions this year. I particularly enjoyed Rajat Ojha’s Post Mortem of their upcoming game SNS. It was a simple talk of What they did, How they did it and what did or did not work for them. I wish them luck for the launch and with their new games. Jason Bay’s session on freemium games also had some great insight into the hottest business model in the games indsutry today. Then there were the fellow Indies, Yadu, Kinshuk, Shubhank, Apoorav and the whole bunch. They were lively and passionate with good ideas for the way forward for Indies and game development in general in India (like the BYOG). My personal favorite moments, however, were the heated discussions between Vijay and Yiannis. :)
The NGDC ended quite well with a great meeting with Ian Livingstone. I demoed our upcoming game to him and he seemed to think it had potential (YAY!!!) As you can see, it was very Heart Warming. :)
OMG. A poorly coded flash game. You don’t get to see to many of those ever since flixel/FlashPunk has been around. However after much persistence and few days of bonded labor I have finally come up with a deliverable. It may not be the best versus game you ever played , but I’m pretty sure you guys enjoyed button mashing on your clicky sounding keyboard. OH and please refresh the page if you want to play again, my retry() function asked me to retry writing the code. Please do report in your volcanic adventures.
Music Credits: Brad Sucks – Dirtbag (Blackberry’s Dirtbeat Remix) on CCMixer