Where’s the Fun?

The reason I’m so excited to be working on this game again is because when I first was working on it, I put in a ton of work, but I enjoyed the game. But then when I kept working on it I started to enjoy it less and less. I eventually shelved it, but when I came back to it again recently I realized that it’s actually pretty fun.

Having now added the burn spots I can say that, while there are no sounds or good graphics or levels or story or any of that good stuff, from a purely mechanical standpoint, the game is actually good. Very imperfect, but good.

The entire game gets boiled down into a series of quick decisions the player must make in order to succeed. The player wants health, but want to avoid the enemies (or damage dealers to be more accurate).

Take this frame as an example. Here, all the player has to do is knife through the blue bolts, since the hunters are away (one is off screen, that happens if they charge near the edges), and the burn spots are nowhere near the health packs.

Sept 15, 2014 GamePlay2

Easy decision to go directly for the health packs.

In this situation though the player finds a lot of traffic downwards, and so is forced upwards by the bolts and the burn spots, as well as the lone hunter. He must take care to avoid the leftmost hunter though, and still won’t be able to make a straight shot at the health packs, but has to play it by ear.

Sept 15, 2014 GamePlay3

Downwards is very crowded and risky. Trapped in a corner, he must carefully move left and react.

Here the player is trapped in a corner again. We see that down and right are both crowded. His best bet is to get close to the hunters and entice them to charge, make them miss, and then knife through the bolts beneath him. Hard to do though, with a freshly spawned burn spot between him and the hunters. In other words, fun.

Sept 15, 2014 GamePlay1

Caught in a tight spot, health at an okay 69. No need to be desperate, but it will take some skill to come out of here without taking damage.

It’s a real shame that I have to pay for the video version of wordpress, since the game is hard to convey in static pictures, and really shines on video. Still, the game tasks the user with quick pattern recognition and asks for effective utilization of basic tactics. Pretty much what I’ve been preaching as good game design for a long time now (to whomever is so unfortunate as to be near me).

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