Save the Universe

Yesterday was Klik of the Month day! I ended up making a game called SAVE THE UNIVERSE.

This was my second KOTM. Already I can’t wait for the third – I found myself looking forward to this one all week. Klik and Play, for all it’s flaws, is just so much fun to work with! It’s simple and logical and so very obvious to make it do what you want, even if there are many things it can’t really do well. If I had the time, I’d love to make a prototyping tool of my own in the spirit of klik and play. Something with a nice limited scope that has the same simplicity as KNP but for a more modern system and without all the weird bugs…

This month’s KOTM had an unusually high turnout from what I can tell – You can check out all the games here. (I particularly liked “oh shit pac man is hungry”). Dessgeega keeps monthly roundups of her favourites – here’s this months.

Anyway, about Save the Universe. Can’t say I’m all that happy about how it’s turned out. I really want to make another shooter that explores the idea of enemy bullets not necessarily hurting you, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to prototype one of the ideas I’d been considering: you can choose to either shoot or protect yourself. While protecting yourself you reflect enemy bullets which turn back and deal damage. Some enemies can only be hurt this way – some enemies reflect bullets back at you, and so on. This is kept in check with a limit on how you use your shield which I’m not sure about yet.

I had most of this in place, but it became pretty obvious about 20 minutes before the deadline that it wasn’t going to work. It had this whole rub your belly and pat your head problem where you didn’t know whether to shoot or protect and kept mixing them up. And it just wasn’t any fun to do.

So, I attempted to salvage the game by changing the rules a bit – now you’re always shooting and protecting, and all you need to do is avoid one type of bullet. Reflecting other bullets is a big help for dealing with other enemies. This works better, but it’s still problematic, as the prototype I finished demonstrates, I guess.

I haven’t struck the right take on this idea yet. I do know that simple tests with nothing to do except rebound a load of bullets are quite a lot of fun to play even when there’s no challenge to it. There is something here, with this mechanic. I’m sure of it.

* 3 Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. increpatio on January 19th, 2009

    damn; I didn’t realize that mechanic at all, at the time.

    I’ll have to check it out again 🙂

  2. Anonymous on January 29th, 2009

    I can’t download this. Did it break?

  3. Terry on January 29th, 2009

    Feck, it’s a broken link 🙁

    Try again now!

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