Since this summer, my good friend Pierre-Luc Poirier (Technobeanie) and I have been working on a game we'll call Slimeful, which is going to be awesome - but this is not the game I'll be talking about today - this is a spin-off we'll call Slimeful: Greedy Piggy Chase!
We decided to switch gears for about a month and contribute to the Mount Royal Game Society trimester game jam once again, this time with a simple multiplayer arena game. We're aiming for a fast paced, Pac Man-style party game that's all played on a large fantasy-themed map. Our buddy Ian Girard also joined the project, effectively doubling our programming army! Woot!
Up to 4 players will roll their slime around the map collecting coins. To add these coins to your score, you need to cash them in by catching the flying piggy bank(s) that's just floating about the world. Combat will consist of a simple dash move and one or two power-ups. The cool risk and reward mechanic is that getting hit makes you lose all coins you've collected but not put in the bank!
At first, the map looked pretty much exactly like a Pac-Man map. It felt wrong and lame, so I started drawing a different map...
The second mock-up is where I started thinking this was a pretty good idea - we could make a world filled with classic RPG zones like a cemetary, a castle, a forest and so on. I played around with the idea of one-way jumps too, but we quickly dismissed those.
I sent that mock-up and the design sketches (first pic) to Pierre-Luc and Ian, and they jumped on board! We were then off to a fantastic game-making adventure.
We then thought the strict grid-based movement was not necessary, so we opened up the map a little bit to have more freedom of movement. This is the first draft for a more complete map, with slow terrain (purple), dangerous terrain (red), and intermittent dangerous terrain (marked with an A) like a dragon breathing fire or something. I also started placing spawn points for coin clusters and power-ups. We're hoping to force player movement by cycling through spawn points at random during the game and by having the piggy bank fly above collision boxes.
I left for the New York Comic Con for a few days and came back to a good prototype of the game, with many of the main features integrated - controller support, 4 character movement, dash move, coins, timer, player selection screen, flying piggy... These guys did some great work there! :)
We realized the map was a little too dense, so I went and made a new one. I also added a bubble over each slime to show how many coins each slime has collected - that way players can hunt the richest!
And now we're here in the Neverpants studio, jamming our way through this game! I've started doing UI assets, I updated the map with even more breathing space and brought back the alternating damaging areas (orange). Ian and P-L have integrated a ton of new features - sword power-up, death and respawn, power-up spawn points, and so on. We got our first 4 player action on in a very early map while having pizza, and it's getting there! Yay!
We'll be posting more about Greedy Piggy Chase really soon as I develop the art for the map and start animating the slimes, coins and flying piggy.
Before we leave, here are a few sketchbook pages related to this game!