Tag: game

Brother Monkey World Warrior: GAME PITCH!

I MADE A GAME!

IBrotherMonkeyteaser‘m going to take a moment or two to let that actually sink it. I made a game (well the firstish level) I have big plans, and three kids with large expectations, so it’s a good thing I have  a few week’s off school work so I can work on it!

The aim of the game is to teach 5 to 10-year-olds about biodiversity and sustainability through the use of an interactive game and narrative play.


Brother Monkey World Warrior Game Trailer

My children were excited to be the test drivers of the beta version of my game and are already nagging me for more levels and gameplay. All three of my kids have amazing imaginations, so I have to admit to borrowing from some of their ideas for upcoming levels.

Play Brother Monkey World Warrior

Below is the beta version of level one. Please feel free to play it and offer any feedback in the comments section. If you would prefer to play this in your browser you can go directly to brothermonkeyworldwarrior.azurewebsites.net. Currently you can only play this game on a computer with a keyboard, but I am working on it being mobile responsive too.

Brother Monkey World Warrior Game: Game Logic

Game Logic

planning planning2
The first step after designing my game character and story was to start putting together ideas about how my game would shape.

The main idea behind my game is to teach children aged between 5 and 10 about biodiversity and sustainability. The main mechanics of Brother Monkey World Warrior (BMWW) is for Brother Monkey to initially score points by collecting recycling.  It’s not as simple as just picking up the rubbish,  the children have to actually do something with it. So they will have to collect 5 pieces of rubbish and take it to the recycling bin to collect their points.

To start off with, in the easy levels Brother Monkey will loose health points if he bumps into toxic waste, however as the game progresses there is an opportunity for health points to be subtracted via other means. During the early levels, Brother Monkey has to deal with his home being destroyed by men on diggers who are knocking down trees to make way for their own greedy needs. Brother Monkey will need to figure out a way to stop the digger from progressing so he can go on a mission to save his home, and inevitably save the world.

 

Character Features

BrotherMonkeyJump BrotherMonkeyRest BrotherMonkeyWalk1

In game time Brother Monkey will be able to double jump and walk left and right. He is able to hold on to 5 pieces of recycling on his travels.

Brother Monkey will be able to interact with other characters to find out information that will help him on his quest.


Game Mechanics 

mechanics1 mechanics2 mechanics3
I use my notebooks a lot to work stuff out so thought I’d include this here.  The first page lays out the logic for the Start page. On this page, I’ll have a static image of Brother Monkey in his forest home. There will be a button to toggle the sound on and off, a how to play button and a start button.

I made a comprehensive list of all the assets I will ned to create the game. Making sure that I spend the time to ensure I have all the components I need will save time during development.

The mechanics: 

  • Score points = Collect recycling
    Brother Monkey can only collect *% recycling before he must find a recycling bin. On collision with Recycling bin recycling count gets reset and 1 point goes to the global score.
  • Stay alive = Brother Monkey will lose 1 life on collision with Toxic waste. In the easy levels toxic waste will be static. As levels progress toxic waste will become trickier to avoid, rolling along branches and along the ground.
    To regain lives Brother Monkey will collect bananas, to a minimum of 5 health points.
    If Brother Monkey’s health reaches 0 the game will reset and all points will be lost. (During the holidays I will work on making game progress saveable and have Facebook integration)

The above are the main componants.

Level One:

Level one will be a walk through to get the children used to handeling the game character. The children will learn how to move Brother Monkey, score points and avoid loosing health.

When the child feels they are are ready to start game they can click on a button that starts live game play.

Level Two: 

I am still working on level two, the digger will be coming and knocking down trees. I am working on coming up with a solution to how Brother Monkey can stop the digger from knocking down trees.

 

 

Game Review: The Scruffs Online

The Scruffs Online   The Scruffs Online

About this game: The scuffs online is a simple 2d platform type game where the aim of the game is to find objects hidden in a what seems to be the front yard of  a hoarder. I don’t have a hugely massive attention span when it comes to playing games but I found myself easily drawn into the simple mechanics of just simply finding an object.

First impressions: I really enjoyed the graphics of this game and I found the characters oddly charming. The way the introduction was animated put me in the mind of Warner Brother’s Limited Animation technique, where the main bodies of the characters stayed still and only the mouths moved.

What I really liked. I liked the fact that this game is a based on a word search type activity, but having a timer and having the timer speed up if you get click happy adds a certain amount of risk. I liked the way you could get help from the dog, who would bark faster if you get closer to the object you have to find, but I soon ran out of dog treats to feed him. I’m not one of the world’s most observant people so I found even the initial levels quite challenging, which kept me more entertained than many people might find it.

What annoyed me. As I previously stated, I’m not very observant, and with the clock ticking down, and my random desperate clicking speeding the timer up I soon ran out of time and to start the level again. I am not a huge fan of having to go right back to the beginning in a game so I soon got despondent with it and gave up.

Game Play. The game leads you into the story quite well, with voice actors telling you the background and prepping you for game play. Game hints pop  up on the screen when it’s evident you need them. The game only uses the mouse as the interactivity, so it’s reliant on you searching the screen to find the object you are looking for.

The nitty gritty. I found this game quite enjoyable and would most likely play it again. I am not sure what value at the paid version would add, this is something I’d only consider if I was totally immersed in the play, which at this point I don’t see happening.

scruffs5 scruffs6 scruffs7

You can try your hand at this game yourself on 2Dplay.com.

 

Game Review: Spider Monkey

spidermonkey-intro1 spidermonkey-intro2 spidermonkey-intro3
Spider Monkey, round up. This game is a quick easy enjoyable came with super simple game controls. The graphics aren’t overly complicated but it all works well together. The objective is to rescue the tied up monkeys, get rid of the bad monkeys and earn points while you do it. To make the spider monkey jump you just use your left mouse button to click where you want him to go. At first, I thought that might be overly simplistic and easy, but I was soon found  there was more complex than I first assumed.

What I really liked. I liked the easy interactivity between the mouse and the character, the way the little monkey swung around made me smile. I liked the way the screen shook when the monkey fell off the trees and ‘dies’. It’s a great visual reminder that your character has taken a fall. I like the gratification of points and the checkpoints. I liked the way the game introduced you to the story, using a comic book style images to explain the back story.

spidermonkey-story1 spidermonkey-story2
What annoyed me. I found the double swing quite hard to master, so fell and died quite  a few times before I got the hang of it.

Game Play. The easy gameplay might make you think this game would be easy to clock, but my usual ineptness with games means that there is enough in the simple 2d game to keep me entertained for some a little while.

You can play this game for yourself for free in your browser at 2d Play.

Race to the End Board Game: Sheep Mania

Sheep Mania
The brief: To create a Race-to-the-end board game inspired by today’s newspaper. Tips: A game is fun, it’s a form of play, invite overall rules, goals, and formats. Capture the players interest with an attractive goal. Teach the rules in a seamless way, give feedback during play. What distinguishes this game from any other game or toy? Be creative – don’t limit yourself to games you have seen. It can be carried and expressive as songs, movies, or stories. 

News Article: The first thing we did was check out the Stuff app to see what the new had to offer us in terms of inspiration. I was not disappointed when I viewed the following article, Stoned sheep ate cannabis and went on ‘psychotic rampage’ in Wales! Priceless!

Discussing the rules: I and my fellowTteam Kittikat had an in-depth conversation about what types of games we could create that involved stoned  sheep. To be fair, we decided to leave the marijuana out of it and just go with herding your sheep to market. To add an interesting dimension to our game we added a fifth character to our four players, a Wolf, to chase our sheep.


Sheep Mania - prototype one13346534_10154219362229282_7096864220981350014_nworking out the rules

We gave our shepherds two die to play for their sheep and a third die for the wolf. A player would throw three dice, two matching dice are the moves for your sheep, the third die is moved for the wolf. The Player, or Shepherd as we call the player will move their sheep in any combination in an anti-clockwise direction until their moves run out, then they can move the wolf in any direction, if the wolf lands on a sheep the wolf takes it back to it’s ‘Wolf Cave’ and then that sheep is stuck there until the shepherd rolls a six on one of their dice. If a sheep lands on a blue active square the Shepherd will pick up a card. The Activity card will have an activity that the shepherd will have to perform. If they Shepherd performs the activity they will be rewarded, if they decide not to do the active they will have to do the forfeit.The main aim of the game is to get all four sheep to market, you can strategically prevent your opponents from also getting to market if you use the Wolf in a manner that puts their sheep in the wolf cave.

The Results: Stay tuned for those, because we haven’t yet tested our offical prototype out in class yet! Once we have done that at school, I’ll bring it home and test it out on the brat Pack!

Game Research: Battleship ahoy

star-wars-gaactic-battleBattleship, or as  I have since learned the proper name, “Salvo” is the pen-and-pencil game also known as Battleships which the classic board game Battleship is based on.

The Rules. Quite honestly I have probably only played this game a handful of times, and it would have been on one of those ‘old school’ (because I really am that old) plastic board games with my cousin, because of the 50 odd games we had at home Battleship didn’t happen to be one of them. The one my cousin had wasn’t Starwars themed, but now I have seen this I really want one!

After doing a google I stumbled across a blog which listed how to play Salvo and where to download the paperboard from. So big thanks to Boardgames.about.com, in particular, Erik Arneson who posted the rules.

So to the best of my understanding, you need two players, a piece of paper with the board printed onto it (you can do that here) or some graph paper, or just be really good with a ruler and follow the image below.

The goal is super easy: sink your opponent’s ships before they sink all of yours. Easy right? Well, apparently not. Because you need to call out coordinates and hope that your ‘bomb’ will blast their ship, and depending on how big you draw you graph will depend on how long it will take.

Battleship game boardSetting up the board, if you are not downloading the gameboard and printing it out you’ll need to both draw yourself two 10×10 grids on your paper and then label with letters across the top (A to J) and numbers down the side (1 to 10). One of these grids are yours and the other one represents your opponent.

Place you ships, you have four of them. A five-space battleship, a four-space cruiser, a three-space submarine and a two space destroyer. What you can’t do is place your battleships diagonally, they must all be horizontal or vertical.

How to play. You take turns calling out a coordinate on the grid, ie, A5, or C6 until you start to hit your opponents ships. If you hit your opponents ship they will say “Hit”  and “miss” if it’s a miss, then you can mark off whether that square was a hit or a miss and eventually work out where all the ships are. Once a ship has had all its squares hit, it’s out of the game and you have to say “You sank my ship” or something along those lines.

The winner is the first person to person to sink all their opponents ships.

Our assignment

battleship2We have been asked to change the rules of Battleship, play it out and see how it affects the gameplay. We decided to modify the game based on the short amount of time we had to play. So if you got a hit on a battleship, the next turn would give you a spreading bullet that would hit the coordinates in a diagonal line to the left and right.

the effects of this speed up the gameplay but also made it slightly more confusing as we had more crosses to plot at every turn.

I think we will stick to the traditional game rules for now, but this has been quite a good exercise in helping me think more like a game designer for the preparation of making my very first platform game with Contstruct2.

 

Undertale, a review.

Undertaleidiot

How to sum up Undertale, well I personally found it frustrating and annoying but at the same time oddly mesmerising. Undertale is a 2d Platformer that took me back to the games of my youth and had me reminiscing on our old Amiga 500. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t really classify myself a ‘gamer’ and if my ten-year-old son wasn’t standing behind me excitedly hoping from one foot to another (He’s played this one before) offering me helpful advice on how to progress in the game I would have given up before I ran out of HP (Health Points).

First impressions. It didn’t take long for me to understand the tone of this game and the path it would follow as evidenced by the above picture. But I stuck with it so I could at least say I gave it a good shot. I felt like this game was designed by a teenage boy who would delight in the fact that I was finding this game so annoying.

What I really liked. I have to give credit where it’s due, so on the pro list would be the interface. Right at the beginning you’re given the control options and reminded again during gameplay. I actually wrote the instructions down because I have a terrible memory but it’s a nice feature. The level structure is good, where you are led through the first obstacles before you are set out on your own.

What annoyed me. It might just be the fact that I wasn’t in the mood to play games but being stopped every few minutes to fight something, or having to randomly walk into an invisible wall over and over really detracted from the gameplay.

Game Play. I liked the game controls although I kept trying to use the mouse. I suppose I am very conditioned to be using my mouse to play games. There were  few problems when ‘fighting’ characters were I wasn’t sure how to back out and ‘take mercy’ on the opponent. My inability to figure this out early on the game was probably what led to my downfall. I enjoyed the cute pixelated characters and environment which I found very kitsch. The music also put me in a mind of old school games like The Secret of Monkey Island and the Lemmings.

The nitty gritty. So, this game annoyed me. What mechanics are responsible? I’d have to say the repetitive seemingly pointless tasks, like falling into hole after hole, then being forced to have a pointless conversation with another character that is supposed to be helping you. I’m not going to lie, I was hopeless at this game. To start off I thought I was doing OK, but about five minutes after my son went to play with the neighbour I managed to loose all my HP and the game was over. However, the good news is I only  have to go back and redo from the last save point.

“The best part of this game is watching someone else play it, because you get so annoyed and thats funny!” Ethan – 10 years old.

I can understand the appeal of this game, so for the low cost of $11.99nzd on Steam you have yourself quite the legitimate bargain if you enjoy this type of platform game. Am I going to play this game again? If I am to be totally honest, probably not, but my son probably will so consider that a win Undertale! I’m giving Undertale a solid 6 out of 10, because even though it’s not my cup of tea it entertained my kids while I played it.

Purchase your own copy of Undertale either on their website or on Steam!