Mashin’ Meeces

Posted by aBethke on Tuesday Apr 27, 2010 Under Mashin Meeces

TO Jam is over and secret project 3G is about to begin. Looming on the horizon is also the release of a project Ive been working on for a long time, which is the flash game Mashin’ Meeces. Over the coming days I will be posting various information about this project along with screens and some of the various prototypes.

Mashin Meeces - Alpha Build screens

Mashin Meeces - Alpha Build

This project started off over 5 years ago without a real idea. What happened was, I had seen an interesting type of enemy movement in another game and wanted to see if I could code the same movement mechanic. I was a fresh faced lead game developer with only a couple of years experience prior to that point and was very fascinated by trying to reverse engineer interesting code. This is all basically a fancy way of saying that I saw something cool and stole it. Meheheheh. For me at the time, it was a pride thing (pride… perhaps I meant ego?) to prove that I could code basically anything I saw under the idea of “that’s not so fancy, I could do that if I was so inclined”. That’s how the original code got started but that wasn’t anything more than an exercise in code geekery…

When things really started to happen was when I had built the enemy movement, come up with a very rough idea for jumping and squishing these bug looking things and gotten one of my artist friends to help brainstorm a bit. At the time I was working on a lot of kids games and so I was thinking about something to do with an elephant squishing these bugs. My buddy, an artist who at the time was trying to collaborate on the project before he got too busy, suggested we call the game Smack the Yak and have the elephant jumping and smacking yaks. We played with the idea for a while and then ended up doing nothing with it.

Its important to note that this was all done in Actionscript 1.0. Eventually the project was shelved, forgotten, remembered, resurrected and migrated from AS1 to AS2. Now the search was on for a new artist with the idea having dropped the yak, which really didn’t make sense anyways, and going with something more in line with elephants, mice! Yes, the idea of having an elephant jump and squish those pesky mice that are known for preying on the fear of the helpless elephants was just too darn appealing. Sadly, the search for an artist failed.

More times passes by and eventually the project is revived once more and migrated yet again. This time the technology jump was from AS2 to Actionscript 3.0. Ahh yes, lovely AS3 with its class structures and type casting and event dispatching sexyness. Ok fine, these were in AS2 as well but AS2 was balls as far as I am concerned as I jumped from AS1 almost directly to AS3, which is really the way to go. This time the project lives and grows ever closer to its glorious completion as the search for an artist bore fruit in the way of my good friend Junko.

And that’s the jist of the overview: the project was started a long time ago, migrated through two language upgrades, two sets of artists and is finally nearing completion. The irony here is the game was never supposed to be so much work but its turned out to be fun to make and a great learning tool for game design ideas.

As we approach the final deadline for the IndieCade submission, the artist, sound guy and myself are all frantically getting the last bits of our parts in place and ready for the final debut of our game. To be perfectly honest I don’t expect to really blow anyone away for any sort of innovative game design or presentation, but I had set out to make a solid, fun “little” game and I think we are very close to hitting that target.

Stay tuned for more updates as I plan to do a series of posts highlighting some of the work that went into the various stages of the project along with playable prototypes!

Enemy Movement

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Player Movement

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Player Jumping

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Prototype Version 1

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