Experimental Gameplay Project – May 2010 is High Velocity

Posted by aBethke on Wednesday May 26, 2010 Under Game Development

Every month the EGP holds a challenge by providing a theme and taking submissions by game developers based on that theme. This month I decided to do my first entry for the theme, High Velocity. To that end I came up with the idea for a game called Star Fall.


This idea was primarily based on two sources, my original vision for the game Reentry and just random brainstorming about high speed. Originally I had wanted to make the game about a comet entering the atmosphere and burning up. The comet would start as a big rock and get eroded away as the game went on. The problem I had with this concept was that I couldn’t think of any good obstacles without revisiting or cannibalizing ideas from Reentry itself. So I went about my business and gave the idea some more thought until finally it came to me.

Knowing that I had to do all the graphics myself I decided to go with an abstract presentation to better align with my limited graphic creation ability. While pondering the game design itself and thinking of the visual presentation I had the idea of making the comet a shooting star and do an abstracted background with parallax scrolling. Rolling around the ideas of abstractness, shooting stars and scrolling multilevel backgrounds I got the idea to go for an abstract cityscape and have dreams floating up from it.

I talked about this idea with my buddy Seamus on monday of last week while he was here working on various projects and he really liked it. After Seamus left I started working on a prototype and by the time he came back the next day I had the first draft of the game built and ready to play. Stars burn out as they move and you collect dreams to regain star power which allowed me to accelerate and decelerate the movement.

I had been thinking about ways to improve the game at this point but Seamus helped to solidify the ideas by suggesting adding Nightmares to counteract the dreams. I wrote some more code, put together some graphics and music and showed the small game I had made to a couple of people who were very enthusiastic about it and everyone asked for more. Finally after about 6 days of numerous tweaks and revisions I had put together the final project which included Dreams, Nightmares, Golden Dreams which max your power and Rainbow Dreams which have one of three random effects.

I particularly liked making the Nightmare Shield which eats nightmares for star power. This was based off of a random piece of clip art I found while searching through images online. I took the image and recoloured a few minor sections of it before starting to do some major overhauls and trying my hand for the first time at pixel art. A few additional squigglies, recolouring of the entire face, addition of pupils and a moustache and removing the mouth ended up with the final product which I was pretty happy with.

Check out this low quality gameplay video:

The game will be released very soon but the EGP version is posted on their site currently.

EGP May 2010 High Velocity Contest

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