Producers- Blake G Harrison, Benjamin Driggs
Engineers- Hardit Singh, Omey Salvi, Yuchen Zhang
Artists- Eric Allen, Avinash Kalapala
Week 1: Brainstorm
In the first week we did research on all the 1980’s arcade game and we came up with a couple of game that we might want to work with and shortlisted them. It was a difficult choice between donkey kong and zaxxon but we chose zaxxon because of its isometric view and sophisticated mechanics. We were the only team who attempted to build an isometric game on HTML5.
The first week was just brainstorming ideas about how we could make zaxxon more modernistic and unique. The original zaxxon arcade game has a space theme with sophisticated fighter planes fighting in space. We decided to make our game unique that has an underwater theme in the cold icy waters having sea creatures and narwhals.
We also decided to mix the zaxxon game with a twist of tetris. So we had 3 narwhals in total. A big narwhal and a 2 small narwhals who are able to change their formations.
Since the narwhals are considered to be the unicorns underwater, we decided that all the three narwhals would shoot rainbows! 🙂
In week 2 we started actual coding where we did research on HTML5 game engines. One of the good engines we came across was the Phaser Engine which had a lot of in-built features. We started by using the inbuilt phaser isometric plugin.
I was working on the projectile shooting where initially we had bullets but later when the rainbow art asset was ready, we replaced it by rainbows.
The shooting mechanic works a little differently in this game. Here the narwhals keep shooting bullets in different formation which acts like a sonar so that you can see the position of each narwhal and where they are heading. There are ice wall blocks which randomly spawn and have holes in them. Hence the motive of the player is to move the narwhals in appropriate positions and formation so as to pass through the holes in the wall.
The formation idea was from the game of tetris. So our game has the following 3 formations and the holes pop from the ice block walls following these three formations.
To put more juice into the game I added the screen shake effect which occurs when the narwhal dies and then enters the Game Over Menu screen.The only thing that was remaining was to add the menu systems and sound. So I worked on the Start Screen and Game Over Screen and then ultimately added the background music which was picked by the producers.
The ending of week 3 was when we had to pitch the idea. The response from the studio audience (Cohort5) and faculty was amazing. We also made our professors play the game live on the screen which was fun.
Here is the gameplay video of our game ICEHOLE NARWHAL.
Since we had only three weeks for this prototype we were not able to incorporate all the features which we had initially planned. So we decided to work a bit more on the game. From the feedback from studio audience and the faculty we decided to add the following features. We also added colored pickups which increase the speed as well as the score.
Hence we gave more commitment to this project in order to finish all the things we added in the scope. Now the game looks like this which is quite an improvement in terms of the mechanics and the visual appeal.
This project was great fun to work on !