When I joined OneGameAMonth back in 2013 I had a few goals in mind: sharp my gamedev skills and learn how to constraint scope. For five months I worked and released five games, which is an awesome accomplishment for me. While I was working on those games, I had several ideas to make them better. Following the 1GAM spirit, I just skipped those ideas and focused on finishing a playable prototype. That worked, but it left a taste of incompleteness in my mouth.
After seeing the hard work of great indie gamedevs and their projects, I thought it would be a good idea to improve one of my games. All I have to do is pick one of my 1GAM entries and invest a significant amount of time and effort to turn that playable demo into a full and well-polished game. And that’s what I’m about to do.
Looking at the games I made, there is one in particular that I really like:
Madly Andry Cat (MAC) was my first platformer game. I’m huge fan of that genre and, as expected, I had a lot of fun developing that game. Checking the stats at Kongregate, the game was played 960 times and had a 3.11/5 stars rating. It might be an extremely insignificant number for most developers, but not for me! MAC had a single level, was unbalanced and had just a fraction of what I have planned for it. Despite of all that, it still got a good rate and even a walk-through (!). That is AWESOME!
That’s why I have decided to spend part of my time working on MAC. I’m going to make it my very first published full game, with everything it deserves: decent gameplay/art, SFX, music, marketing, tech blog, etc. I will do it all just because I want a cool game to play. A game with everything I always wanted but I was not able to make by then.
Gameplay And Inspirations
I will use four of my favorite games as inspirations for MAC’s gameplay: Contra III (SNES), Megaman X (SNES), Metal Slug (arcade/PC) and Oddworld Abe’s Odyssey (PC).
MAC will have a fast paced gameplay, with moments of slow action and (soft) thinking. I will use as inspiration the shoot’em up mechanics from Contra III, the complex levels and weapons from Megaman X, the action and vehicle interaction from Metal Slug and the puzzles and multi-platform view from Abe’s Odyssey.
MAC will combine weapons with kung-fu, so the main character will be able to shoot everything as well as jump into the walls and kick/punch the bad guys. It will be enhanced by a robot “pet” that will aid the shooting and moving. I’m planning at least 12 different weapons, including a chainsaw, and several complex levels with boss and sub boss.
The game story is not finished yet, but it’s a bit crazy as is. At a certain year, the planet is stormed by zombies. Our hero (a cat) is the last cat on Earth and it is pissed off because the zombies ruined his comfortable life. At some point in the game, Earth is invaded by mech-aliens, which increases the number of enemy types (now the cat must fight the zombies and the space invaders).
Through all the game the player will face flesh-made zombies, mech-aliens and mech-made zombies. They will have different sizes, from little creatures to fill-the-whole-screen juggernauts. There will be plenty of things to shoot at and bring down.
Everything will be 16-bit pixel art. I have no budged to spend on the game now, so all the art will be from OpenGameArt with enhancements by myself. I will try my best to create the assets I have in mind. Below is a visual reference I will follow:
Art by swedish pixel artist Junkboy – http://www.junkboy.se
Since I am a programmer with just a minimum of art background, I will probably spend countless hours tweaking assets to make them fit the visual appeal I’m targeting. That will be a fun challenge and an opportunity to learn more about pixel art.
The plan is to release the game as a OUYA exclusive. The reason is simple: I love the little Android console and I dreamed since I was a little kid about playing a game of my creation in the TV using a gamepad. Now I can make that come true.
If you liked the game, stay tuned for development updates with videos, screenshots and posts. Just to keep things in line, I’m planning to release the game somewhere by the end of this year. Wish me luck!