Kill the Hero – Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Rodrigo_Motta)
January 7th, 2013 11:50 am

screenshot1Play Kill the Hero

I think this must be the latest post-mortem of Ludum Dare, written on the last voting day. LoL. Well, this is our second entry in Ludum Dare, the first time we created the game Allel and now we created Kill the Hero. We were very happy with the result we got. Compared to the first time, our team worked faster and commited fewer mistakes. We started doing the game with a certain delay, since Saturday night, but we managed to finish it on time.

teamMotta (Design, Art, Direction)  Trigueiro (Animation)  Cesar (Programmer)

In our game you play a villain that can put traps in the path of a goofball hero who tries to save his girlfriend. It was like a puzzle tower defense, because the hero has an artificial intelligence and you must combine traps to kill him (he’ll know how to evade some traps). In this project are working: Rodrigo (game design, art direction), Trigueiro (animation), Cesar (programming) and Ramon (sound).

prototype_1The first prototype

We weren’t going to participate in this Ludum Dare because we were all too busy with university-related tasks. But we thought the theme was so cool that we got inspired. We had the idea on Saturday lunchtime while drinking beer. We left quickly for a prototype. If this prototype was made sooner we would’ve joined the jam. And that’s what happened. We managed to finish a working prototype pretty quickly and then we began to design the levels and create the entire assets of art, animation and sound.

  • Story: With a theme “You’re the Villain” a villain who put difficulties in the hero’s life. In introduction of the game we show the villain circumstances, which he hates the hero him, being his motivation. I missed drawing the we quickly put ourselves in the position of In introduction of the game we show the for no reason at all and that nobody likes villain, see your face.
  • Aesthetics: All art was developed in vector (Illustrator), to facilitate the animation and the aesthetics were inspired by pulp heroes, with a retro visual, much like the classic Superman. The art was really influenced by the works of Genndy Tartakovsky and recent the recent game Mutant Blobs Attack for the PSVita. The animations were also well thought out to give some personality to the hero and his girlfriend (I loved the swing of her breasts).
  • Mechanics: Here’s a tricky point of the game. We learned that to succeed this game the hero has to have a very good  artificial intelligence (get rid of the traps) and that there should be a smart level design (with various combinations of traps). Moreover, the problem we faced with the drag and drop was crucial for people to love or hate the game. We could not let the players put traps too close to the hero, had a sandbox, but it seems that some people do not understand this … or we really need to find a way to improve the response of the hero before he reach the traps. In any case, we conclude that this game will be much better if played on touchscreens, dragging the traps by hand … I think it will be much better than using the mouse.
  • Technology: The Construct2 increasingly firm among us as the best tool for rapid prototyping. Obviously it has its  limitations but we generally managed to do a lot with it. Two points regarding technology in this project: to make the hero have a certain artificial intelligence and we also added to the screen an effect of noise to make it looks like an old TV … but this effect does not work in some browsers, it is necessary to have WebGL.

What we’ve learned: First and most important, we are working faster and faster as a team, this is really good. We’ve also learned a bit more of Construct2 and how to prepare our assets when they are made from vectors. In terms of game design it was cool to imagine the potential of this kind of mechanics, when we have time to think about everything. Being an evil villain, and doing evil things is pretty fun … not really the literal evil, just a stylized evil, as you saw on the game. This kind of evil is fun. We also learned a bit about the frustration of the players in the game regarding the controls (I’ll talk about this below).

  • The Good: First, we have one more game. This is the most important and cool. The game art and animations that were really cool and have created an identity for the game. We also think the game was pretty fun, for those who struggled a bit, to be fast and well used drag and drop saw is really fun. And it is a kind of game you can create many behaviors for the hero and new traps (fun and sadistic) for the game. This is not a frenetic action game, but a puzzle game, but with a limited time to solve it.
  • The Bad: According to the feedback we’ve received we have seen the worst of the game were the controls … that damned drag and drop that does not work as it should. The fact is that when we put the traps too close to the Hero he died easily, so we had to put a safety area to be on the pitfalls … many people did not understand and could not play it right. In fact, for this game to work, we need the hero’s response to be immediate and we need to tell the player that he can not just throw traps on the top of the hero, but on his way

This is another one of those projects that you start to get crazy and want to do something more with it. We have thought of several new things: different heroes with different behaviors, different traps, larger levels walking with the screen and even more than one hero at the same time on the screen, making it fun. And yes, we believe in that on touchscreen devices game works better, we just need to test a few things.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

[cache: storing page]