Puppet Guardian Post-Mortem

May 7th, 2015 4:13 pm



With four days remaining we thought it might be high time for us to add our little post mortem for Puppet Guardian.



Did anyone end up using a squirrel? It probably snitched on her.

While coming up with several different ideas for puppet guardian we wanted to focus on the type of game we wanted to create and how that would fit with the theme. Our goal was to create a quick paced action title with a wizard! It HAD to be a wizard. We had no idea what strange weapon the wizard would use but someone posting a squirrel seemed like a great choice.

While thinking up the actions the player should be able to do we came up with a lantern that the player would hold and perform different move sets based on this lantern. (It still looks like it can be its own thing for another title)



but the magical lamp has been done before (thanks Aladdin) so we brainstormed some other item that can still pack a punch for a more personal approach. Thus we came to the puppet. @sebasrez has actually made a puppet and is a big member of the puppet club so this seemed like the perfect fit. We know of those wooden puppets that get a life of their own but we hopped a sock puppet would be even better and more relate-able.





We came up with an initial design and @dannypixel started animating away. The animations were done in photoshop as well as the planning sketches. The most important thing to remember in the poses were to demonstrate the power dealt in those punches. We really want the player to feel those hits and believe that the enemies would fly as far as possible from the attacks. We looked at some references for strong poses in little mac from super smash bros.

PuppetPunch PuppetPunch2


Those frames are held a couple of more seconds than the follow-through and anticipation so that you feel those hits. Sound effects are also a major part to add even more pow to the punch. Now while working on the attacks and abilities we skewed the game a bit to be more of a puzzle in the sense of 10 second ninja. We wanted to have zones or areas where you would have to use the skills you pick up to eliminate each foe all at the same time. Because of the time constraints we focused mostly on one enemy to litter the environment with since our main focus was to make sure you never feel cheated when dealing with an enemy instead of having varying types of them.


@dannypixel brainstormed between different monsters and the slug was the best fit for a strange cave creature that would inhabit a world with a talking puppet (even though the other two wouldn’t seem lost in such world either)


What a cute little 6 eyed monster

The enemy also has a nice gut cutter on its head just in case the player decides to get too close and ponder too long which makes some puzzles more interesting to accomplish. And the only place these cave dwellers love to reside is in a cave…


Which has a castle inside it for obvious reasons.

Game Design—

When it came to putting things together in Unity 3D, we used 2D toolkit to set up all the sprites and Playmaker to do all of the coding. This is @sebasrez second attempt at making a sidescrolling action title and something we have learned from the first experience is that players must have a superior edge to the opponent even if it looks unlikely.





In Je suis pierre, the player has a shorter weapon than the enemies but is much faster and easily out maneuvers any foes. This still was not enough for most players and testers since it gave the enemy a slight edge that made the interaction frustrating. In JSP, maybe, if there were checkpoints it would have made it feel less aggravating but we always strive to have the player feel superior at all times to the enemies. The lesson here isn’t that players can’t have smaller weapons but more that every element in the game should compliment the players play style. In this case it is to feel stronger, better, faster, longer.


The puppet has the range to hit but the enemy does not

One of the best accomplishments in creating the game was the array system used to create the puzzles. In the next image below, the setup shown allows for a quick and easy setup to let the game know when to check for puzzle completion and allow access to the player. This saved a ton of time when it came to playing around with different layouts for the enemies and how to keep an interesting flow of the puzzle.



Playmaker and Arraymaker

In any case we hope this information proves helpful for anyone as the experience was for us. If you wish to check out our entry just check out the link here.

 –> Puppet Guardian <–

2 Responses to “Puppet Guardian Post-Mortem”

  1. Plustech says:

    Hey man, thanks for taking the time to share it. Kudos!

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