About Hot Box Games (twitter: @hotboxgames)

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Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32
 
Ludum Dare 31
 
Ludum Dare 30

Hot Box Games's Trophies

XOPSX Top Ten Award
Awarded by DesignerNap
on May 3, 2015

Hot Box Games's Archive

SUPER SCIENCE CORP Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 6:00 pm

Hey everyone! Have you been enjoying all these sweet LD games? We sure have! 😀

We managed to get ourself rated as the COOLEST CATS by playing + rating 371 entries to-date, what a blast it’s been!

We’re a four person team based in the UK, like all of you looking to create games that people play & love.

This is our FIFTH time entering Ludum Dare and we’ll certainly be back for more.


Our Entry

You play as the janitor at a high tech scientific research complex called SUPER SCIENCE CORP. After a busy day sweeping floors, you decide to take a quick nap in your janitor’s closet. Somehow, in the 10 minutes you have been asleep, catastrophic events have occurred. All employees have been evacuated & the complex is overrun by strange mutant insects.

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF4Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

 


The Objective

Using your newfound DNA disruptor hand cannon, you must rid each area of the mutant insects, make your way to the reactor and use the TWO BUTTONS to deactivate the generator and save the world!

How does this fit the theme, some of you may (and do) ask?

GROWING – Well, as these mutant insects were created using the same energy that you fire out of your hand cannon, shooting enemies can make them GROW and become something much, much worse…

TWO BUTTON CONTROLS – Your main objective is to get to the end of the game and press the TWO BIG RED BUTTONS that control the generator. Pressing these buttons should deactivate the generator and save the world from infection!

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF1Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

 


So another Ludum Dare over, another game made! Here’s how it went:

The good!

  • Enemy AI is the best we’ve done to-date, using behaviour trees and pathfinding, this was exciting to use and we plan to use more trees and pathfinding for future games!
  • This is the first game we’ve created with a voiceover, while we wanted to add a bit more flavour to the gameplay lines and interactions, we ran out of time – but it was great to give it a go and use our microphone for something other than gargles and other SFX!
  • We’ve recently been creating a ‘framework’ to base all our games off of in Unity. This competition was a good field test for the framework, showing us where we need to improve and what works well.
  • We managed to create a fair amount of content – partially due to the top down perspective making props/enemy creation simpler, but also thanks to the hard work of the whole team! The game takes 15-20 minutes to complete!
  • There are lots of enemies, 8 total, the animations look sweet and the growing transformations are just how we imagined them at the beginning!
  • We had tons of fun!

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF2Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

 


The not so good!

  • We ran out of time to add super polish, like sparks, more blood etc.
  • The broom wasn’t as useful as we had hoped to make it, currently it only sweeps away the goo left by ranged enemies. We’d should have added more goo and made it possible to sweep other blood / body parts away – you are a janitor after all!
  • Over time, the aiming becomes slightly misaligned. This is down to tiredness pure and simple, an oversight in the code. It’s manageable for such a short game though.
  • There are a couple of issues with the spitter (red enemy) collision, sometimes he’ll do a little spin and run at you backwards!
  • There are a few bugs with our options menu, switching resolutions causes some unknown scaling/alignment problems. Going windowed mode fixes this (alt + enter).
  • Web build would not work. Which is a complete bummer. WebGL seemed to work on test builds but at the end sound just wouldn’t work properly. This means only standalone builds are available, which upset our web guy who likes making a special page for submissions.
  • We’ve got a new camera script as part of our framework. Some oversights meant camera shake wasn’t that easy (we settled for a simple recoil) and there were a few room snapping issues.

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF3Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

 


What’s next?

We’re still working on making a full version of our LD33 ENTRY, so not much extra work is being done on SUPER SCIENCE CORP at the moment.

However, we do really enjoy the top down perspective and have used this experience to influence our current project. We’ll be making a top down style recreation our the LD33 game Player Rush and then we’ll see about doing an extended version of our LD34 entry, who knows! :)

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF5Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

 


Ludum Dare 100 years!

So far we’ve had some really great feedback, both on the LD website and on Twitter – we’d like to say a big THANK YOU for all the kind words AND any constructive feedback, it really is appreciated.

We’ve also been having a blast playing all these awesome submissions, there are so many creative and original interpretations of the theme it’s really great to see all these indie devs hard at work, whatever your skill level!

We’ve played + rated over 350 entries so far, but if we still haven’t seen yours feel free to send it our way on Twitter and we’ll take a look.

We hope you all had a great Xmas and wish you all a happy and prosperous 2016!

Stay schwifty,

@HotBoxGames

SUPER SCIENCE CORP Gameplay Videos!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 12:08 pm

Hey everyone! The team has had a blast playing + rating as many of your games as possible this past week, so many great entries! 😀

We just uploaded a YouTube video showing a demo walkthrough of our game start to finish, take a look below!

We’ve loved the feedback so far from everyone on our entry, so A BIG THANK YOU to all of you that have played + rated.

If you haven’t had a chance to play it yet, CLICK HERE TO PLAY SUPER SCIENCE CORP.

Also, a massive thanks to Hoard Films for playing our game and creating a YouTube video!

It’s such a great feeling being able to watch other people play the games we’ve created (even if it is a rushed, slightly buggy Ludum Dare entry! :p)

We’ll do a post mortem soon, but for now here’s to all the indie developers, streamers & YouTubers that got involved this LD – you guys are da best! 😀

SUPER SCIENCE CORP – Mac Build Now Available!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 1:42 pm

For all you Macintosh players out there, we’ve added a Mac build to our LD entry.

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF3Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

None of the team are on Mac, so this version is currently untested – hopefully everything works as intended!

SUPER SCIENCE CORP – Linux Build Now Available!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 12:30 pm

We’ve added a Linux build to our LD entry – hopefully this will allow more people to try our game.

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF2Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

Unfortunately we’re all on Windows over here, so the Linux build remains untested – fingers crossed it all works okay! :)

SUPER SCIENCE CORP

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 11:20 am

We thought it was about time we did a post about our entry, after catching up on some well earned sleep! :)

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF1Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

Play as a janitor at a high tech scientific research complex, tasked with saving the world from mutant insects.

Use the power of an experimental DNA disruptor hand cannon to take on these beings – you must make it to the generator room and press the TWO BUTTONS to shut down the energy reactor that is feeding these mutants!

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF4Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

Watch out for the acidic goo some of these creatures spit out, they’ll cause damage and lessen the chance of making it out alive!

Luckily you have your janitor’s broom, with this you can brush these damage areas out of the way, giving you more room to maneuver.

SUPERSCIENCE_GIF5Play SUPER SCIENCE CORP

We had a blast making this for LD, though we made the mistake of staying up for 42 hours straight which made us all completely knackered by the time the competition was over. Now we’ve had some rest, we’re going to be playing & rating as many awesome games as possible! 😀

If you’d like us to play, rate & shout about your game, please let us know.

We hope you enjoy playing our entry and can’t wait to hear what you all think!

Hot Box Games are IN!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Friday, December 11th, 2015 9:29 pm

Here we are again! Time for another Ludum Dare challenge – this is going be sweet! 😀

ld_44_poster

LD30 LD31 LD32 LD33

This will be our FIFTH time entering LD!

The Team

Jess – Programming Lead
Sean – Programming, UI, Online
Sam – Music, Sound & Art
Ollie – Art & Animation

Tools

Engine – Unity 5
Language – C#
Editor – Visual Studio 2015
Sound – Pro Tools, Elias, Musagi, SFXR
Art – Illustrator, GraphicsGale, Pyxel Edit, Paint.net

Good Luck!

Best of luck to all game developers getting stuck in for LD34, we’ll see you on the other side – with another massive pile of awesome indie games! 😀

Make sure to send us your game when it’s submitted, we’ll tweet about it, play + rate! :)

Player Rush Stats

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Monday, September 14th, 2015 12:00 pm

Well, LD33 is almost at an end! :(

There have been some really great games this Ludum Dare and we’re sure you’ll all agree it’s been pretty sweet playing & rating them over the last few weeks. :) We’ve done our best to play + rate as many entries as we could (rating every entry that has been sent our way so far) even with one of our team, Sam, bailing on us to go to Italy for a week straight after the competition!

We were pleased with OUR ENTRY this LD, so much so that we decided to release a post-comp version. We’re still pretty damn happy with how it turned out considering everything, we’re actually looking into making a full release! 😀

We would like to thank all of you that have taken the time to look at our entry and leave your feedback. It feels awesome.

We would also like to congratulate each and every one of you that has managed to create and submit a game – no matter how big or small, making anything in 48/72 hours is quite a feat!

Whether you’re new to LD or an oldschool participant – we hope you stick at it and look forward to seeing you all in December! :)

Here’s a little graph we made up detailing some stats to-date about our entry:

playerRushStats2

Player Rush: Rage Mode Mega Lazor!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Thursday, September 10th, 2015 6:30 pm

Heroes better know what’s coming when they get you down to low HP – complete annihilation!

ragemodeactivate

megalazor1

Click Here to play Player Rush!

Oh, and don’t forget to tweet us your game if you’re still looking for people to play + rate! :)

sendusyourgame

Player Rush Post Comp Build Now Available!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Sunday, September 6th, 2015 5:38 pm

ragemode1

We spent some time after the LD33 competition improving, tweaking & adding a few new features to the game.

This includes:
– One new hero types (mage, ranged attack)
– Two new boss attacks (twin lazor & mega lazor)
– A new RAGE MODE ability (when low HP, player gets 1.5x movement and attack speed + unlocks mega lazor)
– One new music track (for rage mode)
– More character barks
– More character names
– Fancy particle effects / lighting tweaks
– Smarter AI
– Balancing

We hope you enjoy these improvements, obviously we’d love to add a load more – but as the base code was all written within 72 hours on very little sleep, we’d be better off making it again from scratch :)

ragemode4

Click Here to play Player Rush!

Oh, and don’t forget to tweet us your game if you’re still looking for people to play + rate! :)

sendusyourgame

Player Rush Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 5:31 pm

Hey everyone! We hope you’ve been enjoying all these awesome games – we sure have! 😀

We’re a three man team based in the UK, like most of you looking to create awesome games and level up whenever possible! We also had a friend of the group, Ollie, join in this LD to try his hand at doing 2D sprites & animation – he did awesome!

This is our fourth time entering Ludum Dare and will most definitely not be the last!


Our Entry

In Player Rush, you play as the final boss in a newly released RAID dungeon. Players from across the globe are partying up take you down and steal your loot. Your objective is to survive and kill as many of them as you can!

HotBoxGames_LD33

Click Here to play Player Rush!

 


So another Ludum Dare over, another game made! Here’s how it went:

The good!

  • We managed to make a really pretty looking game this time around, which is awesome.
  • We came up with an idea very quickly, and settled on it almost straight away with the pitch ‘play as a boss in an MMO raid’.
  • We used our special Hot Box Framework to base the game off which made a bunch of things easier, and some more difficult (our foresight is not as good as we like to think it is).
  • The game works, controls are solid and there aren’t many bugs (that we know of!).
  • We had tons of fun of course!

The not so good!

  • As usual, we overshot our initial idea. Even though we tried to keep it simple, turns out we’re not very good at keeping it simple.
  • Because we overshot the idea, we had originally started to make the enemy AI a lot more complicated than it is in the final version. This wasted a lot of time and caused a bunch of confusion. On the last day we had to practically scrap all existing AI and make it a lot simpler.
  • Again, because of the overshoot we only had enough time to implement one player attack, although it does look super sweet.
  • During the submission hour, all hell broke loose when our game was crashing instantly on web & client builds. We were panicking and screaming and jumping until we found out that we had some issues with some of our sound files. Reimporting the sound files and recreating the objects fixed this problem. We’re also going to blame this on our initial idea being too large, as we were struggling to not be overwhelmed we forgot to do test builds!

What’s next?

We’ve decided to make a post-compo version with a few of the things we didn’t have time to implement such as:

  • Slightly smarter AI, healers don’t avoid you enough, knights aren’t too good at knocking you back and warriors have this lame bug with trying to attack the player when they’re not in range.
  • An additional dps enemy, a mage.
  • A few visual tweaks that are bugging the hell out of us (like animation speeds, transparency on some of the animations, lights etc.)
  • More player attacks, this includes a ‘rage mode’ for the last 25% of health in which the player will get an extra attack and be able to move faster along with a few other perks.

Here’s a quick preview of the new ‘rage mode’ attack:

super_lazor


Show me what you got!

So far we’ve had some really great feedback, both on the LD website and on Twitter – we’d like to say a big THANK YOU for all the kind words AND any constructive feedback, it really is appreciated. Who knows, you may see this as a full release in the near future…

We’ve also been having a blast playing all these awesome submissions, there are so many creative and whacky ideas out there! We’re doing our damndest to play as many entries as we can and so far we’ve managed to play every entry that has come our way on Twitter, so keep em’ coming!

sendusyourgame

Stay schwifty,

@HotBoxGames

This is MY treasure!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 9:40 pm

Looking good!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 8:36 pm

Check out the player character from our entry!

Golem

Getting there!

Hot Box Games are in!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 5:32 pm

Here we are again! Time for another Ludum Dare challenge – this is going be fun 😀

LD32_we_are_in

Planet Jumper Pipe Quest PALBOT

This will be our FOURTH time entering LD! We’ve got a new guy, Ollie, joining in or art & animation, hopefully we’ll be able to learn from our past games and crack out something much more refined and polished.

The Team

Jess – Programming Lead
Sean – Programming, UI, Online
Sam – Music, Sound & Art
Ollie – Art & Animation

Tools

Engine – Unity 5
Language – C#
Editor – Visual Studio 2015
Sound – Pro Tools, Elias, Musagi, SFXR
Art – Sprite Lamp, GraphicsGale, Pyxel Edit, Paint.net

Good Luck!

Best of luck to all game developers getting stuck in for LD33, we’ll see you on the other side – hopefully with a massive pile of awesome indie games! 😀

Make sure to tweet us your game when it’s submitted, we’ll retweet, play + rate! :)

1 Hour Remains!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Monday, May 11th, 2015 7:00 pm

Oh noes! Voting time is almost at an end! 😮

If you haven’t already, please be sure to check out our entry and let us know what you think! 😀


minigun_showcase_1

Click here to see our entry, PALBOT!

If your game is in need of a few more plays + rates, please feel free to post a link in the comments below or send us a message on Twitter and we’ll be happy to give it a play! 😀

Good luck to everyone that has entered – we hope you get the scores you want! :)

<3

– Sean, Jess & Sam
Hot Box Games

PALBOT Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 3:54 pm

Hey everyone! Hope you’ve been enjoying all these awesome games made for LD32! 😀

We’re a three man team based in the UK, like most of you looking to create awesome games and level up whenever possible!

This is our third time entering Ludum Dare, we’ve never written a post-mortem before and thought it was about time to give it a go!
 


PALBOT is a top down shooter, with a twist. You must control one character for movement / interaction and a military drone dubbed ‘PALBOT’ to shoot!
 
minigun_showcase_1
 

Click here to play PALBOT!

 


What went well?

The Idea

As you may have seen from our previous post, we were all set up and ready to go quite a while before the event started. This gave us time to brainstorm ideas based on some of the most popular themes from previous rounds (along with shouting out random ones from the final round!). One thing we knew already was that we wanted to create a top down game, so most of our ideas were based around that. PALBOT stood out as a great idea for a couple of themes, including Unconventional Weapon, so when this was announced we were pretty hyped to get started and test out our dual control mechanic! :)

Responsive Controls

This is something we really wanted to get right this time, on our last entry the controls were very ‘floaty’ which a fair few people disliked – this time around movement feels pretty solid allowing you to weave in and out of enemies and dodge fireballs if needed. Nice.

The Tutorial

The introduction to PALBOT actually started off as a test for the message system that Sean had created, with area and destruction triggers included he made it into a quick tutorial – which we decided to keep instead of creating one from scratch.

The Menu System

It may seem basic, but this was our first time using Unity 5’s new UI system. Sean is used to running through hundreds of lines of code OnGUI, so this was a nice improvement for him but it also meant wrapping his head around the new canvas/panel elements along with alignment. All in all it seems to work OK and we’ve learnt a few tricks for next time.
 


What went not so well?

Sprite Creation

This one was a bitch. Every time Sam exported a set of sprites for animation, every single image background was white! Opening in explorer, the images were fine – but in Unity we just couldn’t get rid of the white background. After checking through various settings in the program to make sure transparency settings were correct, our solution was to open every single image in another program (Paint.net) and re-save the images. What a pain.

Sellotape

Who needs to plan the structure of a Ludum Dare game right? Yeah, right. With Jess programming the bulk of the game mechanics / logic and Sean dealing with UI and trigger elements, sometimes they don’t quite plan in advance how everything is going to fit together at the end. This leads to some interesting methods (such as SuperMegaSellotape() or HackyFunction()) being thrown into the mix. As it happens, we managed to duct tape everything so tightly together and sand down any rough edges enough that it all seems to work nicely as-is – just don’t ask us to look at the code ever again.

Double Retry

You know we said everything seemed to work nicely? Well, we lied. If you die on level 2 or 3, you are presented with the ‘Game Over’ screen where you can select ‘Retry’ – upon selection the game restarts and almost instantly presents you with another ‘Game Over’ screen! Click ‘Retry’ again, the game restarts and works OK, weird!

Time

This is probably the biggest killer of games during LD. Aiming too high on a game can leave you with a half complete project when the competition is over. While we weren’t this unlucky, we did overshoot it a bit – with ideas of an intro cutscene, a more fluid tutorial, loads more enemies, more weapons, upgrades and even a damn boss. Wow. Sure, it’s good to aim high – but we really need to work on establishing how much content we can realistically create in 72 hours.

PALBOT Controls

This one is just a little niggle of ours. Through watching other people play we’ve noticed that during combat, panicked spacebar mashing can lead to confusion as to the state that PALBOT is in (attack or follow). While we tried to make this clear with cursor and UI indicators, when you’ve got fireballs flying at your face from all directions you tend to lose focus on the little things. After discussing, we decided it would have probably been better to make pressing & holding spacebar call PALBOT back to you and have tapping spacebar command PALBOT on where to go.
 


 
laser_showcase_2
 
So, that’s about it! We’ve got plenty of other things we’d like to add / tweak / improve on (too much to list on this already lengthy post) but these are the things that stood out most during development.

So far we’ve had AWESOME feedback on PALBOT – we can’t say enough thanks to all you guys that have left positive comments on our submission page and on Twitter – it really does make us feel amazing, you’re the best! 😀

In fact, now we’re seriously considering turning this into a fully fledged game! 😮

We’ve also had a blast so far playing all your submissions – we’re trying to play as many as possible, so don’t forget to keep throwing your links at us on Twitter (link below) and we’ll do our best to Play + Rate them all! :)

One love,

@HotBoxGames

The Hot Box Team Are In!

Posted by (twitter: @hotboxgames)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 5:32 pm

Can’t quite believe it’s time for another Ludum Dare already – it’s all so exciting! 😀

We’re all set up and ready to go…
PANO_20150417_155111
This will be our third Ludum Dare and certainly not our last. Who doesn’t love making a game alongside such an awesome community in just a weekend?

The Team

Jess– Programming, Chief Sellotaper
Sean – Programming, UI, Leaderboards, Web Stuff
Sam – Music, Sound, Art, Free Spirit

Tools

Engine – Unity 5
Language – C#
Editor – Visual Studio 2013
Sound – Pro Tools
Art – GraphicsGale, ArtRage

Good Luck!

Best of luck to all game developers getting stuck in for LD32, we’ll see you on the other side – hopefully with a massive pile of awesome indie games! 😀

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