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Postmortem: The Bombay Intervention

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 4:47 pm

Title card for The Bombay Intervention

The Bombay Intervention is a collaboration between Jason Mize and mildmojo. Mildmojo’s completed a few Ludum Dares before, but this was Jason’s first. Jason took care of music, writing, and shared design duty with mildmojo, who coded the game in Unity 4.3 (javascript) and composed some of the sprites.

DESIGN in the abstract

Photo of the Set card game's box.

Set, a card game about pattern matching

You play as a time traveler, working your way through a spotted history on missions to clean up the worst of the (fictional) disasters.

Your view of the past is through an event wall that shows you when events will occur during your trip. These events could be as mundane as a bus driver heading to work or as important as a world leader coming to power; you only know that patterns in the wall lead to catastrophes.

If you freeze several events in the same general place and time, you prune that timeline out of history. Prune enough contributing timelines and you’ll find that the crisis collapses without causal support.

The original kernel of a game idea was inspired by the card game, Set.

What went well

The game features a dynamic soundtrack. Jason wrote and recorded three original pieces of music, each of which has four parts (see his description below). When you begin a mission, you only hear a single part. The other parts are selected at random and added to the soundscape when you complete a stage by making a match. We weren’t sure it would work, but it’s really exciting to hear in action.

Screen shot of gameplay from The Bombay Intervention

Gameplay

Unity’s new 2D sprite system makes it trivial to turn images into game objects and, even better, compose layered sprites from lots of sub-sprites, each of which can then be independently addressed in code. Each timer prefab is a background square, dark text, light text, and a flag, all of which can be controlled separately if needed. It’s so much easier to do this stuff visually in Unity’s editor.

mildmojo: I typically work in languages with dynamic typing, so I picked Unity’s javascript syntax. While not type-free, it saved an untold amount of C# ceremony (more…)

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