Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tarnation - sort of alpha

I decided a while back that I really needed to do a game outside of my work at Cartoon Network. I wanted to do a game where I did everything like in the old days.

I did the prototype for this game in February. I finally bought a new computer for home so I could really focus on getting games done outside of work.

Here is the alpha-ish build. Only the 1st level is really tuned.

Tarnation (early build)

The idea came from the fact I cannot play RTS games. I tried to imagine what a casual RTS would be like. Also I really wanted to be able to say, "This game is based on a really sound game design principle." I thought that would guarantee the fun.

Back at GDC 2005 at the game designer workshop we did and exercise where we had to tune a giant robot to be killed by some tanks at the very last second. The idea was if you tune the robot just right you will get that "Hollywood ending" and kill the robot right before he reaches the city. If the robot dies too far out there is no tension and if he gets to the city, well, the city is destroyed.

So that was to be my idea, you must kill the baddies at the last second. You must deploy your units but if you deploy them too fast you a) run out of units (the do replenish over time) and b) the enemies die too far away and you don't get a good score.

While sketching, I got the idea that the baddies are bugs made of tar called "Tars", hence the name Tarnation. You are defending the garden's water supply from being polluted by the tars.

I thought it would be cool if the world was crayon style but the Tars are oil painted. This furthers the pollution aspect. Much of the art is place holder right now but I am updating it now that the core game system is complete.

I think it's on the way to being what I want. Everyone who plays it wants to play it again. Even my wife!


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