Genre: Action Co-Op
Features: Multiple items and enemies, puzzles and a boss fight
- Project started on: January 26th 2018
- Project completed on: January 28th 2018
- Approximate time spent on project: 29 hours (Multiplied by five people)
Transmission From Planet X is my third team GameJam project where I slept very little in order to work with everything I had on a single game for two days. Much like last year, my team was already formed with coworkers and friends, and things went pretty smoothly. Even if tensions rose a little at the end of the project, it was an extremely positive experience and I'm still floored by how much a game can take shape just because you have two great artists working on it alongside programmers
Transmission From Planet X is a co-op hack and slash that combines gameplay similar from The Legend of Zelda and a mechanic of switching items between the two characters. The theme of this gamejam was 'Transmission' (Which, for some reason, is eerily similar to last year's 'waves'), so we focused on the idea of transmitting items between two characters in order to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. The theme is also incorporated in the overall story of the game, revolving around a mysterious TV broadcast from Planet X.
About the game
Hello humans! Welcome to the Planet X Games! You have been forcefully chosen to participate in this episode and I hope you give it your all! In order to reach the rocket to safely bring you back home, you will need to cooperate with your friend and transmit items back and forth! You start locked in a small room while your friend is in the great outdoors and the only key is out there? Simple! Transmit it, and you'll be free! Take a closer look for these pressure plates, they open specific doors somewhere else!
Enemies are wearing you down? These Planet X Drones sure shoot a mean bullet! You can destroy them with the Space Pistol without worries! Watch out for these turrets, you'll need a shield to get past them safely! The Shredder Bots are on patrol and bullets are ineffective against their purple bodies, so you will need the Sonic Glove to take care of them! What's this? You managed to defeat all the enemies and get to the boss? It's the Planet X X-Crusher! With four deadly phases, you'll need your wits and a quick transmission trigger to defeat it!
Congratulations, you go to the end, climb aboard the X-Rocket and you'll be able to go home!
The jam started a bit late on Friday, but the theme 'Transmission' was finally revealed. Figuring out which game we were making was a bit tougher than last year because we had one more person and a few more good ideas to debate on. One was a rogue-like survival game where you would die and 'transmit' knowledge and gear to another generation, another short-lived idea was a racing game/dating sim combo, another idea was a split-screen platformer, then that morphed into split-screen RPG, then split-screen action game, which is were we finally settled down.
We assigned tasks around and while I was poised to be the level and puzzle designer, I left that to another of my teammates who didn't feel like doing the same thing as usual. I went on my way to code enemies and items. Another programmer went on the three C's (Character, Camera, Controls) and our two artists started working on 2D tiles for the world and 3D models for characters and enemies. The first day was a bit of a mess and nothing was there yet, but I had three enemies done; One that shot at you and flew around, another that dashed at you and the third who shot at you but evaded afterwards.
On day two, most of the stuff went somewhere. Models were imported in the game - and broke a lot of things that I had to re-do - and the map began to take form. We started creating assets and mechanics and we tested the game a little, most of the stuff worked. At the end of the day we had the transmission mechanic and animations and everything was looking good.
On day three we went the extra mile and finished everything. I added the last boss with all four phases and another programmer created the ending. A kick-ass home screen was made and we polished the game the more we could. While there were a few stressful minutes there - we had what seemed like a game breaking bug at the last minute, but it was nothing - we managed to complete the game in time and while the shooting controls are so-so and the overall difficulty can be a bit high, it was a hit and many people played it at the Montreal Game Jam!
We even were the #1 choice of the judges! I was super happy to walk on stage for the work I did on a nice game! I couldn't have done it without my team, of course!