Necromancy Overload

Submitted for Mini Jam 73: Power

February 8, 2021Ranked #19 / 178 Overall

This was created in 72 hours and was part of my first game jam. I decided to create a wave-based arcade shooter, where the key mechanic was that you would overload your opponents with energy to cause massive explosions, dealing even more damage to others nearby (including yourself)! Whittling down your opponents before finishing them off with a strong attack was key to creating these overload explosions, as the more excessive spill damage incurred, the larger the effect!

The feedback and my enjoyment of this project and jam (albeit stressful) gave me the confidence to start participating in more jams, creating more projects, and learn even more so I can create even better games.

Key things I learned

Strategy pattern

Having had recently learned about the strategy pattern, I wanted to use it to help speed up AI development. I created abstract scripts for enemy movement, attack, and behaviour types to use as foundation for extensions. This reduced a lot of boilerplate code, allowing me to primarily focus on creating unique class behaviours, such as the druid's speed bonus, and simply plug in the other components.

UX Design

The limitation of the jam was that you can only use five colours in your game. With this, I essentially only had 4 shades to work with, as black was designated to just be the primary background colour. I quickly realized that I need to choose my colours carefully, and decided to shade the objects in the game with consideration of the actual importance to the game.

Things like the path background were made the darker shades, as they were simply aesthetic, and provided no practical info to the player. Conversely, the characters, projectiles, and UI elements were all made the brighter shade of my palette, so the player could easily focus on the most important information on the screen at all times.

An important diegetic choice I made near the end of the jam was to create Skully, your familiar that helps guide you through the waves. When a new wave starts, an arrow appears over Skully, directing you to the next gate at which the heroes appear. This ended up getting a lot of positive feedback, which has still influenced my propensity towards favouring diegetic communication of information to players.