RMS Rumble

2-Player Tragically Romantic Combat Sport

Do you have what it takes to sink the Titanic? Fight as Jack or Rose and prove you can sink the ship by rearranging enough chairs on your side!

Your opponent is bothering you? A well-thrown chair on his/her face shall fix that!

Developed with Alec Thomson, Elyse Lemoine and James Marion in Unity for Game Studio 1 at the NYU Game Center (5 weeks).

Requires two Xbox 360 Controllers.

Platforms available: Windows and Mac

Controls

Xbox 360 Controller:

  • Movement (Left stick)
  • Jump and double jump (A button)
  • Throw chair (A button after a double jump or X button)
  • Switch held chair’s side (Left trigger or Right trigger)

To Quit the Game:

  • Windows (ALT+F4)
  • Mac (Comm+Q)

Rules

  • You win the game by having four chairs locked on your side
  • Pick up a chair by touching it (unless you already have one)
  • While holding a chair, push other chairs to your side
  • Chairs on a colored side of the ship will be locked after a brief moment
  • Throw a chair at your opponent to kill him/her
  • A thrown chair is deadly until it hits the ground for the first time
  • Falling into the ocean also kills you
  • Players respawn infinitely
  • When a player die, he/she loses one chair that was locked on his/her side

Download Links

Click HERE for the Windows version.

Click HERE for the Mac version.

Postmortem

To me, RMS Rumble became a very special game. This time the project had to be, as restricted by the teacher, a multiplayer game (my favorite) and my team was full of very talented people. Alec is an extremely competent programer, Elyse is a remarkably self-taught artist and James is a natural when it comes to make the game more polished and full of “juice”. Me? Well, I tried helping Alec with coding whenever I could but I was also responsible for the music/sounds and game feel (particles, camera shake, visual effects, etc). I was happy that I could let go of the hardcore programming part to do other stuff that I never had the chance to do before!

We had a pretty good start with the project because we already had a solid concept to follow: it would be a game about rearranging chairs on the Titanic while it sinks. The next two weeks were spent mostly on creating a physics engine instead of using Unity’s default one (full credit to Alec here) and start coding the basic movement of the characters so we could then use Elyse’s sprites when they were ready.

After our first playtest sessions with friends and teachers we found out that making a time-based game potentially meant, at least to our game, that only the final seconds of the game really mattered (you just needed more chairs on your side when the Titanic was under the water enough). It was then that we found out a path that would become the final concept of the game: The Titanic would no longer be naturally sinking so it was up to the players to have a certain number of chairs on their side of the ship so it would be heavy enough to do so (yes, science!).

Elyse’s sprites were already in a pretty good shape and James did a very good job on the 3D assets, so the core mechanics of the game were pretty much done on the third week. With that, we still had 2 weeks to polish the game and we soon found out that this extra time to work on juiciness made all the difference.

The game feels great, the concept is hilarious and the matches highly entertaining not only for the players but for the audience as well! With the extra time we had we were able to include several neat things such as a band that would shift as the ship tilted, several particle effects on collision and landing and even freaked out people inside the ship running for their lives. It felt pretty good not to be pressured by the upcoming deadline and being able to polish the game more and more as the days passed.

I have to point that, to me, the best part of having extra time was to be able to actually implement playtesters’ ideas even when we didn’t really agree with them. Two of the most important ones was the idea of being able to drop a chair (you can only throw a chair, not drop it) and the ability to change the angle of the throw (you can only throw it 45 degrees down). To be honest I actually was very biased regarding the direction of the throw, I even have a little disabled hidden script code in the game that allows the player to throw the chair on any direction they want. In the end. however, I had to agree that the throwing constraint actually worked well in the context of our game: It is a battle of heights, you need to be higher than your opponent to have the advantage. This created some kind of cool dance with the players timing their jumps so they could precisely aim an attack. I love it.

The other mechanic about dropping the chair with a button just didn’t work. It had everything to be cool but when we practice the game totally changed, people were actually less willing to fight, they just wanted to avoid the other and drop the chair safely on their side. Hell no!

The best thing about this project was to be able to work with such an amazing team. The only real problem we encountered was when our ideas disagreed with each other and we sometimes we had trouble settling down in a specific direction, creating some kind of stress on our relationship as teammates. However, I’m happy to say that we soon resolved our differences and this kind of problem became less and less frequent. I guess this is something to be expected when you have a lot of good people from such different backgrounds working together, but it’s also a blessing to be able to see so many different points of view about the exact same thing.

One last thing I would like to say is that I’m very grateful to Alec for being patient with us as we slooooooowly learned the features of Unity’s newly released 2D toolkit. It was somewhat a pain to adapt myself to a new version in the middle of a project, but this new toolkit would enable us to work so much faster on a 2D environment with sprites and animations! I made Rhesus in “fake 2D” (I just fixed the camera on the Z axis but all the assets were really in 3D) but the 2D toolkit actually had a way better way of doing practically everything 2D-related than the workarounds I had to do with Rhesus. It is an awesome addition to Unity and I hope everyone can learn how to use it.

Well, there you have it. I love RMS Rumble and I have a blast showing it to other people. And oh, I’m taking challengers!