Super Size War

2-Player Chaotic Size Attrition

You opponent is trying to expand you until you hit one of the electrified blocks and die! What a douche! Give him a taste of his/her own medicine!

Developed by me in Game Maker for Game Studio 1 at the NYU Game Center (3 weeks).

Can be player with Xbox 360 Controllers (highly recommended) or a Keyboard.

Platforms available: Windows

Controls

Xbox 360 Controller:

  • Movement (Left Stick)
  • Rotation (Right Stick)
  • Expand Ray (Right Trigger)
  • Shrink Ray (Left Trigger)

Keyboard:

  • Player 1 Movement (WS keys)
  • Player 1 Rotation (AD keys)
  • Player 1 Expand Ray (Space bar)
  • Player 1 Shrink Ray (Left Shift key)
  • Player 2 Movement (IK keys)
  • Player 2 Rotation (JL keys)
  • Player 2 Expand Ray (. key)
  • Player 2 Shrink Ray (H key)

To Quit the Game:

  • ALT+F4

Rules

  • You win by having the other player lose all his/her lives
  • A player loses a life when he/she touches a yellow blinking block (they are electrified!)
  • Players can use their expand ray to make the blocks and the other player bigger
  • A block can be expanded until it is touching another block or the outside wall
  • The white segment on the wall is a mirror that will deflect the expand or shrink ray
  • Blocks and players can also be shrunk
  • There is friendly fire! (your own shot can hit you when it bounces from a mirror)

Download Links

Click HERE for the Windows version.

Postmortem

Super Size War was the first digital game I created at the NYU Game Center. I was very excited to work on this project as it would be the first time I would use a “professional” game-creation tool: Game Maker. I played a few cool games that were developed in Game Maker such as Gunpoint and the original Spelunky, so I could only dream of all the possibilities I would have at my disposal, especially when I think about the annoying Actionscript 3.0 that I used on my previous projects.

At first I had absolutely no idea what kind of game I wanted to make. My first idea was perhaps the one that made people very skeptical about my game: a multiplayer. Let me be honest for a second: I LOVE multiplayer games, and I’m not talking about the boring over-the-internet multiplayer, I’m talking about the sitting-on-the-same-couch type. Playing with friends on the same space gives room to shoving and face-to-face trash talking, which we all love. That became my aim: make a multiplayer game that would allow people to scream (in a friendly way!) at each other.

With the multiplayer idea in mind I was finally able to decide on the mechanics. My first inspiration was from Pong, a game by Al Alcorn that hopefully everyone knows about. In my mind, however, I wanted to add a little twist: The objective wasn’t to hit the ball and throw it to the opponent’s side, it was to avoid it! In the end, I basically got a mixture from Pong and Atari 2600’s game Combat: Players stay on their side of the arena and shoot at each other.

Unfortunately I felt that this theme was too simplistic and way overused by games in the past. The turning point was when I was browsing the Playstation Network store and saw that the game Fat Princess was being sold with a discount. For those who don’t know, it’s a hilarious capture the flag game where you can feed the enemy princess (she is the flag the opponent team has to bring back) so she becomes very fat and heavy to carry. I loved that idea and decided to used that in my game. Now, players would shoot each other and every time you get hit you become bigger. The one that touches the arena’s wall first loses.

The last big step I made was to decide on a narrative theme. With the concept of “expanding bullet” came an idea of having two evil scientist’s interns fighting for a job position at a evil corporation lab. They came up with the same hiring pitch, a gun that fired expand rays. The employer decided that they would fight to death and the surviving one would be hired (hey, he is evil!). That sounded very fun in my head, but I soon remembered that this project had a restriction form the teacher: it had to be an abstract game.

From there, I dropped the theme and decided that it would just be two “things”  shooting rays at each other and the first one to touch hazards laid around the arena would lose. With this core concept I basically had two more weeks left to work on the game, so I tried to keep the art assets as simple as possible (that’s why almost everything is either a block or a circle).

I had a deliverable game in one week, so I spent the remaining time I had polishing mechanics and tweaking the game feel. I added a trail effect to the players, death animations, menus and particle effects in a few days and spent two whole days figuring out how the hell Game Maker behaved with Xbox 360 Controllers (the vibration feature was especially annoying to learn). I held a few playtesting sessions with my fellow classmates and family and got some good feedback that became new mechanics of the game, like adding a shrink ray so you could return the blocks to a smaller size to pass around them and to add number of lives instead of just “die once and lose”. The greatest idea however, came from my friend Winnie (a fellow MFA student, check her awesome website HERE): Add mirrors on the walls so player could trick-shoot and even fire shrink rays on themselves so they could get back into the game and avoid the snowballing effect of being hit first. That changed my game entirely and made it so much more interesting!

My presentation was a success! People had a lot of fun playing, even considering some broken mechanics such as spawn camping and complex controls layout (I didn’t realize that it was so hard for other people to move with one stick and rotate with the other). I’m very happy with my final version and I can’t wait to one day port it to Unity’s newly released 2D-toolkit so I can have the game be playable also on Mac (Game Maker games run only in Windows).