Trailer

  • 1-4 Players

  • Designed for play at conventions

  • Has AI for single player       

  • Has button remapping to remap actions to any possible input

  • 3 game modes

Game Info

Game Info

  • 1-4 Players

  • Designed for play at conventions

  • Has AI for single player       

  • Has button remapping to remap actions to any possible input

  • 3 game modes

Development Info

Role: Lead Designer, Developer, Producer

Team Size:

Genre: Local-Multiplayer Platform-Fighter

Engine: GameMaker Studio 1.8

Development Time: 1 year

Game Synopsis

ReallyGoodBattle is a local-multiplayer platform fighter with an early-Atari inspired minimalistic design. released in February of 2018 on Steam.

Responsibilities

  • I was the Game Designer on the project, ensuring the work produced by the team was in line with the core vision.

  • I was also Lead Developer, prototyping and iterating on the core mechanics and movement. 

  • I was Lead Producer, coordinating with contracted freelancers to create the sound design and OST.

  • Held weekly meetings with the freelance programmer to ensure milestones were met. 

  • Held weekly playtest sessions to better understand the games design and user experience

  • Designed feedback systems and visual effect

  • Created a cohesive aesthetic to craft a joyful experience for the players

Game Breakdown

ReallyGoodBattle was my first serious project that I worked on for an extended period of time.​ This project developed quite a lot, as I iterated on the initial prototype in search of a core gameplay loop that was satisfying and fun for players. After a few months of iteration I was left with this demo: 

While the core loop was fun, the overall project lacked direction. At this point I decided to focus on developing a game that would be fun to show at convention. This means my new design pillars were as follows 

Design Pillars 
  • Accessibility

  • Visual Appeal 

  • Simplicity

These design pillars really helped focus production and answer any questions I had throughout development. If it wasn't accessible, appealing or simple It wasn't worth pursuing as it did not support the core vision.

ReallyGoodBattle quickly became a game that I wanted players to be able to understand at a glance, pick up and be able to play immediately. Unlike other games in the genere I wanted to make sure I do not punish new players by limiting the amount of lives they and letting them get as much play time as possible. 

Movement Design

With accessibility and simplicity in mind the entire game's replayability, fun factor and skill ceiling relied heavily on movement. I knew it had to be very simple for people to understand and pick up while detailed enough for veteran players to keep an advantage as a reward for learning the game. After spending an entire month on research of various platforming games I was left with this: 

RGBMovement.gif
The Purpose of "the Point" 

With accessibility and simplicity in mind I elected to have only one character. All players share the same moveset and the same statics. This makes it very easy to understand but left me with one problem. It was impossible for a player to gain an advantage over another. If one player chose to run away, because all players move at the same speed, it became impossible to catch up and left many playtest sessions in a stalemate. 

RGBcircle.gif

To fix this issues I added a "King of the Hill" style point that spawns randomly on the map and acts as a focal point for the action of any given match. If a player chose to run away, that opened an opportunity for the other players to gain a laser that had the range of the entire screen, placing them at a great advantage. 

The point only gained charge when a single player sat within the boundaries of the circle. This forced players to combat over the point and remain defensive of it.  Im very proud of how this addition to the game structured gameplay while not mandating the players to understand the mechanic to have fun and enjoy the match. 

Issues in development

ReallyGoodBattle was my first game. In order to create this game I had to learn how to do everything from animation to programming. Starting solo was exhausting and a lot of development time went into trial and error on making things functional. From this I learned to design functional systems that enable a more effective development pipeline and enrich they gameplay experience 

Lessons Learned

ReallyGoodBattle taught me many things. How to lead a team. How to convey a desired design to team members. How to focus in on what makes a project fun and cull features that don't support the overall vision.

 

 ReallyGoodBattle taught me what it meant to complete a project from start to finish and showed me where I needed to grow to continue my journey as a game designer. 

 

In order to achieve the fluid, detailed movement I desired I had to learn how to script state machines that connected to each other (and remained cancalabe) without causing conflict within the games systems.

 

I had to learn billing and contracting as well as how to lead production meetings and keep team members directed and focused on creating assets and systems that stay inline with our core design pillars. 

 

I learned to formulate my thoughts and designs and the necessity that is playtesting and user research. The goal of any design is to create a desired mental state in the player and without testing there is no confirmation that the design is effective, rendering hours of work useless. 

Examples of Gameplay