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The Amazing Spooder-mans: There can only be one


Overview

Four spandex-clad superheroes punch, kick, and web-sling each other off the walls to their doom. Artist and programmer for VGDC UCI’s 2015 Winter Game Jam as a part of the Spooder-mans team.

Jan. 2015:
Game art assets, gameplay programming, game physics, character controls, character state machine, debugging.

Github – https://github.com/nclong/spooder-mans


WIP!

Introduction

Spooder-mans is a game made for UCI’s Video Game Development Club’s 2015 Winter Game Jam following the theme “pick a side”. Our designer Nick Long devised the concept of multiple players shooting hooks to pull others off of walls while surviving for as long as possible. Eventually the concept became Spooder-mans, where the goal is to knock all the other Spooder-mans off the stage by punching, kicking, and slinging your web.

Art

Distinctive silhouettes, appealing color palettes. Expressive animations with few drawings.

Merging Difficulties

All worked in separate scenes, tried to merge everything near the end of the game jam. Didn’t work very well, controls were clunky, some bugs left. All Spooder-mans played identically.

Character Controls

Before presentation day spent a weekend looking through all the code and revamping it. Rewrote movement code, web code, and added tweakable parameters to create distinct traits for each Spooder-man.

Jump code based on Mario jump. Basically a quadratic function with reduced acceleration as the player held the jump button longer, but the reduction slowed as they neared the end of the jump.

Attacks create bursts of speed and have different effects based on timing. Like critical hits. Attacks do more damage the faster the player is traveling in the direction of the attack. Knockback based on raw damage value and the target player’s resistance.

Webs can stun players for different durations, have different travel speeds, shoot speeds, etc.

Conclusion

Game pretty much requires 4-players in order to be fun. Simplistic combat since most attention is toward staying on the walls. People are afraid of leaving the walls to engage in combat because aiming and shooting the web is mechanically complex. Need more mechanics to encourage players to leave the wall. Once players master the controls, it’s hard to knock other players off the map.

Add increased knockback based on amount of damage a player has suffered? Once there are only 2 players left, introduce an instant-death mechanic on each wall to force players to travel to the other wall?

With 4 players the game really takes off. One of the more fun games I’ve had the privilege of working on.