JOSH LELAND | PHANTOM BADGER
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Wrath of the Llama Fandango
Game Jam October 2013
Our first ever Game Jam was a tough one, our whole team had only been programming in C# for a few weeks at this point, and we all had no experience in using any kind of game engine. So ontop of learning how to use some games frameworks we also had to actually make something we could be proud of. Thankfully, the Game Jam put on by the University was 48 hours long, which was more than enough time. We had no set theme for the Jam, and instead had to pick between 3 randomly generated names. Our team ended up with the name "Wrath of the Llama Fandango" and settled on the XNA framework for our game. This choice was mainly due to it's simplistic nature, and the fact that the University had a lot of documentation on XNA left over from the previous Final Year's projects in the Game Behaviour module.
With our name and engine in mind, we began to plot the gameplay we would go with, we were heavily inspired by Edmund McMillan's game 'The Binding of Isaac,' and went with a 2D top-down shooter, with basic 4 directional shooting. We had initially planned for the game to span multiple rooms with item pickups and weapons, however as the Game Jam progressed we realised this wouldnt be viable, mostly due to our inexperience at making games in general at this point. We instead decided to make our game survival based, with the two entrances of the room spawning multiple Llamas that the player would have to avoid and shoot. We then expanded on this by adding a score to give the player a way of seeing how well they're going on any given playthrough.
It was my job on our team to act as a form of 'Lead Programmer,' I was tasked with creating the base of the game, and get the character movement and shooting working. The rest of the Team had varying jobs, including the A.I. of the Llamas, the Art assets, Project management, and the code for spawning Llamas at random time intervals.
Towards the end of production we decided to add some variation to the Llamas, as one of our team had created numerous different Art Assets for the Llamas due to excess time. I fed each sprite into an array and randomly selected which would be assigned to the Llama on screen, then, depending on which was chosen, the Llama's speed and health would change.
The A.I. for the Llamas ended up being rather simple as well, they had 3 states, Roaming, Chasing and Caught, which were all based on the Llama's proximity to the player. Until the player got within a certain rangle of the Llamas, they would simple roam the nearby area, but once the player entered the 'notice range' the Llama would chase them down, until their position was equal to the players, at which point they would consider the player 'Caught' and would stop moving.
Overall Im really proud of what we managed to create with this game, and hope that someday I can remake it to a higher quality. Unfortunately within the following week Microsoft dropped all support for the XNA platform, and over time the relative files for running the game have been lost.