This project came about when we saw that a month-long game jam, Github Game-Off, was about to end. We wondered if we should tackle this game jam, seeing as we didn't have much time. We finally decided that we should and proceeded to start brainstorming for the given theme, which was "hacking". We came up with this idea a sci-fi, blaxplotation survival game where the character would hack into a console to get a powerful suit.
I designed the flow and mechanics of the game, determining enemy spawns, behavior, and level design. I was also the creative director for a team of eight, keeping the art, engineering, narrative, and music constantly updated and on-track so that the final product could be as refined and consistent as possible.
The Man and his Jive Synthetics is a 2d side scrolling shooter where waves of enemies spawn to fight the player. We made our own custom movement controller for the player, tweaking tiny things for good game feel for things like walking and jumping. I took in account for things like the player moving and shooting while in the air also.
We also custom tuned our shooting controls, implementing factors of recoil, bullet arc, kickback, and screen shake for really heavy and juicy game feel. I wanted the player to feel really powerful when they used the gun, so I made the bullets almost as big as the player sprite. One of the vital pieces of combat is the melee strike. The player uses their sword to slice anything to the left and right of them. This kills enemies and enemy projectiles. I made the hit box really small so the risk of getting hit would be really high, but the reward would be a one-hit kill.
The enemies were designed in a way to keep the player moving, encouraging really high energy gameplay. One of the enemies just charges at you, damaging you by contact. This forces the player to learn the enemy spawns or be really quick on their feet by dodging. The other is very slowly moving, but shoots projectiles at the player that they can either dodge or melee. Because the project was for a short duration, there are still a few balances that need to be implemented for a better experience.
I designed the UI to intuitively communicate the objectives, spawns, and health of the player without having a bunch of bars all over the place. One of the systems that we implemented with UI was how the player upgrades both visually and mechanically as they progress through the waves of enemies. The player gets a suit as they play and strength, health, and speed are upgrades as each part gets attached.
- edited the trailer in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
- utilized video, sound effects, and music from the game
- voice-over actor narrated trailer
- created all of the sound effects in the game
- edited using royalty free audio and Adobe Audition CC
- worked with narrative designer to determine flow and pacing of the game