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Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN Haunted Minigolf

I posted about this before, but since it's Halloween, here's a project I did a coupla years ago called HAUNTED MINIGOLF and a little more about the development.

It's one of the 1% of things I worked on that can be called a "completed game." 18 holes of atmospheric spooky fun.  Enjoy.

Just a few words about the development:

I made the entire thing using a product called APP Game Kit from a company called The Game Creators... but then deployment it was such a painful buggy process, I re-did it completely using Construct 2.  With Construct 2 I did in about 2 months what took me almost a year using AGK.  My AGK folder is now a ghost town as I will never use that product again.  There's no point.  Why use chop sticks when you can use a fork?

To be fair, I already did a lot of the art and assets by the time I hit Construct 2, but going from never using it before to finishing a project took a fraction of the time, and deployment to any web browser is done before you even start.

The ball has an animation that appears to "roll" in a neat 3d way even though it's a 2d engine.  Also I really like the "creepy attic" level. There's something about old creepy dolls.

Mostly I used stock photos, a 3d level editor and lightmapper called 3D World Studio, and Paint Shop Pro 7.   This way I had the freedom to just draw, cut n paste, add lighting, add effects etc in any way I wanted, and pre-render everything to create a mood for each level.  For example in the entryway of the haunted house (level 4 or 5) there are bloody hand prints on the door and there's the American Gothic painting with the old man and wife with a pitch fork, but they're skulls instead.  I tried to put little touches like that everywhere I could.  That's what makes gamedev fun.

I also made my own rules for minigolf, to make it feel more like an arcade game.  You start out with 3 shots or "balls" and after each successful hole, you get some more depending on the par.  If you don't use all your shots, they carry over so you can get through more difficult areas.  There are also bonus ghosts you can get and rolling skulls you can knock into holes for extra points.

If you get through all 18 holes, you get a bunch of points, 10 extra balls and start over.  This is how the real high scores get made.

Oh the music is a loop from the open license piano movement from um... "Ghost..." something... You can actually hear that same song in the XBOX version of Minecraft.  Cheap skates.  2.6 billion for the franchise, but they used an open license song for the interludes... anyhow I actually changed it up a bit.

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