Archive for December, 2010

Scrap Metal Heroes

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

It’s been a pretty hectic marathon getting this thing finished, but it’s finally there, perhaps aside from a few final tweaks. It’s without a doubt my best and biggest game yet, and there really isn’t anything else quite like it, so do check it out. If it proves popular, I may end up making a multiplayer-enabled sequel. With a bit more focus on balance between parts, I think Scrap Metal Heroes would make a pretty interesting competitive game.

As usual, this project has ended up taking longer than I initially expected. While the lane combat mechanic is similar to what I used in ADoE, having five different parts on every robot made attribute tracking and AI rather different. Just aligning all the damn parts correctly took a fair bit of tedious toil. Even so, the robot and part management UI was actually a bigger job than anything else. In fact, I fear cascades of icons may haunt my dreams now. At least my next game concept doesn’t call for an inventory system; that’ll definitely be a nice change of pace. Although now that I’ve made such a thing, it probably wouldn’t be too difficulty to adapt it to something else, like an RPG for instance.

Another thing I’m glad to be done with is the convoluted art pipeline I ended up with for this game. Every part had to be rendered from three different angles, each of them with four render passes. That’s twelve images generated even for the non-animated parts. Add to that all the modeling, animation, compositing, resizing and alignment needed and you’ve got yourself a work load. Fortunately, the game’s 250-ish environment objects only needed a single angle each. In addition to all that, there’s of course the many character portraits as well. They were quite a bit of fun to do though, so I shouldn’t really complain, except for the fact that I ended up making almost twice as many portraits as I ultimately used.

But in the end I do think it was worth the effort. While my excitement for it has been tempered lately by fatigue and the awesomeness of my next idea, it is still a solid and unique game in my eyes. Do let me know what you think of it.

Here’s the direct link:

http://www.overworldlabs.com/smh.html

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