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Ludum Dare 26 was a great chance to make something different and step out of our comform zone once again. This time the chosen theme was "Minimalism" and we tried to make a "minimalist stealth game". Well...sort of :D

Posted by cominu on May 13th, 2013

Ooops, we did it again :D


Ludum Dare 26 was a great chance to make something different and step out of our comform zone once again. This time the chosen theme was "Minimalism" and we tried to make a "minimalist stealth game". Well...sort of :D

"Design choices" or "72 hours to find the fun"

The Ludum Dare Jam rules have an hard constraint: you only have 72 hours to create an original and playable game! This forced us to use a very practical approach to game development and many design choices were influenced by it.

Here's what the game is about: it's an online multiplayer game about two teams, the Guards and the Thieves, fighting to win the match.

Same level, different visuals: Guards (left), Thieves (right)

Thieves goal
When the match begins the Thieves receive a message specifing what is the object to steal, and they win the match when the stole it and then escape from one of the exit points. Thieves have only little HP but they have "night vision" goggles, so it's easy to hide in the shadows (or inside a bush) where the guards can't see you.

Guards goal
The Guards have to defend the objects in the map for 5 minutes to win the match, but they don't know which object is the real target of the Thieves. These poor guards doesn't have fancy night vision goggles, all they got is a cheap flashlight but their armor gives them more than double HP than the Thieves.

Did I mentioned, that both teams have guns? Yeah, shooting is always fun but beware of friendly fire :)

Also, the key to win a match is to strategically use the level to your advantage, like switching the room lights on/off or if you're a thief planning to outsmart the Guards patrol routes trying to pass through windows.

Art and level design

Artistically we choose to keep all the 3d models fairly lowpoly and use a really simple texturing to maximise the amount of models that a single human being can create in 72 hours.

3D Models! Lots of small models!

The same approach was used to create all the 3d models for the environment like walls and floors. All these models were created in a modular fashion (think Lego blocks) so that we can assemble and test a map in a few minutes of works inside Unity.


Top view of the map. Unlit (left), lighted (right)

What went right

  • We completed it in 72 hours!
  • Spotlights with dynamic shadows in a dark environment are always a win :)
  • Unity networking worked great for this kind of game, with player hosted games handling up to 8 players without any serious issues
  • We received a lot of good feedback about the game and we had fun playing it with random people online as well as with friends

What went wrong

  • We run out of time before starting to create the animated characters
  • We didn't find the time to include different sets of weapons or gadgets
  • Player firewalls sometimes prevent people to host games
  • Without dedicated and persistent servers isn't easy to find people to play a match.

The future

So, is this prototype going to be the starting point for a future full game? Absolutely! What's missing now?

  • Characters models, because a shooting capsule isn't really that cool.
  • Dedicated 24/7 servers: because it's easier to find a quick match and will have a better network connection than your home broadband (less lag!)
  • New maps: because...well, you know...
  • More gadgets for both sides: placeable proximity sensor with alarm (guards), stun weapons (thieves), etc...
  • Guard bots: because sometimes you have the urge to team-up with your friends in a co-op match and just assault a bank having lots of guards to outsmart or kill. Like to good old days! ;-)

Try it, it's free!

Of Guards And Thieves is available for Win, Mac and Linux and can be downloaded at: Subvertgames.com

Post comment Comments
booman
booman May 15 2013, 7:13pm says:

Cool, glad you guys are taking some breaks from Black Reef Pirates and doing some small projects.
Thanks for the Linux port!

+2 votes     reply to comment
cominu
cominu May 16 2013, 5:17am says:

Linux users really need some love from game developers. That's my small contribution :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
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