Indie Game Studio

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Super Fair Trial Show!

Hello, everybody!

We participated in this last Ludum Dare and created a game called Super Fair Trial Show -a topview arena shooter that shows a futuristic broadcasted gladiator fight. The player faces hordes of monsters while being watched by thousands of viewers around the world, who send tweets commenting on the fight and vote for the introduction of new rules every 10 seconds. Super Fair Trial Show features a lot of procedural content: the arenas' looks and format, the weapons, the enemies' behaviors and looks, and realtime rule changes and spectators' tweets! Yeah, it's all procedural, baby! No two games are the same!

Ok, ridiculous PR mode off :)




So, as all our other jam games, Super Fair Trial Show is free - just click the link, unzip the contents somewhere and click on the game icon to play!

Tech notes: It is Windows only (sorry Mac and Linux users!). Please run the game as Administrator, otherwise all kinds of bugs can happen! Also make sure to unzip the folder instead of trying to open the exe from within the zipped file, otherwise the sound won't work and other weird stuff might happen.

Controls:

WASD - moves
Double tap WASD - dodge
J - shoots
Hold J - keeps shooting. You can move around while holding J to keeping shooting without turning the character

Mastering the use of dodging and holding J to shoot without changing direction is essential to have any chance in the game!

By the way, the current world record in this game is 15 points, by yours truly! Can you score more than that? Let me know in the comments!


The creation process

This game was created for the 27th edition of Ludum Dare - if you don't know what that is, I wrote a blog post about it a while ago! Anyway, participating in the jam category, we only had 72 hours to create the whole game and 90% of the contents from scratch, following this edition's theme: "10 Seconds". We didn't have any good ideas on how to implement this theme at first, so we spent the weekend creating an arena shooter that had the type of controls that we want to have in a new game that we're working on, and also chose to implement this handful of procedural systems that were boiling in our heads for a while, so that we could get a feel of how well they would really work. Most of the development went pretty smoothly, but as usual the last few hours were ridiculously intense! The artificial inteligence broke at some point, and most enemies just wouldn't move or attack at all. The code was already a total mess at this point and it was impossible to know eevn how much broke it was! In the end, believe it or not, it was just a freaking typo! When the fixed it, it all started working again quite nicely! It was hardwork, but it sure did feel like a miracle. :D

At this point, when things started working again at about 2-3 hours away from the deadline, we got this new boost in motivation and proceeded to implement the TV show presentation, sound and the Twitter comments. All this last minute stuff ended up having a tremendous impact in the overall polish level and mood!




A couple remarks on the '10 Seconds' theme

When the theme was announced, we honestly didn't like it at all - 10 seconds sounded like too little time to convey any relevant gameplay! Of course, it is totally feasible to create good games that somehow only last 10 seconds, as proven by many great games developed by fellow Ludum Darers! I guess we just wanted to make an arena shooter where each match lasted longer than 10 seconds, and that's why we ended up going for the "every 10 seconds the rules change" approach. We think it worked well!

This is one of the great things in Ludum Dare - by committing to the restrictions, you have to leave your comfort zone and experiment. In the case of Super Fair Trial Show, the constant rule changes during the fight really spiced it up a lot and made the game much more interesting than it would be if we didn't have to fit the theme at all!


"Desert Game" - the future of Super Fair Trial Show

We developed some of the stuff in Super Fair Trial Show to prototype ideas that we have for a new game. This game doesn't have a name yet and for now we're just calling it 'the desert game'. We have already been working on the desert game for the past several weeks now, and we are very excited about it! It features a few things from Super Fair Trial Show:


  • Procedural everything - levels, weapons, enemies and a bunch of other stuff
  • Pixel Art visuals + realtime light and shadow
  • Frantic topdown shooter action


It also has a few interesting things on its own besides what was shown in Super Fair Trial Show:


  • Massive landscapes with lots of interesting things to discover
  • Level design that combines ideas from Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Journey of Eko
  • Melee, Long Range and Magic systems
  • Plenty of loot to find and leveling to do!


We're still experimenting with all systems and a lot may change from this point - that's why we're being so vague for now. As soon as we have something more concrete, I'll be glad to share! :)

For now, thanks for stopping by, and we hope you like Super Fair Trial Show!

Cheers

Gabriel and JP