Boat Battle: Bleu
A micro-sized 2-player naval combat game. Take control of a Spanish or English galleon, load yer broadsides, and battle it out for control of the high seas!
Made in collaboration with David Milne for a self-organized 33-hour game jam.
Three things I like:
- It's ship-to-ship combat on a miniature scale! That alone as a theme is fairly brilliant and not something I've seen tried often enough. We found a good arcade-y heart to the thing and I still believe there's a lot of potential in this type of multiplayer design (though perhaps scaled up to a network level?). Movement is obviously unrealistic and we revel in that while still managing to capture some of the tension in other naval battle games. Job done, I'd say
- We kept our scope manageable for this jam, with both of us understanding that we'd only have 33 hours to work and we'd probably lose 8-12 hours of that on sleep, food, etc. It was a struggle at times to maintain focus on only the core features for such a long time but thankfully we found that discipline and were able to spend at least a few hours on polish with things like audio and particles.
- It was the first game jam for both David and myself since we completed our respective final projects. Throughout the jam, we kept commenting on how much faster we both were compared to the jams we had done in the spring. The experienced gained recently has made a lot of things much easier and I can't wait to keep doing this in the years to come, as I will be able to accomplish more and more in the short, controlled time limits of game jams.
Three things I don't like:
- While we did get everything done relatively quickly, I also sort of wish we had made it all within the first two to three hours and had a little more time to add in extra features and more options for the combat. It does do the one thing pretty well but our intended design had a lot more that was going to be added in. Maybe instead we should have gone the other way and zeroed in on that key tension of the one mechanic and fleshed that out more rather than thinking of additional features to buttress it.
- We had a bug the first night where the ships were deleting themselves (thanks to an accidental extra trail renderer that was auto-destructing) that happened right as I was settling in to work on the game at home. I did fix the bug almost immediately after waking up the next day but I wish I had spotted the cause the same night so I could have had more time to work (less sleep yes, but it goes with the jam environment). I think having a longer jam would solve a lot more problems, which sounds a lot more palatable than restricting the scope more.
- We did get some work done on helping the player experience but it's still not always obvious which boath you are (lack of sails). More could have been done to help the player figure out the impact of the wind and the abilities/limits of their vessel. Player experience is king, even with a wee game like this.