Steve The Space Age Stevedore
Steve is a dinosaur.
A dinosaur who sorts luggage at his local moon-base space-port.
Steve loves his job but is constantly harassed by all of his co-workers.
Help Steve push the right kinds of luggage into the right chutes.
But make sure to properly dispose of any non-luggage items like burgers or dynamite!
Classic-style Arcade Action game with dynamic luggage-sorting system and difficulty progression.
Created in collaboration with Jeremy Powell and Richard Coburn via Game Maker 8.1
Three things I like:
- The wacky concept and backstory received a lot of love from the team over the development history. While the game itself remained pretty much the same as the original concept, and rightfully so, we kept developing the weird world and background of the game. I wish we had gotten more chances to show off the stuff we came up with but it's also nice to just have that madness peaking through.
- One of the things I was happy to add was the randomization of luggage types and chutes. I was still not a great UI artist at this point so figuring out to colorize the chutes to the type felt like a breakthrough for me. I think I recognized that the original concept wasn't extremely deep and tried my hardest to introduce variety where I could, a noble cause.
- The other thing that was added during the development was a gently ramping difficulty curve. We were originally going to have set level designs but that was ditched for a more procedural, harder-to-guess design. This was a good choice and I like that the early game readies the player for the much more difficult, fun, and replayable later levels.
Three things I don't like:
- There's really no getting around it, the game just ain't too pretty. Art was a really difficult point for our team, as none of us were or trying to be artists at the time. Looking back, if I had known that we were going to be in such a hard place for the visuals, I would have handed off the game programming and focused on the art myself. A wasted chance for the lovably silly world we created, but I would like to return to the design at some point and boil it down with a new, more abstract art style.
- I mentioned that I liked that the earlier levels were easy, as an introduction to a harder game beyond. But that might also be an excuse for a failure to create a proper tutorial. Sure, there are some in-game menus and diagrams with text that explains things. But nothing would beat an interactive tutorial level that taught all the mechanics by actually performing them.
- The one mechanic that I'm not completely sold on, though I was ecstatic to get it working properly, was moving the luggage onto tables and back. Having the tables be represented in a physical space reduces their usefuleness to the player for storing and re-inserting the luggage on the queue. If I was going to make the game again, I'd make that a 1 or 2 slot storage system, where you can drop off your stored luggage any time (something I've seen work well in other puzzle action games).