Lost Outpost: Resistance was a game design internship turned student project. My internship was with a company called Garage Collective under Cyril Guichard, you can check out their site here. For my internship I was tasked with designing a mobile HTML 5 version of their Lost Outpost IP. They wanted it to be in line with their original game (survival horror) but more something that the player would enjoy in short bursts, so more arcady. I wrote up a design for them and we were supposed to get a programmer, but that fell through. I kept working with Cyril and learned a lot about the struggles of indie development and kept working on my gdd. He gave great feed back and is a really great designer and friend.
A few months later in a studio class I found myself needing to make a game by myself and Lost Outpost: Resistance seemed like a good technical challenge. So I picked Construct 2 as my HTML5 engine of choice and got to work. I started simple and worked on getting the basic functionality in; a guy that could rotate and shoot at aliens coming at him from all sides. I did all the art myself (warning it has caused eyes to bleed) and you can play that version here.
The first thing that I had to fix was the art, clearly. I contacted Cyril and asked him if I could use his art and IP for my game. He agreed once he saw my first playable, out of pity I think. Since this was just a fun little demo, though my class played it for a while trying to get the highest score, I knew I needed to give the game more depth. I decided to make 2 aliens to spice the game up a bit. The bug could take 1 hit and dealt 1 damage, they were the cannon fodder. The hunter was harder to kill, took 5 hits to die and dealt 5 damage. I increased the health of the player and boom: version 0.2.
You may notice there there is no longer a break dancing Mark Wahlberg wannabe (violence warning) because I replaced it with a turret, which makes way more sense rotation wise, and the art is now better than what a toddler could do. I also started adding in more complex scoring. Basically every alien had a base score (100 * hp) and the player had a score multiplier which would increase based on the number of aliens killed without getting hit. This was to bring the game more in line with the quick mobile design that I was going for. Something fast, that the player could do multiple times on a bus ride, that allowed the player to track progress. Fun game but nowhere near fun enough yet.
The next version saw only small changes. I added a title screen with a start button. I also made the game bring the player back to the title screen when they died so they no longer had to reload the browser to get it to work. I zoomed the map out so the player had more time to react, which meant that I could adjust the difficulty up a little bit. I also made the background way too busy. Sadly I lost about 4 versions due to a bug so I cannot show them off. But I will describe what changes I made that led to this version.
I added in human soldiers to protect. They would spawn in at random and move towards the extraction point at the top of the screen. I also made them shoot at aliens that came near them. Their survival became a separate score multiplier as well, but only at the end of the game. I added in 2 more aliens for a total of 4.
The Bug: goes after closest target, be it fleeing human or the player's turret.
The Soldier: Only goes after the player's turret, moves in a sine wave pattern. Lots of HP and deals a lot of damage.
The Spitter: Acts just like the bug but moves way faster in a cosine pattern and is harder to kill.
The Hunter: Ignores the player turret and only goes for human soldiers. She is very fast and hard to bring down.
Since the humans can also fire at aliens I had to spend a lot of time making sure they looked like they could defend themselves, but not so well that the player was useless. In one of the versions that was lost the player never had to do anything because the humans were so deadly that they killed all the aliens. I ended up giving them a range and a cone of vision so that they did not make the game easy.
I knew that the player needed more tools to make the game fun. So I gave them a second weapon and a shield.
Seeing as how the player could shoot humans as well the player needed a way to deal with aliens that were on the other side of the humans. I added in a RPG. It is slow to fire and reload. There is also a delay between firing it and it landing. It deals damage in an area and kills Hunters and Soldiers in 1 hit. It is oddly fun to use.
I also gave the player a shield for those moments when there are just too many aliens. The player activates it for a brief shield that kills any alien that touches it. The shield then goes on a 10 second cooldown.
By the time I got to the final version I was tweaking balance and polishing it up.
I added a controls screen, which was very helpful. I added sound effects and music. I balanced the guns a bit better by making the RPG not kill the Hunters or Soldiers in 1 hit. I added a final score screen.
I even added a High Score board, but my SQL server stopped working a few months ago and I never repaired it.
Here is a gallery of some screenshots from my Construct 2 scripting that ran the game.
This game was a lot of fun to make and taught me a lot about Construct 2. It was a blast to playtest and getting my whole class competing for high score when they should have been working hard on their projects was a really good feeling. I tried very hard to make the game keep players in the flow zone, the balance between tension and boredom. Based on how long after the class was over I had people trying to beat the high score I would say it was successful.
Click here to play the Final Version (works on your phone or tablet as well)