• Andrew Jonhardt

Project Splatter

I can't continue with my plan of making Pointman. Not yet. This much was obvious after how much I struggled on Text to Ghost last week. So, what can I make instead?

I had given up on this question, and was busy exercising, when I found myself listening to a song that I had forgotten was on my phone:

And, I found myself thinking of a game that once inspired me:

I once played a Splatterhouse cabinet during the yearly Fantastic Fest in Austin. I had never seen the game before and, despite the clunky jumping and a level of difficulty designed to eat currency, I saw something special in the surprisingly entertaining yet simple design.

The main character in Splatterhouse, Rick, is a brawler, but he's not as fancy as Ryu from Street Fighter. If you stand and attack, you get a punch. If you jump or crouch before attacking, you get kicks. There's a slide move I still haven't mastered. The foes Rick faces are often just as basic, with the difficulty coming from the varied directions of attack combined with the hazards and traps that fill the levels.

The point is, when I look at Splatterhouse, I see a game even I could make. And, if things were different, a game that I would be happy to have made. This is not an impression I get from most games, and I decided it was grounds to use Splatterhouse as a guide.

My next game will be a commercial product, influenced by Splatterhouse, with likely contracted art assets. I'm scrapping my previous time table and associated plans, as they were intended for Pointman, and I will instead be allocating 6 months for development of an initial prototype. If I can't get an art-less prototype done in 6 months, I'll drop the project and go back to free, hobbyist productions. If I do get a prototype done in 6 months, however, I will begin searching for a composer.

I've already met someone whose stated a willingness to serve as an artist for the project. Getting an artist this early holds alot of potential positives and negatives, so I've given myself a test to complete first:

I've got until Friday to assemble an initial list of all of the sprite, animation, and 1-panel "cutscene" assets I will need for the game.

If I can assemble an initial asset list, I will use the number of assets as a basis for a quote for the artist's services. If I cannot assemble the initial asset list in time, I'm clearly not ready to be seeking out artists and will postpone seeking an artist until I'm much further along.

I'll have more to say about Project Splatter next week.

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