After Cyber Punk Jam had finished I considered entering GenderJam, a friend had made a movie 6 years previous about a transgender cop, I thought that a jam entry would not do the movie justice so held off making the game in just a few days.
Wing Wing Shoot Bag are a comedy duo from Wales who make all sorts funny videos and short movies, they were celebrating 10 years of #WWSB so I thought it appropriate to make a game for their party goodie bag.
I had 5 months to get the game done, which seemed like for ever but I was far too adventurous, I will go into details later, first off I started making some pixel art versions of the movies characters:
The movie starts with Susan Balaka being captured then interviewed, she tells her story up to this point in time, including how she was turned into a male spy, trained by a frog and then took on a dangerous mission. I decided to make each section of the movie into a mini game which would pay tribute in some way to a classic retro game.
Main menu animation
The movie intro shows our hero being hunted, shot and captured, I wanted the game to be an interactive version of the movie so started with a sniper style level. The player must shoot our hero 5 times before moving onto a cut scene showing Balaka being interviewed. I loved Cabal on the Amiga and always fancied making a shooting scene, to add to the difficulty the further back you shoot the longer the time before the bullet impact.
During the interview Balaka tells his story, she starts as a young girl on the way to the Mega Bowl but gets captured on the way. You play as Suzi and have to reach the bowl plex, collecting hormones on the way so you are able to sprint and stay clear of Egon who works for the scientist who wants to turn you into a super spy. On the way you dodge signs and have to roll under road blocks.
A favorite Amiga game of mine was IK+, in this martial arts game between rounds you would have to deflect balls with a shield and kick bombs to gain points. The next part of Balaka’s story is her training with master Kodac, while training Kodac shouts random advice and abuse at you.
On his way to find a dangerous terrorist Balaka is ambushed by a bunch of terrorists in a van. He must survive a series of machine gun and grenade attacks. This level was inspired by the Terminator chase scene.
Making a new game mechanic for each level really adds to the time needed for development, When a level was complete rather than adding to it in some way I had to start from scratch each time. New pixel art was needed for the background, characters, objects, bullets etc this really took a lot of time. The original plan had 10 levels, after level 4 the game would have Balaka walk a few streets of enemies encountering bosses very much like Golden Axe or Streets of Rage.
While the original plan may have been met if I worked on it night and day this just was not possible with a day job and other commitments.
Although the game (part one) is finished it does not tell all the story, I will come back to add more levels at some point and maybe polish what is already in place. The level that are featured in the game could be made longer and definitely be polished. Enough time was not spent testing the levels and checking the difficulty. Currently the game has no real menu and is fixed to one resolution this is something I will address before adding more content.
There are many improvements I would like to make but overall I am pleased with the outcome and it was a lot of fun to make.
I will be making the game available soon but as it was a gift in the goodie bag I will leave it for a while so those who came to the event get the first go!
WWSB goodie bags at event