(A link to the game!) To make a long story short! Mig over at HBO contacted me about two weeks ago to make a Flash game to help distribute codes to the Halo: Reach beta. I pondered the project and said I would do as good as I could muster, in my busy spare time. When I finally got to working on it last Sunday it was pretty close to the deadline, the game had to be public Wednesday night!
How did I manage it? To start off I opened up an old project I had never finished from 2007. Why the progress had stopped back then was because the game ran so slowly on my computer hardware at that time, but now that was no longer an issue. I began with writing a list of things to do, to be slightly organized. The list of changes and additions is probably not very interesting, but the important stuff I did was adding a new collision detection model, copied over database connectivity from another game I have not finished, added an actual UI (though incredibly basic), designed all the obstacles and finally a level for people to play. Half of these things I did the evening before the game was published, which is kind of nuts when I think about it.
So on Wednesday night at 2am my time it was posted in the HBO forum, and I could finally go to bed, after a three day headache :) Before falling asleep though, I checked the reactions popping up on the forum, and I have to say I have not felt that feeling you get when people are playing a game you have made in quite some time! I can’t even imagine how it would be to release a retail game you have worked on constantly for several years… but I enjoyed this very much in any case!
All game sessions were registered in a database and nine winners were picked. The categories you could win in were not only highest score, but also most runs, most quits, longest time played and so on. There is a summary of it here.
About the game itself.
The game takes place in a cramped tunnel on the last level of Halo: CE, The Maw, where you had to race towards an escape to safety while all these parasitic life forms that are The Flood were bearing down on you. This rendition of the event is a bit calmer with only static flood blobs, but they are instead incredibly dangerous! Touch one and you are assimilated!
The style is quite clearly based on Stuntmutt’s stylized version of Master Chief, the famous One One Se7en. I greatly enjoy using Mr 117 as it makes content creation quite quick but also instantly recognizable by the right crowd. Win win!
The only tips you get when it comes to controls are what keys to use, the rest is for yourself to find out through experimentation! Personally I feel like more games could be made this way, as I greatly enjoy exploration even in that sense… but I guess that much depends on the complexity of the game.
Afterthoughts? I wish I had time to do more things like this, more often, for sure.