Christmas Game Retrospective #4
Published on December 12, 2003 By ScottTykoski In PC Gaming

A little over three months after it's engine was started, the flash game I've been working on, "Northpole Showdown", is finally done.  Well, as my associate Cari always likes to point out, you're never actually 'done' with a game, you just stop working on it.  If I had the time, I'd love to add in other game-play elements, enemies, special attacks, and levels....but it had a deadline, and so the project had to be wrapped up.

The game was designed with old "Street Fighting" games in mind (Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, Final Fight, ect) so hopefully it brings back good memories (for all you nostalgic gamers like myself.)  You can play 1 or 2 player modes, fighting through waves of XMas robots over a span of 5 levels.  There are bosses, throwable objects, and special attacks to spice up the game, and hopefully keep the action from getting too repetitive.

 

My main goal of this years Holiday game was to tell a story.  The engine was pretty straightforward to implement, so I had more time to focus on animation, which helps to give the game alot more character. Fortunately, animating Flash is painless....unfortunately, I had alot to animate.  Each playable character (Elfington and Panza) had almost 20 different actions they had to perform, so I had my work cut out for me from the start.  Add to this 6 robots to animate, backgrounds to create, and cutscenes to write, the To-Do list for this game was massive.  Luckily I did start early, so the game was able to be completed.  Plus, as I set out to do, the game has in-game text, as well as 4 cutscenes that do a pretty good job telling the story.

 

As far Christmas stories goes, this is probably the least Christmassy plot ever, but only because it needed to lend itself well to the game segments.  The story follows Elfington and Panza (our reoccurring heroes) as they fight off a horde of "Helper" robots gone berserk. Besides the Story mode, I also wanted to get in a "2 Player VS" mode (ala Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat) where players could pick from any of the in-game characters for a multi-round battle to see who's the best.  While I still would love to pit "Rudolphatron" against "Mr.Bellows. " in a battle-royle, time just didn't permit.  Perhaps if I can get enough interest in it I can make a separate game for this purpose...but probably not (until next year, that is).

When you make a game, you never know how well it will do, whether or not people will enjoy it, ect.  And while it's been out for just a day, and I'm not sure how general Web-Surfers will enjoy it, the word around the office and my home is that  the game turned out be be pretty  fun (even though a bit hard).   If you'd like to give it a shot, "Northpole Showdown" is available for download at www.download.com.  It's a 2.6 meg file (for you with dial-up), so it turned out to be the largest of my games thus far, but, without a doubt, my favorite of the bunch.

Also, for anyone that wants to spread the joy of  "Northpole Showdown" to their desktop, I made some custom wallpaper for download.

        

I hope everyone enjoys the game, and has a great Holiday season!


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