Oh, what a glorious elf-adventure it could have been. :(
Published on December 4, 2003 By ScottTykoski In PC Gaming

So perhaps the name wasn't the most clever, but the 3rd installment to my series of Christmas games was designed to be a monster.  Armed with an level editor, multiple paths to victory, and 2-player Contra style game play, "Elf Force" was going kick the crap out of my last two games - and it'd have more robots (see below).

For anyone keeping tabs, however, you'll realize that Elf-Force never saw the light of day.  Engine design took priority on this one, leaving no time to get the game's content made.  What was the lesson learned, you ask?  The lesson is "Don't set your heights too high."  I had envisioned a huge game but left myself only 2 months to complete it.  Even with Flash's simplicy, making the game I was hoping for was beyond any one human being (mostly with all the GalCiv work being wrapped up at the time).

What did get finished, however, I was pretty proud of.  People could use the map editor to create, save, and play a level (for which I had to learn the wackiness of Flash's XML handling).  I got a pretty decent side scrolling engine working within the Flash environment, plus I learned a lot about game-flow and triggered events

This is the basic map editor.  Nothing much to look at, but it gave a nice bit of flexibility to map-creators.  Below is a playable room from a lava-level I whipped up using it.

Again, the visuals are pretty painful (you're fighting larger versions of yourself) but the game-play had promise.  I just wish I could have got it done in time.  Luckily, after learning the importance of keeping side-projects simple, as well as starting early, I can say that work is quickly wrapping up on "Northpole Showdown". This year's Holiday Game borrows the game-play of Quarter-Munchers such as "Double Dragon", "Final Fight", and "TMNT: The Arcade Game", and adds a Christmas flare.  That should be released next week, but in the meantime, here's the most recent version of "Elf-Force" for anyone to download.


Player One Controls:  Movement  Arrow Keys        Jump } Key            Fire Weapon  \ Key  

Player Two Controls:  Movement  A S D W            Jump 1 Key             Fire Weapon   ~ Key  

Get to levels on the  "main map" using the arrow keys to roll over a red dot, then press the jump or attack key.  You can break green boxes in the Lava Level, and you have to collect 30 packages in the Polar Bear level to beat that one (make sure the 30th gift is on the ground to get a pelvic-thrusting "level completed" animation ).  Again, its nothing special, but it's an interesting look into how game's look when time just runs out. 

on Dec 09, 2003
pleas arive on christmas day
on Dec 09, 2003
pleas arive on christmas day
on Dec 09, 2003
um, the pictures arent showing...