So Graveyard Defense has been online for only a day and it has already been exploited to build up a massive high score. Not that we are really tracking these scores. But that is not the point.
I let my daughter Deana play the game and she quickly found a way to exploit the game mechanics to beat my best score of 120 or so points. It isn’t a big deal, only a weakness in the way the game was designed. But it is still there.
As you may recall, the game is played by using the arrow keys to attack monsters as they come out of the graves. Eventually, the monsters come out so quickly and attack faster and you become overwhelmed and are defeated. The exploit lies in that basic interaction between the arrow keys and the monsters.
Because there is no penalty, other than a wasted attack, to hitting a wrong arrow, players can simply spam the arrow keys to rack up a high score. That is exactly what my daughter did. She used four fingers to mash the arrow keys repeatedly. So she was effectively attacking all four directions at once. At least for a while. She was still overwhelmed and she lost. But that isn’t the point. The fact is, the game has a weakness.
This isn’t really a big deal for a game made in under two days. It does show that extensive testing of a design concept is necessary for a successful game.
I don’t have any plans to fix the game at the moment. But I may revisit it and implement the change in gameplay I mentioned in the previous blog post at some point in the future.
So for now, have fun spamming those arrow keys and rack up the highest scores you can. I wish I had put in place a way to track those scores. It would be fun to watch.
Game Exploits, Graveyard Defense
This is not the game I wanted for February, but it is the game I needed. To steal and butcher a line from Batman. I wanted to do something a bit larger and more political for the month of February but time got away from me and I was not able to complete that game. But I did not give up on my goal of one game a month.
Instead, I made something simpler and just for fun. The game is called Graveyard Defense. The premise is simple. You stand in the center of a closed off graveyard. The undead begin to rise from the graves as you attempt to defend yourself from the wave upon wave of monsters. They keep coming and keep coming faster and faster. Eventually, you find yourself overpowered and you fail.
One of the neatest things about this game is the fact that it has sounds. This is my first game to include sound effects. They aren’t the best sound effects, but it is pretty good for a start. There are a total of five sounds for the game. One when the monster rises from the grave. One when the player kills the monster. One if the player misses. One when the player gets hit by a monster. And the final sound is when the player dies. These sounds were created using the great free tool SFXR.
The game is played using the arrow keys on the keyboard. When a monster rises, you press the arrow that points to the monster. If you hit it, you kill the monster and gain a point. If you miss, the monster is there waiting for its time to attack.
If you wait for too long to attack, the monster will attack you and you will lose a hit point. If you lose them all, you will die. Did I mention that the monsters attack faster and faster as teh game progresses? At that point, you have an opportunity to try again.
The graphics were mostly made by Willis. I made the animations for the paladin based on his forward facing idle pose. I also created the gravestones, the walls and the “pow” image.
The paladin’s attack poses were a bit trick as I am not too skilled at creating action poses. They could certainly be refined and if I decide to expand on this game idea, I will certainly ask Willis to redo them. I would also like to add animations for the monsters, but that would not have been possible in the time frame I had.
One potential update I could make to the game is to make it more like the game “Simon”. Right now, the monsters just pop out at random and you attack them. In this update, the game would build up a pattern of monsters that you would have to attack as they come. If you mess up, then you would lose a hit point. Fail too many times and you lose. This wouldn’t be too difficult of an update to make, but not something I felt like I could get right before the end of the month.
I created the game from start to finish in about 8-10 hours. That includes creating the various graphics, sounds and the coding. Not bad for something that is this fun. I will certainly try to get a bigger game out soon.
Graveyard Defense, OneGameAMonth