Friday, 19 March 2010

I want YOU to Fight the Evil Steampunk Numbers

My most recent 48-hour competition game, Abraham Lincoln versus the Steampunk Numbers is now available to download and play! Yippee!!

I just finished adding some finishing touches to this version, just to make it a bit more accessible (in-game hints etc.), and am ready to show it off to the world, even if it is unfinished.

The theme of the competition was Education, and my team decided to make an RPG where the battles were based on Countdown-style arithmetic. Hopefully it's fairly self-explanatory.

I really want to hear your thoughts on it so I know what to improve! I've had some suggestions pointed out to me that I plan to put into action in a later version, so just tell me what you think of the whole thing - any and all comments welcome!

Download the game from here

The game was made in XNA 3.1, so to play the game you will need to download the XNA 3.1 redistributable from here. It's only 7MB and is very easy to download.

If it does not work you may need to download the .NET framework Version 3.5 from here

Thanks very much for having a go and I can't wait to hear what you all think!


  1. Ok I tried it - great work for such a short time period. I found the boss monster quite frustrating however as I often did not have enough "number" value to even get close to hitting him. And since you needed to be very close to even get a hit, I found it MUCH harder than the regular mobs who were VERY easy.

    But again, not sure how you did all that in such a short time. Good job.

  2. Thanks for the response. I'm planning to make it so that the game will always give you numbers that you can make a solution with. Either that or I'll make it so that you can "defend" if you think there's no solution, and if there really is no solution then you'll take no damage. I prefer the former though, as it's simpler for the player to understand. What do you think?

    Also, if you think the difficulty balancing wasn't very good I can try to make it a bit smoother. Perhaps the easier stages give you numbers 10-50, later stages give you 51-99, the next ones give you 100-200 and so on. Would that improve things much?

    As for how we did it in a short time, part of it was because XNA is really nice for games, another part is because of how we split up the tasks (I worked on the battles and my team-mate worked on the overworld), but mostly because it's amazing what you can achieve with a time constraint ;)

    That said, it wasn't until the last 4 hours of the competition that the game started to come together, so it was a nailbiting experience!

  3. I don't think you should make all the battles give you numbers that would work: it would make it too easy if you knew there was always a solution.

    I like your idea of a "defend" option: it would force you to be really sure that there isn't a solution before choosing it.

    For some of the larger numbers perhaps make it _more_ likely that it's possible though.

  4. I'll try both options. Once I've written the bit that lets it calculate if there's a solution or not I'll put both in and try it out on various people. I'm guessing you'd by happy to test for me? :P

  5. Yeah I agree with Draknek's choice. I still don't know how you did that with XNA so fast. With Unity I would get it...

    But yeah I would break up the difficulty a bit. Or just make each puzzle slightly harder than the next no matter what order of enemies they face (except the mob boss).

  6. XNA's pretty fast to work with, at least for 2D stuff. If you're used to the programming side I'm sure it'll work just as easily. I've had a look at Unity myself and really like it, but I haven't put a lot of time into it so I don't know it very well. So for me XNA is faster just because of experience ^^;

    I'll get to playing around with the difficulty today ;)

  7. Cool game - when I started watching the YouTube demo I thought the battle mechanism might be to wear the enemy down by applying operations to it (e.g. divide an enemy 24 by 6 one turn and it becomes a 4; next turn you might be able to produce a 4 to kill it). Obviously I was mistaken, but I like the idea! and maybe such a system would give you more options to weaken an enemy without having to provide a particular set of numbers.

    Aware this is more than a year ago now, so you've probably put it on the shelf? I think it's a brilliant idea and with a more child-friendly theme would be a great little educational game!

  8. Thanks, Chris :) Glad you enjoyed it! I really like this one, and it's definitely on the cards for Project #3 (as in what I work on after Greedy Bankers iPad)

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