Title: Pet Shop Pandemonium
Date: Feb 17
Type: Digital Game. Playable Here
Role: Design, Programming & Art
Description: Made in a week as a prototype with the prompt of “a genre you hate”, it’s my take on a local multiplayer game. Even when I try to make an action game, it just comes out as an AI-oriented simulation. Startlingly for an indie designer, I don’t have a lot of love for local multiplayer. I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but partly it’s because I have an aversion to direct conflict with other humans in games. Games where I need to directly beat someone just rub me the wrong way. It feels too much like work somehow.
Pet Shop Pandemonium then is more of a Euro-style indirect conflict. You’re competing with your opponent, and can impede them by freeing pets from their cages. The pets affect play in a few ways:
Dogs wander about, and then chase down a player and bark at them. Barking slows you down.
Cats walk and then randomly lay down. While seated, they block the player’s movement.
Birds just fly around, annoying and making noise.
Of course an expanded version would feature more pets with different effects! Three felt like the minimum number of pet types to get a feel for how it’d play.
The art is somewhat an experiment as well. I have no experience in graphic arts, so making simple sprites is the apex of my skill level. The dimensions use some Atari 8-bit characteristics, but I used the Commodore 64 color palette. The aesthetic I was playing with was a Commodore port of a Atari title. That also informed the control scheme; just directional movement and a single action input calls back to the single button joystick of those systems. While I’d overhaul the aesthetics if I came back to it in the future, it was rewarding working with an extremely limited palette, as it makes each color choice really difficult.