Reece turned six this year and for his big birthday bash he wanted to have a super cool, super fun super hero party. So Wifey and I sat down and tried to plan a birthday party for a bunch of super hero six year olds. We had it ALL mapped out and our battle plan ready and then two days before the big event I had a thought.
A crazy geek dad thought.
I should make a game. A SUPER HERO game. A game that all the kids at the party could play. And not only could they play it, but I should make it so that they could draw their own super heroes and then battle in the game as their own super hero! I was pretty jazzed about the idea. And got SUPER EXCITED (which I thought was fitting being a super hero party and all that)
But then reality set in. I had two days. And as many of you may know I’m also attempting to write a book on game development for Windows Phone 7. So I did what anyone would do. Squeezed more hours out of my day and stocked up on 5 hour energy drinks.
I kept the concept SUPER simple. And I really cut back on prettiness and features. But in the end, I totally did it. My son’s helped out on Saturday morning playtesting and finding any major show stopping bugs. And by party time that afternoon they had a workable game called Super Hero Battle. And man o’ days was it a hit! The kids loved drawing their super heroes and they were so stinking excited to see it in the game. Wifey has been informed by the other moms that their kids won’t stop talking about it and want to buy the game. So much fun to do.
Here’s the source if anyone wants to see what rapidly thrown together game code looks like. I borrowed from other projects when I knew it was fairly modular code that would require little work to fit in and coded things myself when I couldn’t think of any easy code to grab.
In the end there still were some pretty large bugs. One you couldn’t de-select a character, so if you accidently chose the wrong one you had to battle with it first before getting another chance to pick a new one and then two, my code to detect who the winner in is apparently basically just random or something (I actually haven’t even looked at it yet!). Funny enough the kids didn’t seem to care. In fact they didn’t care about most anything, they just kept playing and playing…
To be honest there’s not much to the game. All I did was make something I knew kids would have fun playing. And who DOESN’T want to make their own cool game character as a kid? Isn’t that why we became game developers in the first place?
Here’s the boys helping me playtest on Saturday morning.
Here’s some of the kids super hero concepts (look at those imaginations!) I just took the pictures, scanned them in and then added them to the game project. Took about 10 minutes from the time the kids were done drawing to seeing them on the Xbox 360 and selecting them to play as.
Here’s some in game screenshots (Character select screen and then the battle screen)
And here’s the super heroes yelling and cheering as they play SUPER HERO BATTLE! Up up and away!!!!
Now if only I could have that kind of success with an actual game someday…