A retro city smash 'em up. Early in development, more details to come!
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Available: 2019


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February 16

Devlog #2: More mechanics, more buildings + MORE GIFS!

Terror of Hemasaurus has been moving forward at a decent pace despite me currently prioritizing the console ports of my previous release, Super Blood Hockey. My current focus with this game is developing all possible core mechanics as well as prototyping each basic element of the game (e.g. buildings, civilians, enemies, vehicles, etc.). Once an element is established and interacts with the other elements in fun ways, I will then expand the variety. I think it can be useful from a developer’s perspective to take each game element and consider making meaningful interactions between it and every other element. To me, this makes a game feel alive.

Expanding Building Variety + Collapse Behaviors
I have managed to come up with a system for tweaking the physics of the standard residential building to scale effectively based on its height, while still maintaining consistent collapse behavior. One struggle with developing the game so far is maintaining proper physics properties for each possible size of building so that they collapse and break apart in satisfying ways. If the physics properties are not properly set they can develop bad collapse behaviors, such as tipping over very easily (especially if they are tall!). I am still working on developing a system that allows for adjustable width of residential buildings, which has proved to be a bit tricky.

Since I can now generate a variety of building heights, I decided to expand the pixel art tilesets a bit to include variety in color and appearance. I am embracing a colorful pixel art style over darker and more muted colors. I think this enhances the existing contrast between the cuteness and the violence.

I am also working on a system to convert fully drawn building sprites directly into physics objects arranged in a similar manner to the residential buildings. This will allow me to more easily incorporate and develop buildings which have unique shapes and layouts. I have already implemented a portion of the system and have developed a single special building: Sludge Burger! I will develop more special buildings, such as schools, churches, police stations, fire stations, etc.

Expanding Core Mechanics
I have been adding more elements of “Juice” to the game to help convey the weight of Hemasaurus. I want him to control in such a way that is responsive, but also feel weighty. On the physics simulation side of things, Hemasaurus is rather agile. Therefore, I am trying to communicate his weight more through visual effects and the impact he has on his environment. You will now notice that Hemasaurus causes damage and alerts civilians of his presence simply by jumping and climbing on structures.

Civilians can now survive short falls. This holds true even if they are on fire! If they don’t impact with too much velocity they can get up and run for their lives. When they are on fire, they will run a bit faster and have sped up animations.

Civilians can now collide with multiple other civilians and enemies when thrown. This makes for some really cool combo situations. I have been pondering how I could use the potential for these combos to create some fun and interesting situations.

If you manage to pick up a civilian that is on fire, you can throw him like a makeshift Human-Molotov Cocktail! Because why not? I have been having a lot of fun playing around with this one! :D

Hemasaurus can now save people from falling to their death by catching them out of mid air! Or not...

One thing that I like to focus on a developer is making game elements have a wide variety of interactions with other game elements. Here, you can see that sometimes the police can do more harm than good! Sometimes they shoot innocent bystanders and even occasionally themselves! Making glancing shots ricochet off of Hemasaurus leads to a bunch of really fun interactions.

If you would like to support the game, please consider adding it to your Wishlist. Not only will you be notified of the game’s launch (with discount) but it helps show the almighty Steam Algorithm that people are interested! This can be a huge help to a small developer such as myself.

As always, if you have ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to share them with me.

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January 30

Devlog #1: Prototyping + Core Mechanics w/ gifs!

The Current State of the Game

Terror of Hemasaurus has progressed a tiny bit beyond the core prototype phase. I start a new game by first developing a prototype which features the smallest tastey slice possible of core gameplay. I do this to asses the viability of the game in terms of gameplay, which I personally regard as the most important attribute of a game. I played around with the prototype until I found something which I thought was fun. I sent out a tweet featuring a short clip of the gameplay and it got a great response so I took this as indication I should develop the prototype further. There is a small layer of polish already on the prototype in terms of particles, vfx, and other aspects of “juiciness”.

There is still a ton of work to do on the game and many core aspects are far from settled. I do not have an exact design document that I follow from beginning to end. Rather, my design document is a fluid list of ideas that I can pick and choose from at any moment, depending on how the game is shaping up. I also like to include community suggested ideas in that list, so please do not hesitate to share anything you might come up with or would like to see!

Core Mechanics and Gameplay

Hemasaurus needs to be able to navigate both on land and be able to climb structures. He is a large creature, so he should move in a way that feels heavy, but is still responsive, quick and snappy in terms of processing player input.

In order to create the illusion of weight while maintaining responsive controls, I decided to communicate much of the heaviness through particle / dust effects, impact craters, and some camera effects. Something I observed in prior games within the category of “giant monsters”, is that the size and weight of the monster was often communicated through slow movement and animations. While it does create the feeling of weight, gameplay suffers because slower movements demand less action on screen. I currently feel the movement of Hemasaurus is somewhere close to balancing weight with input responsiveness, but certain aspects can still be improved. For example, I am undecided on whether there needs to be a frame or two of pre-jump loading / windup to the jumping animation, or if snappiness is ideal.

Building Destruction
One aspect that I feel made the prototype so compelling is the building destruction mechanic. After many iterations I managed to stumble upon something fun and dynamic. Hemasaurus punches / smashes as the primary means of destroying a building, but there are some other ways to do this as well.

One criticism of mine of prior monster-destroys-city style games is that the destruction mechanics were often very systematic and therefore felt repetitive over time. A dynamic physics-based solution to this problem allows for endless variety of building destruction sequences. Also, by creating buildings with varrying height, width and shape I can create a variety of structures that have their own unique tendencies towards collapse and destruction. This made destroying different types of buildings a unique and fun experience. Where as in prior games of this genre, essentially every building was destroyed in the same systematic way.

Eating (om nom nom nom)
Hemasaurus can eat civilians and other humans in order to restore health. Eating a human can be done whether walking or climbing. A slight cool-down period of vulnerability exists while Hemasaurus is chewing his victim in order to create a risk-reward tradeoff.

Hemasaurus’s arms are too short to effectively attack the smaller humans with punches or smash attacks. However, he can kick ‘em and launch them into the air (some get instantly obliterated and turned into a pulp). This is fast firing attack that works to rapidly expunge large crowds of people.

Grabbing and Throwing People
Hemasaurus can pick up civilians and other humans and then throw them as an offensive attack. When humans are thrown, they become a projectile that collides with and kills any other humans in its trajectory. Humans can be grabbed from either the standing or the climbing position.

Hemasaurus’s special ability is a terrifying roar. Killing and causing carnage fills up a stored energy meter which is depleted by roaring. Hemasaurus’s roar works both offensively and defensively.

Offensively, the intense pressure waves from the roar causes nearby structures to violently resonate and crumble causing civilians to enter a frenzy.

Defensively, the pressure waves push away incoming projectiles as well as repelling nearby humans.

Police and other armed forces will attempt to defend the city by launching attacks against Hemasaurus. Incoming projectiles sometimes deal damage, other times they will ricochet harmlessly off of Hemasaurus's thick scaly skin. The probability of a hit or a ricochet is determined based on the velocity and trajectory of the incoming projectile. Shots fired by the police and other armed forces can sometimes cause collateral damage and kill other humans.

The Path Forward
There will undoubtedly be more core mechanics in the future as more gameplay elements emerge. I also plan to add vehicles, such as cars, tanks, helicopters, blimps, and others, as well as more enemies, more civilians, etc. I am planning to make each stage of the game a different city, with its own feel based on real locations world wide, as they relate to the overrall story. Right now I am in the funnest phase of game development, where everything is focused on developing new and creative elements to the game.

As always, I welcome feedback, ideas and suggestions. They definitely have an impact on me creatively so please do not hesitate to share them!

If the game interests you please consider adding the game to your Steam Wishlist. Doing so can really help small indie devs such as myself because it shows the almighty Steam Algorithm that people are interested! Don't forget to also click follow on the store page to be alerted of future Devlogs.

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About This Game

Terror of Hemasaurus is early in development, stay tuned for more details. Add to your wishlist to follow development!

Slam your way through cities, terrorize and eat civilians while laying total waste to civilization in this Retro 2D City Smash 'em Up!

Leverages a 2D physics engine to create satisfying destruction mechanics.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Contains violence, gore, blood, etc.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800 or equivalent.
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible.
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