Llama Palooza is a hectic couch co-op survival high score game for up to 4 players where you have to stop a herd of llamas from destroying your village. To help you subdue the llamas you'll have sticks, sleep darts, and stun grenades. You earn points for each llama you collect, you also earn points for each house standing at the end of each round. You lose points for each house the llamas destroy. The game ends when your team is taken out by the llamas or when all houses have been turned to rubble.
We wanted a family-friendly game and used it as a core to build the gameplay around.
Instead of just killing the attacking llamas, you are instructed to subdue and then collect them at locations around the map. This means you have to balance the protection of the village and the collection of llamas which creates quite hectic scenarios and forces teamwork.
We also opted for as little violence as possible and this is reinforced by punishing the player if they kill llamas.
You can only kill a llama if you hit them when they are unconscious. If this happens you get punished with subtraction from your high score.
The llamas can hurt the players and down them. When this happens a timer will start and your teammates have to hurry to come to your rescue. You can resurrect the downed player if you reach them within this timer. This creates the hectic gameplay we wanted.
If a downed player is surrounded by llamas it's hard for the team to revive them without risking their own lives. We saw that this decreased teamwork and therefore added another feature where you can carry the downed player to a calmer location to revive them.
This encourages the team to save their teammates even in stressful and seemingly impossible scenarios.
If the downed player isn’t revived in time that player will die. There is however a way for them to get back into the game.
At the start of each round if one or more players are dead there will spawn a golden llama that will run throughout the level.
If you catch it and stop it, it will drop an item that will revive the downed players.
The chasing creates a fun hectic experience when you're trying to catch it.
This also gives the player whose character is dead a reason stay engaged in the game and help to locate the llama.
Making things hectic
A ragdoll-throw feature was added to the llamas to make it more difficult to throw them into their collection areas.
This made it so the player could sometimes miss which created hilarious moments where the player had to go pick them up again and try a second time leaving the player feeling stressed.
The level is built with two distinct areas and is divided up into four zones.
The areas are there to break up the map and to give variation to the scenery.
The zones are designed in a way that they would provide different gameplay experiences.
Different difficulty levels based on the distances between the collection areas, the number of houses, and the availability of escape routes for the player.
- Collection areas
We play with space in the level. Narrower spaces mean you can sometimes get blocked in when a llama is blocking your path.
When passing a narrow space and a llama is blocking your way you have to subdue the llama in order to get through. However, if you're carrying llamas you cant use your weapons and therefor cant subdue the blocking llama.
You, therefore, have to rely on a teammate to clear your way.
Use of space
Due to the dense city, tall buildings, and the camera angle both llamas and players got hidden from view when moving behind a house.
To solve this problem we decided on two solutions.
For the players themselves, we created a shader that masked out the player through the houses.
For the llamas we used silhouettes to show there whereabouts when behind an object. This since the number of llamas on the screen could be too great we had to minimize their impact on the amount of space we removed.
18 (Audio, Programming, Design, Music, 3D, 2D)
Create a finished product
1 - 4 Player Local Multiplayer Party Game Highscore
I was responsible for the layout, flow of the map and balancing of the gameplay.
I was tasked to design the overall mechanics and gameplay loop for the game and how to tie it in with the design pillars.
I was part of the programming team and created most weapon mechanics in the game.
I was responsible for making sure all parts of the game worked as a whole. I made sure art, design and mechanics all fit the creative vision.
I did most vegetation in the game. This included trees, bushes and grass.
This is the games special ability, it's a chain-link attack which when used shoots out a small orb that stuns the enemies. This orb goes through a certain amount of enemies before disappearing.
It spawns a sphere and collects all hit objects within that sphere into an array and sorts them by closest. It then moves to the closest object. If no object was within the sphere it does not move.