roach box

ihavefivehat's picture
Game File: 

hello, I made this game for the Global Game Jam but I didn't submit it in time, yes, I'm a failure.

This game basically works but is literally broken (in a cool way though, you'll see if you pl ay it long enough) and lacks the scoring structure to make it an interesting action game (which is one of the things i wanted it to be)

who knows if I'll ever have time to make the final version though? i'll post this version here in the meantime. I'm tired so I'm going to eat popcorn,, drink, and watch video game streamers until i pass out

content warning: photorealistic bugs

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Made For: 
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fizzhog's picture

That was a really visceral

That was a really visceral and unnerving experience. I don't want to play it again. I'm not quite sure why. I'm not keen on bugs. I had headphones on and the volume was too loud for me and that contributed to the feeling I think. I liked the wall building mechanic. The increasing number of bugs and the feeling of inevitable failure led to a rising sense of panic. My overall feeling was of an interesting experience but one that I didn't enjoy and wouldn't want to repeat; a feeling I've had before now when watching horror films. I don't intend this to be as negative as it might seem; I just thought you might be interested to read an honest personal response.

ihavefivehat's picture

thank you. yes, I was not

thank you. yes, I was not trying to create a pleasant experience, and i was trying to convey a sense of panic and dissociation. the loud noises are meant to be a part of this.

ideally, I would like the game to convey these things in a more structured, coherent and intentional way. currently, I believe the game becomes overwhelming too quickly for the player to properly absorb any of the tonal elements and understand how they are meant to interact with the game. I have some structural changes in mind which would bring clarity to this aspect of the design which i did not have a chance to implement during the game jam. hopefully these will come soon.

bpseudopod's picture

High score is 99.83776 s

High score is 99.83776 s (first try, but I couldn't get it any higher)

I think how the dynamics of the game evolves over time is really interesting. There's two totally different fields: the one where you reinforce the walls that hem in the cockroaches, and the one where you have to shoot the cockroaches as they attack your friends. Sort of like Nazi Zombies, but you're on the outside and the zombies are on the inside.

At the beginning you can repair the walls and keep the roaches in completely, but inevitably there's going to be a breach. Building walls is lightning-fast, but shooting cockroaches is difficult and finicky and therefore time-consuming. It's also mandatory, as a pair of cockroaches can devour one of your friends in just a few seconds if left unattended. The first couple of breaches can be managed, but as you shoot the roaches the walls have worn away further and more have spawned in, leading them to deteriorate faster. Over the dozen or so plays I've given it, there inevitably comes a certain density where fixing the breaches is no longer possible, and defending all of your friends is no longer practical. At this point, the only viable strategy (as far as I can tell) is to pick the side with the most people, reinforce the one wall as a shield, and try to save who you can. It took me a few playthroughs to realize that the game ends when you have only one friend left, rather than ending when the last friend dies. I think that's a smart way to make sure that you don't camp one person, since the infinite rate of fire on your gun makes it seem like you could cheese it that way.

One thing I love about your style in general is your use of photo manipulation to create these uncanny effects. That's why it strikes me that your "friends" look so blurry and indistinct, like crayons melting in the oven. I think I get it; this game's about a kind of internal hyperfocus that's so strong it makes everything else but the things clawing at the underside of your skin feel irrelevant, and it's only natural that the individuality of your friends would fade away when you feel you need to hide yourself so desperately. That said, I think I would have liked it if the friends had some individuality, if only by having different faces pasted onto their heads or something. The systems already do the work of dehumanizing them, so I think that opposition, between a tenuous emotional connection and the fact that the roaches are killing them and you need as many as possible to stay alive, would have made things a little more interesting.

Your stuff rocks btw

ihavefivehat's picture

wow thanks for the detailed

wow thanks for the detailed feedback, I feel spoiled.

you've given me a lot to think about wrt the way the gameplay progresses over time. I want to preserve the sense that the game becomes more and more difficult to manage over time, but I want to add more breathing room. basically I'm planning to add 'rounds' and a scoring system that encourages the player to pay more attention to the position of various elements on the the screen. it's going to be heavily inspired by the structure of missile command, which I think does a really good job of giving each round an 'arc' in which things progress from relative quiet to frantic, while the game itself also has a meta arc. and that game does a great job of conveying the feeling of inevitability in which by the end you're focused on defending a single remaining structure for as long as possible and you're very aware of what you've lost.

I do want the friends to feel somewhat anonymous. I don't want them to feel like 'individuals'. I think i will add 2 more unique sprites, but i want each sprite to be used at least twice so that the player doesn't get the sense that these people's identities are important. you hit the nail on the head as to why this is something I want to convey.