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HeartBeater – Player Be Ware!


So HeartBeater was a “game” some colleagues and I made for Global Game Jam 2013. I want to start out by saying that it is not a good game. I will be writing a postmortem to go over what went wrong and here I will just talk about the game itself.

Concept: HeartBeater is pretty simple. You play as Jack, the lumberjack, on a quest to cut down all of the trees. Naturally, the forest elves rise to stop you and you must dispense gory justice the only way Jack knows how.

Technical Details: As with our 2012 Game Jam game, Spectrum, the music for this game was done by Ian Faleer of WhileTrueFork and was quite impressive. The game itself was a 2D side scroller and was assembled in Unity. Models were generated by Matt Muzzy. As a whole, this game was made to test out some of the new and / or not often used features of the Unity 4 game engine.

Gameplay: The game scrolls left and right. Invisible barriers prevent you from leaving the play area. Elves appear to the left and right of the player (Jack). The player can attack by either punching the elves or performing a running jump. The punches are great for defeating single enemies while the jumps can take out entire groups (the jumps also look awesome).

Aesthetic: I wanted this game to be very bold and juxtaposed. The elves, the forest, clouds, etc are all bold colored and very childish. We wanted everything to be sweet and kind; straight out of a Disney movie. Jack, on the other hand, is very macho and brutal. He beats these colorful elves into a cloud of bright red blood. Everything about this pairing was to be extreme in contrast. Even the music from the opening scene to the main gameplay is night and day. We originally wanted Jack to have a weapon that was made of a car engine on a chain (talk about brutal!). We scrapped that idea though due to the time restrictions.

The Bottom Line: Cool in idea, not so great in execution. This needs a lot of work to be a viable and fun experience. Still, it does have its charm.

To play HeartBeater, click here.