Cake Kills Candy is a procedural level platform shooter that was made for a 1 week game jam where the theme was cake. We were lucky enough to find a second concurrent one week game jam where the theme was candy and we just so happened to have a candy world with candy enemies. After that we decided to enter into two more game jams that we complied with the rules. The titan boss jam where you had to make a big boss and a controller jam where you had to have controller compatibility.
UPDATE 1: THE QUICKLY BUILT PLATFORMER
We started by quickly making a platformer engine. The assets in this video / gif show off assets that had been made previous to the jam, but would be removed for the jam. What you see here is indeed a procedural level, but its generated as the game starts with no way to generate new levels on the fly. The artist had come up with a cheese cake character to be the hero. The song is from a previous jam and made by https://twitter.com/Replay_50101.
UPDATE 2: TILESET AND SMALL CHUNKS
The artist came up with a great, universal tileset while I kept plugging away on level generation. As you will see in the video level generation was imperfect. The major issue with this version is some levels were non tranversable. I made our menu which is now standardized at this point. In this video you will see each level is generated with a brief pause due to no loading screen. There are inside and outside levels. Inside levels will generate a ceiling with more of a background. The inside background is inaccurate and would remain inaccurate for weeks as the background is only supposed to be 2 blocks wide at a time.
UPDATE 3: LARGE CHUNKS
At this point it was time to add more bits of level generation. This time rather than larger, normal sized chunks, it was small chunks between the large ones. You can still recognize the larger patterns, but the smaller ones make the levels feel more unique. There are still no enemies and no exit. You will notice the random color. This was a simple way to make each video look different.
UPDATE 4: LADDERS & MOVING PLATFORMS
In addition to normal chunks and small chunks, extra large chunks were added. Ladders were also added even if ladders ended up being removed from the final game jam and have yet to be added back in. Its probably tough to animate a ladder animation for a cake. You will also see a charge shot used. Watching this video now its tough to spot the large chunks used since its a mixed bag. Moving platforms were also added.
UPDATE 5: JELLYBEAN ENEMIES
At this point, enemies were added along with some effects for damage and death. If the game had a NES feel, it went out the window with these particle effects. Enemies are both stompable and shootable.
UPDATE 6: GUMBALLS AND REMOVING THE HUD
Larger gumball enemies were added which was easy enough since we had the basis for enemies with the jellybean enemies. The challenge for this video was removing the HUD. I had gone with more of a NES HUD where the game screen was a grid of 25 x 13. Well we needed it taller because the inside levels were turning into an issue. Plus the HUD in general was stock art that was made back in November as a place holder for any HUD.
UPDATE 7: SINGLE SCREEN ROOMS
We experimented with a one room of game and we had made a similar game in the past for a different game jam. Get the key, reach the door while enemies spawn in via portal and leave the same way. The door effect of pulling in enemies was added as a wow factor. Although it made me feel like the enemies would come with us to the next level. The portals were modified to turn red when they were about to spawn an enemy as a warning. The big complaint with the previous game was they dumped enemies out and straight onto the player. While this was true, the portals did turn color when they could dump out enemies. You will also notice a new load screen that was pretty ugly and broken.
UPDATE 8: VISUAL ENHANCEMENT
The game started to come together as an actual candy cane background was added and the tileset was modified. The composer also offered up a fresh song that would become the theme and only song in the game. The cheesecake player was also modified as well. This is also the point where the game had some game breaking issues and would continue to have these problems for the next few days where the game would freeze when generating new levels.
UPDATE 9: OUTLINES AND VISUAL TWEAKS
This update brought outlines around the solids to make them stand out more. The small candy canes were removed from the background. The doors and keys were both changed.
UPDATE 10: WEAPONS AND HUD
The first game jam is ending, so it was crunch time. You will notice a HUD along with a ghetto ammunition and health bar. The player is granted random weapons as having a variety of weapons made the player seem overpowered. The original idea was to give the player 6 weapons and then no ammunition refills. Another issue with a previous game jam was that the player was just dumped into the game with spawning enemies which gave the player no chance to react. To solve this, we added a timer. There is no use for the timer on horizontal levels as enemies never spawn on the start screen, however the timer is kept for consistency.
Weapon sprites were also added and basically stapled to the player models. You will also notice that the cake characters are now different. In a perfect world we would have had more time to make the characters different and even offer a character select, but I’m slow with making user interfaces. Its so much easier to just make the game. That’s probably why the menus are always so simple.
To make this feel more like a game and less of a pointless adventure, arcade points and scoring was added. Bonuses for health, level and without shooting. A platform shooter that rewards you for keeping your finger off the trigger!
There was another big modification that would never go noticed unless I mention it. The enemy, weapon and player sprites were pulled in via sprite sheet to save some time having to cut out sprites and add them. This also is the setup to some lazy mods as the game can also pull in external .png files to replace enemies, weapons and players.
There was another update after this one, but the only details to that were tweaking weapons so they fired from the barrel rather than from wherever.
THE FIRST GAME JAM IS OVER: WHAT’S LEFT?
The obvious question is after just dumping 10 updates here is why come back? The game jam is over. What more could you do if a game is complete? That covers the first week. There are still two more weeks to go! You can only go onward and upward from here in a literal sense. I will come back with more updates.
Thanks for making in this far and letting me elaborate on all these production videos!