Developer / artist / programmer / insomniac - Other
Six months ago I started working on an idea I had bouncing around in my head. I started spending all my free time (weekends, mostly) working on this local multiplayer game – reminiscent of the N64 days. It was a small prototype, but what was there felt pretty cool. I had the start of a silly little arena. You played as these crazy little dudes running around punching each other in the face, and throwing snowballs as you try to outlast your opponents.
After two months of chipping away at this prototype it started to morph into a collection of small minigames and I realized I might have something here that could become an actual game with a little work and iteration. At this point my contract work had started to slow down so I decided to take a break and focus all my time on this prototype. A few months later – Party Panic was born!
Party Panic and it’s come a long way since the first prototype 6 months ago. Being the sole developer on the project I’m in charge of most aspects of the game - programming, art, animation, and design - All audio is handled by the talented Zach Striefel (https://twitter.com/zstriefel). We also put our brains together when it comes to designing cool new (and stupid) ideas.
What is Party Panic?
Party Panic is a local multiplayer minigame roulette featuring maniacal hellions called “Goobers.” Compete with your friends in this crazy arena of games and score the most points to win. You'll laugh, you'll cry, It's stupid. Currently there are 15 mini crazy mini games with more planned to be added before release, along with some cool other game modes that I'm super excited about.
Mini games range from “normal” games like running away from an avalanche, avoiding falling rocks, chasing exploding chickens, to more ridiculous games like running away from demented whales trying to eat you and playing football with your face! Check out this crazy trailer to get a glimpse of what you can expect!
Focusing On What's Important
Being such a small and new team it was also important to make the best use of the tools available, to save time (and costs) wherever we could. We knew we wanted Party Panic to have a lot of content in terms of different minigames, and the idea of making 30+ minigames was daunting at first, we had to come up with a plan of how to tackle this project before we started.
Taking a step back from the project we objectively asked ourselves a few questions; "Is this something we're capable of doing as such a small team?", "Is the scope of this project too much", "What can we do to cut down on the amount of work needed?" We wanted to make a game, not spend all our time making custom tools for a game. Thankfully with the help of the Asset Store we could do this, we could focus our time on where it really mattered - making the game fun.
We used a lot of different assets from the Asset Store, to outline a few: We used Shaderforge to speed up the production of custom shaders, Rewired to handle all our input (and plug and play support for practically every controller), FinalIK and Puppetmaster for those sweet sweet ragdolls, Chronos to allow for more robust control of time, and AmplifyColour and AmplifyBloom to make everything look a little prettier.
These just a few of the awesome assets we found on the asset store that improved our productivity and allowed us to focus on the parts of the game we needed to.
In addition to all these awesome third-party tools, in the early stages of development I realized that being able to prototype new minigames quickly was going to be crucial. Unity makes this pretty easy, but I needed a few extra tools tailored specifically to Party Panic.
First and foremost I needed a nice way to do a bunch of mini-game specific tasks all in one central location, that’s also easily extendable that I could use as a (robust) template when making a new game. Things like what the win/lose conditions are for each game, what controls to use, what actions these controls are mapped to, what character type to use and how players and objects in the game interact with each other.
For example, one minigame uses a custom character controller where you can run around, another one you’re driving a car! I needed a way to hook up all these different systems. It wasn’t overly difficult to create a manager to do all these things, and only took a week or so to get up and running (which was at that point basically a refactor of 75% of the early prototype code) but it was without a doubt one of the most useful things I made at the beginning of development.
Thanks to this when we’re playing with new ideas, or iterating on old ones I don’t have to write too much new code, and it’s a huge timesaver. I can take a minigame from idea to finished in just two days, and since we're aiming to have 30+ minigames this tiny investment of time has already paid itself off!
What’ Next for Party Panic?
There’s still lots of stuff left for us to do before the game is done in terms of polish and content, and we’re working around the clock to get it done. There’s 15 minigames right now and it already feels like a complete game, but there’s lots of ideas we still have for more! We’re aiming for around 30 mini games when all is said and done, as well as some different game modes - some longer form games instead of rapid fire minigames that we think will add a cool and different dynamic to the game for even more hours of fun! Some ideas include a classic splitscreen FPS game mode, and a (silly) RPG dungeon crawler!
If Party Panic looks like something you might enjoy it's now on Steam Greenlight
Any feedback or sharing of the greenlight page would be awesome, and of course yes votes are super appreciated!