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Gator In the Elevator

Take a wild ride through the action packed adventures of one Alligator that got bored living in the Sewers...More "where's my legs" than Where's my Water...

 Warning: You will never feel safe in an Elevator again...

The Task

Create a game similar to Miami Shark  or LA Rex. for delivery in HTML 5 for PC and Mobile The Only Stipulation was a simple side scrolling game with constant movement and destruction that would appeal to the 9-14 year old market. the client requested "...have people enjoying a lot of action and play through the game in a few minutes".

I supplied the Client with 8-10 options each with a brief synopsis of the setting, location and gameplay. Gator was the clear favourite of both myself and the client.

Gator

The game sees the user control an alligator as it escapes from the sewers and into a tower block The game deliberately pays homage to the feeling of constant movement seen in the three films: "Attack the Block"  "Judge Dredd" and" The Raid: Redemption". The User must get to the elevator as fast as possible, and before the doors closes to advance to the next level. If the user makes it to the elevator thee get to eat any people that they find in there.

Biting becomes important as it allows you to destroy items AND move. Just bumping up against an item will eventually destroy it, but it will also slow you down. .The game relies on the strategic element of moving around items and biting things in your way in order to make it to the elevator before the doors close.

Concept to Completion

I was responsible for leadership of all design tasks on a project, including concept development, design documentation, feature creation, player progression, user interfaces, as well Level design and Audio design.

I also designed the Level Editor so that additional levels and content can be added quickly and easily.

Depth 

I intentionally designed the game to have more depth than both of the reference games.  So while the gameplay remains the same the locations and obstacles in each location vary. Instead of randomly generating levels I hand I designed and laid out 40 levels for the User to explore. The different locations in the game are used to show the user progress through and up the building; the lower levels are made up of Sewer, basements and Parking garages while the upper floors are the Penthouses and roof gardens.

The Levels are controlled by a (simple) unlocking mechanic presented as an elevator panel. - The user unlocks a level for each star that they earn.

40 levels with 9 different locations, each with 7 props and a total of 8 people types to eat.

Limitations

The biggest limitation of the game is its simple game play, but this is exactly what the client requested. and it is fun to play. The game is very quick to play through - the added depth of the unlocking of floors does little to extend the experience. However for the scope of the project there was little else that could be done.

HTML 5 has server limitations on mobile devices. Android can only play one sound file at a atime and iOS requires User interaction to initiate all sounds. If you do not take these two seperate facts into account when designing a game the result can feel spares best and broken at worst.I created a single audio file with 3-4 layers to make up for the fact that Android only plays one sound and included a deliberate"Click to Continue" Screen in the flow to cover the fact that Audio needs to be started by the user on iOS.

References

  • The closing Doors of the elevator are an homage to a multitude of Films and TV shows including Terminator 2 and Seinfeld.
  • There are also 12 Doctor Who Props found in the Penthouse Levels
  • The Corridor levels is inspired by Barton Fink
  • The Roof Top is inspired by Ghost Dog
  • The Sewer Level is Inspired by Brazil
  • The Parking Garage is a (very subtle) reference to Get Carter

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