Bad Cloud

Bad Cloud is a side scrolling shoot-em-up where you control a cloud with a nasty temperament. Bad Cloud hates all things happy and uses pent up lightning to fry all the cute forest animals, or suck them up to gain extra health and power output. The game was created for the 2014 Gameboy Game Jam.

Position

Designer and Programmer

Genre

Shoot 'em up

Engine

Game Maker: Studio

Release

June 2014

Developer

Sean Noonan, Scott Morin, Barry Topping

Publisher

N/A

Platform

PC

Link

N/A

Key Responsibilities:

  • Programmed all gameplay functionality use Game Maker Language (GML)
  • Helped with designing the overall game

General Gameplay

The general gameplay was inspired by traditional sidescrolling games like Gradius and mixing the sucking/absorption mechanic from Kirby.

Sean make sure pretty damn cute art for our enemies. We had three different types, and wanted to differentiate them as much as we could. The basic bird fly the fastest and flew in a straight horrizontal line. Then we have the fat bird which moves slower and has a more unique parttern, he'll attempt to fly higher and higher while moving horrizontally, but due to his weight, will free fall - which creates an interesting staircase movement. Lastly we had one ground enemy implemented, Marrow, who waddles along the ground, then jumps up into the air.

I also implemented an enemy wave and pattern system based on time.

Health was represented by up to 3 additional smaller clouds that trail Bad Cloud's movement. Each time Bad Cloud sucks in an enemy, one of the baby clouds appears. Not only do these act as a visual representation of health, but they also mirror your attacks for a small percentage of damage.

The main form for an attack is a lock-on based lightning attack that must be charged and released. We wanted to keep the attacks on theme and cloud based. However, I'd still like to improve the attack system. It's a bit too easy as the lock on is almost a full screen cone. I'd make it more skill based by either having to aim better or time based or both.

The biggest feature we had to cut since it was a game jam was the sucking mechanic. Not only was it supposed to give you health in the form an additional baby cloud, but also modify your stats or attack. Much like powerups in the old gradius games.

This game also is home to my favourite bug I've ever implemented. First time I tried sucking a bird in, the plan was to spin and shrink the sprite while translating into Bad Cloud's mouth. However I accidentally scaled in the wrong direction and the first bird I tried to suck grew in size to eventually take up the whole screen with Sean's great animation of it all bug eyed.