Pizza Guy Vs. The Army of Darkness Postmortem
A Look Back at Pizza Guy
Unfortunately Pizza Guy has spoiled and is currently sitting in the trash waiting to go to the great pizza box in the sky. In his memory, I wanted to go back and reflect on the experience.
The initial design of Pizza Guy Vs. The Army of Darkness is somewhat different from the finished product. Originally, the game was under the working title of Big Sword. It was a 2D action game with some platforming. The setting was goofy-medieval, with a very cartoonish vibe. I was heavily inspired by Shovel Knight and Mega Man, I wanted to find a way to incorporate a similar gameplay feeling while also adding in a unique game mechanic.
The mechanic I ultimately decided on was to take away the ability for the player to attack. The player would always have their weapon in front of them so it would require correct timing and position to deal damage to enemies. The first issue I was having is to explain why the player always had their weapon drawn, that's where the name Big Sword came in . The player would control a small knight with a big sword, the knight would't physically be strong enough to swing the sword so it would be pushed in front of the player on a dolly (surprisingly this made sense in the context of the world). The sword mechanic spawned the next major mechanic. If the player couldn't lift the sword, the player also couldn't be given the ability to jump. This ended up simplifying the controls to just player movement to the left and right. All of the levels were designed to accommodate this "feature". It created a lot of interesting ideas, jump pads, collapsable platforms, plunging attacks, ect...
Some of these ideas found their way into Pizza Guy. The basics of combat, the core controls, and early level design to name a few. This was a game we were developing for the OMGJAM4 game jam. Due to this, the game idea needed to be adjusted with the themes of the jam, one of which was food. The small knight became a slice of pizza, the enemies became (controversial) pizza toppings, and the final boss became a chef. The levels changed from dungeons and castles to a kitchen counter with pieces of cheese for jump pads. The goal of the game was for the player to successfully navigate each level and make it to the pizza box at the end. At the end of four levels the player would fight the final boss (chef) using tactics that the player has developed over the course of the game.
What Went Right:
We (technically) completed the game. My design of Big Sword might not have turned out how I imagined but it still made it way out into the world. Even with all the problems Hayden and I experienced, this project developed smoother than the previous. Pizza Guy was a great way to prototype Big Sword to see if it is something that I want to pursue developing.
What Went Wrong:
Okay so I'm going to be honest here. A lot went wrong with the development of Pizza Guy. This was one of the first projects that Hayden and I worked on so we had a lot of things to learn in time management and scope of the project. Due to these issues some problems arose; a few levels were cut that introduced new mechanics/enemies to the player, the final boss can be cheesed very easily, and overall level quality was low, to name a few.
What I Learned:
Pizza Guy was very beneficial experience on time management and developing the correct scope of a project. It gave us a crash course of Unity's physics and 2D-colliders. I realize that this is not the highest quality project ever developed but I'm still proud of the work that we completed. I feel that the idea of Big Sword is still something that I would like to continue working on but maybe in a different way with much less pizza.
Thanks for taking the time to check out the death of Pizza Guy.
Until next time,
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