Designing gameplay mechanics for multiplayer mode

January 3, 2018
Game Design

When we decided to implement multiplayer in Epic Loon, we encountered a very important problem: how do you keep dynamic gameplay?

In fact, Epic Loon is quite nerve-racking and demanding. In a game with several players, if one player beats the level very quickly and another player takes much more time: how can we limit the time the first player must wait to avoid them getting bored?

 

That’s where we came up with the idea of the video recorder feature: when the first player finishes, a REWIND mode is triggered (the animated parts of the environment are reversed) which time is proportional to the time elapsed to finish.

 

Technically, to do that, we have played the environment animations in reverse and have added an effect on the camera thanks to VetaSoft Cameraplay: distortion bands from right to left.

When the time goes back to 00:00, FAST FORWARD mode is then triggered, the framerate is multiplied by 2 and death quickly approaches.

 

In order to accomplish this, we've simply multiplied the timescale by 2 and added a big layer on the camera with red glitches.

Also, in BATTLE mode, the game is even more dynamic and to keep the players in permanent activity, we’ve added a MANHUNT option. The video recorder features are kept as explained before but in addition, when a player finishes, a sight appears on the screen and he becomes a kind of sniper. To avoid having something too powerful, it’s not possible to shoot a player transformed into a puddle.

 

With this option, the player is able to shoot the remaining players and also the environment, each shot creating a shockwave which exerts a force on the target.

 

In the end you have a Battle level which blow your mind and also your alien brains:

 

Macrales Studio

Macrales Studio is an indie "couch game" developer based out of Roubaix, France. They are responsible for the weird and fun Epic Loon. You can visit Macrales Studio's website at http://www.macrales-studio.com, as well as their Twitter page at here.

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