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Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow

An asymmetrical four player tag game based off the nursery rhyme "Little Bunny Foo Foo"

Click here to play the game (requires 4 Xbox controllers)

Team and My Responsibilities

"MAH3J" Studio was comprised of two programmers, two artists, and one sound designer. I was a programmer and responsible for character movement, environment interactions, Foo Foo's abilities (e.g. the dash, the hammering effect, dynamic speed, etc), and game tracking and flow within each round. The game received commendations from peers.

round_start.png
character_select.png

Game Description
Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow (HTGT) is an asymmetrical four player game based off the nursery rhyme "Little Bunny Foo Foo". One player acting as the titular rabbit Foo Foo attempts to bop the other three players, acting as the field mice, in order to eliminate them from the game. The field mice throw pebbles at Foo Foo, attempting to knock out the three pieces of a magic communication device from Foo Foo. With the communication device assembled, the field mice can call the Good Fairy, who is the only person capable of putting an end to Foo Foo's mischief. Each side has significantly different play styles to fit their different goals. 

Challenge

One of the major challenges the project team faced when creating HTGT was the design of the goals for each side. When the project team initially pitched and created the game, it was designed as a team based arena fighting game between two sides. One side had a single player who could be hit three times before being knocked out of the game, and the other side had three players who could each only be hit once. The project team wanted to encourage group based tactics in the mice in order to distract and outsmart the single Foo Foo player.

Unfortunately, the game model the project team created was too sensitive. Implementing  even minute changes to the capabilities of either side would result in one side vastly out powering the other. In order to fix this problem a group goal was established for the mouse players to achieve through the introduction of the magic communication device. This change enabled the mouse players to focus on the progress of the group rather than focusing on saving themselves. The new win condition for the mice changed Foo Foos lose condition which enabled the Foo Foo player to act much more aggressively. By making a single change to the game's goals, all the players behaviors vastly shifted for a more engaging and entertaining game.  

Development Environment / Tools Used

Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow was created in the Unity engine. The team used Facebook Messenger to communicate, and Google Drive for file transfer and storage. The team used Git for version control.


Highlight

The game provides a unique game premise unlike almost any video game. Most are familiar with platformers, RPGs, sports, shooters, or action type games, I believe this game creates an experience outside conventional genres. The best way to describe the gameplay for HTGT is tag. While the tag premise appears to be a seemingly simple concept, it created depth for players to create new strategies and interactions from standard genres. For example, locations in the environments were provided in which the mice could run or hide from Foo Foo which let enabled them to taunt Foo Foo into chasing them, only for them to escape to a safe location. On the other hand, the Foo Foo player had the ability to destroy certain environment elements which gave a method to ensnare the mice. The mice also had the ability to revive their teammates back into the game by standing on top of them and being vulnerable for a few seconds. I was really proud to see starting with a simple concept just how the game evolved with complex player interactions.

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