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Mortal Madness: A Tale of Two Gregs

A collaborative two player puzzle platformer about dying to progress.

Click here to play the game

Team and My Responsibilities

"MAH3J" Studio was comprised of two programmers, two artists, and one sound designer. I was a programmer and was responsible for environment interactions, character movement, and level construction and implementation. All members of the team contributed to the game design, including theming, level layouts, and game mechanics.

Game Description

Mortal Madness is a co-op 2D platforming game about dying in order to progress. The game uses multiple types of platforming gameplay while relying on the core mechanic of killing the characters in order to progress. The first level relies on skilled jumping and maneuvering across spike pits in which the dead bodies of past attempts can be used as future platforms. The second level is puzzle based in which players carefully navigate a gauntlet of lasers and then must use their characters dead bodies to light objects on fire. The final level is a boss fight tying the two types of gameplay together, requiring precisely timed platforming while simultaneously using the fire mechanic from the previous level.

Challenge

The goal for Mortal Madness was to ideate, design, develop, and test a multi-level platforming game within three weeks. The game needed to include at least three levels, a boss fight, and something unique to set it apart from standard platforming games. While the project team settled on the premise of the game fairly quickly, the team held many meetings to brainstorm the level designs and unique ways in which leaving behind a dead body after dying could be used as a new mechanic. The team rapidly iterated the implementation of the first level to create the basic game capabilities and then used those within the next levels to speed development. The team prioritized the core gameplay mechanics and trimmed back scope to meet the three week deadline.

Development Environment / Tools Used

Mortal Madness was created in the Unity engine. The team used Facebook Messenger for text communication and Google Drive for file transfer and version control.

Highlight

At the onset of the game's creation, the development team wanted to create an experience opposite that of a traditional platforming game. Instead of desperately trying to avoid death, players would be encouraged to die over and over to complete the level. This was partially inspired by games like Lemmings in which certain characters would have to be sacrificed, and Portal 2 in which co-op partners would have ample opportunity to playfully sabotage one another while acting towards a shared goal. Peers outside our development team informally rated our game as the top of the group.

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