Scott Purcival

Game Programmer

The Ballmer Peak

By on 19 December, 2017

Game Screenshot

The Ballmer Peak

At the start of this year, I promised myself that I would release a game to the app store by the end of the year.

I started out working on ‘Tower’ – which was progressing really quite well, however, I hit a roadblock with art. I progressed as far as the free assets would allow me while retaining my creative vision for the game aesthetically. I did not have the spare money to spend on assets which I really only partially liked anyway, and with work and studies I found myself too time poor to learn 3D modelling, and so the game was shelved.

I then saw a new possibility in ‘Jeeves’ – the team project we are still currently working on for our Major Production, however the planned completion date is not until mid 2018, and I wanted the game that I put out there to be and example of my own work and so I decided that it would not fit the bill.

In a flash of inspiration an idea for a top down zombie survival RTS game struck me. It has unique game mechanics which bend the definition of the RTS genre, and I was receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the idea, but at this point, I would think it would have taken too long to make – and therefore was not an ideal candidate for publishing by the end of the year.

It was in a team meeting for ‘Jeeves’ that I was making a joke about how I avoid burnout through a finely balanced mix of energy drinks and bourbon, that the possibility of making a game mechanic from this struck me.
A quick brainstorm later, and I had a solid idea for a novel game using a traditional game mechanic, interwoven with a modern control scheme and a somewhat complex, but intuitive scoring and power-up system. The goal of which is to embody the essence of long coding sessions into the wee hours of the morning, and the hunt for the elusive Ballmer Peak.

At this point I am ~3 days into development. The art is all my own bar from the pixel font and falling pizza and V can assets (the both of which I will be replacing in short time). The font is free for commercial use and the author will be credited in the credits (when I make them).
I am really enjoying honing my pixel art skills, and quite enjoyed making the sound effects with wet sponges and real falling pizza.
As of writing this I am actually watching a video on Facebook integration. At this point the plan is to store and share high scores.

I personally think the game is at a fun to play state. I got this impression as I found myself cringing and yelling “OH NO!” at about the 1 day, 10 hour mark in a particularly good play session. XD

Anyway, let me know what you think about it below!
Play it HERE! (WebGL) or HERE (Android)

Cheers,
Scott.


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