Bossman HTML5 game

Hi folks!

Sorry I haven’t been posting a lot of artwork. I’m actually taking my work in a new direction, so I’m building a new portfolio, and I want to debut all the new work at once. This project came up, and I was excited to do it. I’ve been studying HTML5, specifically for gaming, for the past few months, and this was an opportunity to actually put something out there. It’s currently at http://playbossman.com. Our team of 4 made this in 48 hours! Granted, it’s buggy as hell and still needs a lot of work. I did the art/concept/sound/level building. Sadly, my concept for the game had to be curtailed significantly to work, and get done in time.

This was for Node Knockout 2011, a 48 hour hack-a-thon revolving around node.js technology. Everything had to be made over the 48 hour period, and there were nearly 300 teams all over the world competing. The other 3 members of my team are in Argentina.

Here’s my sketch for the game. No digital files could be created before the competition started, so I just had a bunch of drawings for my ideas. (I think my wonderful scanner is in it’s twilight days as you can see by the CMYK sprinkles. I’ve had it since my first semester in college, almost 10 years!)

The idea was that you would race 10’s to hundreds of people through a multi-level maze of bisected office space. The level would be constantly scrolling, and if you fell behind or through the cracks you would be killed and receive a pink slip. You could fight other players in a race to become the boss. The rat race in 8 bit game form.

Sadly, there are still some serious technical drawbacks to HTML5 games that I don’t think will be solved any time soon, so this dream could not become a reality, in spite of it’s relative simplicity compared to console games. The developers in Argentina worked incredibly hard on this, and I am in awe of their abilities! To give you some perspective, I am also a web developer, but these guys are so good that I didn’t even touch any code. None of us had ever built a game before, but they are so talented, that they figured out how to do it the week before, and executed it over the weekend. Amazing!

I stepped up myself. I had only made a screaming doughnut for pixel art before this, but I got it now! We used impact.js, which is a great tool. The level editor is very easy to use, and it’s well worth the $99, although we got to use it for free because the creator sponsored the event.

Sketch of the basic level design

Supreme let-down

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m co-founding a game company with some friends. This has lead me to do extra homework on what’s happening in gaming. I came across this WiiWare title “Zombie Panic in Wonderland” published by Akaoni Studio out of Spain. After watching about 3/4 of the promo video, I had seen enough, I had to get it. It costs $10, and pretty much couldn’t be more ideal for me. It has zombies is varieties I never would have imagined, ninja zombies, sumo zombies, one that looked like Abe Lincoln that throws corpses at you, plus other cool monsters and gods, and you pretty much destroy the entire level. All this wrapped in a clean and bright, but still spooky style, and a completely ridiculous story. The illustration is also excellent, even though I’m not an especially big anime fan. After playing this game for a while, it was high in the running for my favorite game ever, and I was really excited about it, until I got to the final boss. I couldn’t find a screenshot of him anywhere, but I was really offended. He’s basically a vain and ego-centric demon prince, who is an obvious gay parody. As much as I want to believe that no game developer would consciously make something so offensive, I just can’t see it any other way. Along with his dead colored skin and small bat wings he has effeminate lashes, glossy lips, and pretty hair, he holds his pinky out, and he blows flaming kisses at you in between his ballet moves across the stage. All his mannerisms are that of a “flaming gay” stereotype. I’m just plain offended, and let down. I thought it was 2010?