A classic game to wrap up a not-so-classic story
Last weekend I began on the final interactive scene for our final project. Not just any scene, but a scene to summarize the story, and tie it all up in a nice little package with a bow. What existing game could we come up with that would rock your socks off? Well hold onto your boots…. pinball.
Yessir. The ever classic pinball. Our version will start off in the dark, just like our story, with the assets all being in greyscale. When you’ve reached a certain point accumulation from hitting five star bumpers at the top of the playing field, the screen will flicker as if there’s an explosion, and BOOM!, everything’s in colour, with the original meteor at the top, now transformed into the sun. Bumpers that once contained images of bunnies, will have exploded into a cow, frog, and bird, just like in the storybook itself.
The elephant will blow the ball up the track with his truck, and the fish from the opening sequence will flick its tail to keep the ball from sinking in the ocean at the bottom of the screen. I found a tutorial online for creating rolling score counters, and Brett (the flash instructor and Head of the Digital Design Department) worked his magic with some code a little too heavy for me to completely wrap my brain around, to create a ramp that the ball will be able to move up onto, but also under if it doesn’t hit the mouth.
I’m pulling from different existing pinball games for layout, and experimenting on screen as I go. I had originally done some layout sketches, but not having a lot of experience playing pinball either on a real table or in the digital world, I thought it was best just to get my hands dirty and dive in. I’m working up the layout and the assets as I go, so I can experiment with different shapes, and positions. As much as Brett would like to tease that we’re slacking, I’m building it in Flash instead of Flex, because there’s so many visual assets to play with, and it just seems more manageable with a stage to see it all on. I’m using an updated version of World Constructor Kit, a 2D physics engine for flash, that I’ve also used in past interactive projects.
You can see a half finished version above. Lots of bugs, no sound effects and the counter on the score doesn’t work. Most people might not post half finished work, but I wanted to show you my process. My goal is to have this game done by the time Taura leaves for vacation Friday morning. I may be working until the wee hours to get it done. But I’m going for it.