Astrofire Arena

A local multiplayer party game where you customize your spaceships and fight against each other.

You can download the game right here: https://afterdarkgames.itch.io/astrofire-arena

Introduction

Demo

Summary

Astrofire Arena was my 1st Semester 7 project for Fontys ICT; Game Design and Technology. I worked together with a group on this game for 8 weeks.

The game has two different phases; Building and Battle Phase. In the building phase, the player can choose the parts for their ship to customize their own playstyle. Each parts would affect a different aspect on the ship, whether that be the speed, the handling or their special attack. Once created, the game moves to the Battle phase, where players would have to complete the objective by fighting each other. The game offers two game modes: Free For All and King of the Hill. Players can move their ship, shoot the enemies, avoid attacks by dodging, regain health and energy, and use their special attack in order to win.

My Contribution

For this project, my main role was Lead level designer. I had to make sure all the levels were meeting the criteria for a good level and had to help those who were stuck. I also was programming help, working on mechanics such as the King of the Hill Game mode. During this project, I learned more about level design principles as well as how it feels to be a company within the gaming industry.

Process

Ship Selection

Players can choose a variety of parts for their ship. Each part affects a different part of the ship, whether that be how fast the ship can turn or how much energy it can hold. The ship parts can be summarized into 3 parts: Stats, Weapon and Special.

Stats are the core and the engine. These parts will affect the stats of your ship like the weight, which affects speed and turning, the energy capacity, and more. Weapon are the gun parts. The game provides 5 types of weapons, each with different amount of damage, bullet speed and range. Lastly, Special are parts that give the player a special ability that they can use. These special abilities also come in both offensive and defensive forms, such as a dash to quickly avoid enemies or a bomb that explodes upon contact.

Energy Spot

The energy spot is a mechanic where a spot appears in the area. If players stay inside the spot, they will refill their energy over time. This is a faster method to gain energy than the energy powerups, which give a little bit of energy.

Of course, the spot was seen as overpowered during first draft testing, seeing that testers would camp the spot. To avoid this from happening, two changes were made. The first one is that players that entered the spot can’t use their weapons to attack. The second one is that the spot teleports to a different position every 30 seconds. This is done so that the spots are seen as a “fly by and continue” spot.

King of the Hill

The game currently has two game modes. Free For All, that has two maps and where players must go against each other, and King Of The Hill, with only one map where players must stay within a spot to gain points. 

Designing a KOTH map was challenging, I had to create a map that feels fair to both players and also adds a bit of challenge and tactics. The floating cars were added as blockades to prevent players from camping and sniping players that were within the circle. This also gives the player in the circle a little bit of defense, not leaving them completely open.