So this is where it begins…
Monster Mash is a game of destruction, and feeling powerful. Because of course that’s what VR is for, right? You demolish various cities around the world on your path of revenge against your creators, the corrupted pharmaceutical and robotics mogul, Ultrachem.
Also, the Earth is being invaded…
First off, if you’re reading this, thank you for stopping by! My name is Paul and I’m the solo developer of this project. This game has been in development for a few months, so I’m writing this introductory section a bit retroactively and it might just be some history about the project so far. My aim with this devlog will be to record as much as I can stuff into it as often as possible. These first few entries might be framed as more of recollection and documentation, but I do hope it’s also somewhat of an enjoyable read (and I apologize in advance for any shitty jokes).
I started making this game at the start of 2022 and it was intitially a Global Game Jam submission through Marist College (which you can find here). I believe this was the first attempt at any sort of student made virtual reality game at the college, as well as my first real VR project. I’ve made a couple of neat tech-demos before, but this was the first VR game of mine that I felt had some real weight behind it. I ended up demoing this project at CURSCA (Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity) where I got some awesome feedback during playtesting and decided that this needed to be real; to be more than just another personal portfolio piece.
/// THE IDEA
One of my favorite games as a young kid was Rampage: World Tour for the PlayStation. Oh, you don’t remember that game? It was an old Midway arcade title about, well, destroying the world as a giant monster. I spent so many hours wrecking cities, eating people, and fueling the pixelated gore on my screen, all to the best mid-90’s thrash metal. Looking back, it defined an era of gaming for me. As much of a conceptual influence as this game has had on Monster Mash, it hasn’t been the only inspiration, but more about that another time.
I had been making games with the Unity engine for quite a while and ended up purchasing an Oculus Quest 1 (now Meta I guess) with the intentions of using it as a tool to break into learning more about how to develop VR applications in general. What this game ended up sprouting from was actually one of those tech-demos I mentioned before. I had been experimenting with destructibility physics and breaking objects into multiple pieces on different types of collision. You can see this in the video below (and other experiments in this playlist). During the jam, I started with revamping and building on top of this as my main mechanic.
/// THE PROTOTYPE
I could not have been more proud of what I ended up producing in such a short time during this jam. Below is a demo video I premiered at the end of the event from which I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from my peers. This video shows a basic timed mechanic I instated to determine when the game would end and the rudimentary medal system I used to determine the players score and if they had passed/failed the level. It’s definitely a little clunky, and lots has changed since this, but I still show this wherever I can because I feel it illustrates the essence of what I want this game to be like/about.
I have so much more to write about soon, and even more ideas to actually turn into reality as development chugs along. I hope to have plenty of exciting things to show in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Until next time…