I’d like to introduce my latest game: Super Socket Brawler (working title). The game started out as another way to let my students create characters and get them in an actual video game where we could all play each other as our characters, nothing too big or fancy, but it turns out that the game was so much fun I’ve decided to upload it to the web and keep updating it for a while. At this stage it is little more than a prototype, but I would love to keep hammering on this thing for the near future.

Premise:

The game takes place somewhere in suburban USA on Halloween night where a bunch of trick-or-treaters (all character choices are just called “costumes”) stumble their way into an abandoned mansion and find a mysterious talking scarecrow holding an enormous red crystal. This crystal has the power to make their imaginations come to life. Their Halloween props and toys suddenly become powerful weapons. The scarecrow urges them to begin a game of war, promising the winner a special prize…

Gameplay:

I started out with this player experience goal: “Fast paced, chaotic, competitive. Players must devise a recipe for success on the fly using assets they have on hand.” It could also be described as “Extremely chaotic competitions with a creative twist.”

Lying on the ground are weapons (right now just the slingshot is available to use), and these weapons have 4 sockets in which you can place objects you find lying about. The items you place in the sockets alter the weapon’s behavior in some way. When these items are combined, drastic changes occur to the way the weapon operates.

Socket Names

The socket names (for now) are “Action”, “Behavior”, “Behavior Shift” and “Effect.”

Action – Affects projectile speed, rate of fire, how many projectiles are fired and the size of the projectile.
Behavior – As of right now there are 7 different behaviors: “Pop,” “Split,” “Bounce,” “Through,” “Splort,” “Circle” and “Grow”.
Behavior Shift – The shift slot isn’t available until a basic behavior is put into play. Once it is, you can now stack the behaviors to create crazy new outcomes. For instance, if I put a “Bounce” behavior in, it will make the projectile bounce off walls and players. If I put a “Split” behavior shift on top of this, each time the projectile bounces it will split into 5 clones of itself in different directions.
Effect – Right now there are 5 different effects: “Damage,” “Heal,” “Slow,” “Freeze” and “Burn”.  “Damage” is the default when there are no socketed items present, but putting an item in that slot that also has a “Damage” effect will increase it’s damage output.

Sockets filled
Here I’ve placed 3 items in 3 sockets, every item or “Ingredients” as I call them will affect a different slot, well,  differently.

 

Slingshot no ingredients
Plain slingshot without any ingredients

 

Slingshot with Bounce Behavior
Slingshot with a ball ingredient in the Behavior Socket creates “Bounce” behavior.

 

Slingshot combos
There are currently over 4000 different combinations with more on the way.

Only one person can open the Crystal Forge at a time and you can not attack while you are at the forge, but you can still move and dodge bullets. In early testing this game has proven to be quite exciting as tension is built in many facets of the gameplay.  Screaming, laughing, and cursing were quite common just as I intended.

In the future I would like this game to have net play and work in the browser, but as of right now it’s just local multiplayer up to 4 players if you are using XBOX 360 Controllers. You can dink around with the keyboard and mouse if no controllers are plugged in but it’s only single player and I haven’t written and AIs for it yet. I’d also like to put in more weapon types such as close ranged weapons, and traps that you leave places, all of them each having 4 sockets that will alter their behaviors. I’m also planning on making a character template and letting the public submit characters to me as my students have (with due credit given and full copyright retained by the artists).

gamepad layout

keyboard layout

The prototype is freely downloadable at itch.io and gamejolt. Download it, play it with 4 people preferably. Bear in mind there will inevitably be bugs as it’s just a prototype.  Feel free to leave suggestions and feedback!

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