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OCTOBER 14TH, 2015

Game prototyping – Garbatron

Hello game lovers,
Coming back from summer vacation we decided that we should spend a month or so to prototype different ideas that’s been floating around. That month has now come to an end, and it resulted in a strong and interesting concept that we will now develop further. But we thought you all would be interested in getting a glimpse of all the crazy stuff we’ve been doodling with. In a number of blogs we will take a closer look at these ideas. So, without further ado, Mediocre presents…


One of the first ideas we explored was called Garbatron. A game where the player slices objects with the purpose of recycling the parts in return for energy. You got energy whenever you managed to get parts to fall through the holes in the floor, and you lost energy for the parts you did not manage to get through the holes. Red objects which explodes when sliced were added as a method to get rid of small pieces, which had a tendency to stack up in corners and other hard to get to places. However, getting any part of the red objects through a hole also mean a loss of energy. The idea was that this was going to play out in some kind of junkyard, and the player would be tasked with slicing up bigger and more absurd items the further the game progressed; Coffee cup -> Laptop -> Microwave -> Fridge -> Sofa -> Car -> Mini van -> Shipping container -> House -> Ferry -> Aircraft Carrier and so on. Also objects with different effects were envisioned; like a water tank dropping water when sliced which could be used to wash down leftover parts, propane tanks for explosions and so forth. Unfortunately, there was a couple of issues with the idea which ultimately led us to scrapping the concept:

  • Slicing objects was fun and very rewarding but also very difficult to do in a controlled and predictable manner (from a gameplay perspective, not technically difficult). It kind of felt like the equivalent of button mashing in Street Fighter.
  • A lot of pieces were stuck on flat areas and in corners. This was somehow mitigated by the exploding objects, but not completely. It felt unfair to lose energy due to parts the player had very little possibility of salvaging. Creating sloped floors was considered, but it would likely just mean that the game became a test of how fast the player could slice up objects small enough to automatically slide down through the holes.
  • To retain long term interest the game would need to be very content heavy with lots of detailed objects of different kinds and sizes.
  • It was difficult to see how the game could be expanded to retain interest after the first few levels.

Please enjoy this short video of an early prototype Dennis whipped up in the Smash hit engine:

Signing off,

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