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Twisting, Spying and some Ice

Posted in Henka Twist Caper by Shawn on March 18, 2014

So, I’ve started work on a few new projects. With this comes some good and some bad.

First, the bad. I really like these projects. Why is that bad? Well, because I really want to work on each of these projects and give them a fair amount of time. This can potentially create a problem with some of the work being delayed by some degree. It’s an annoying negative, since I really want each of these to become something that can stand on their own. Standing on their own is something they’re probably going to so, as each of these games are quite different from each other.

With the bad out of the way, we can focus on the good parts, of which I feel there are many. As I just mentioned, all three projects are quite different. In order of relevance to the title, the projects are ‘Henka Twist Caper’, ‘Diplomats, Agents, and Spies’, and ‘Dry Ice’.

Henka Twist Caper

Henka Twist Caper is a physical game that uses a PlayStation Move controller and is for six players. Players must stand in a designated area on the floor, which I marked with tape during playtesting.

The players are split into three teams of two. When the music starts, the goal of each team is to find the correct secret orientation for their controller. Once a player finds the correct position, the controller will vibrate and the orb will light up, which indicates that they have the correct position. While the controller is positioned correctly, the team’s invisible meter will fill. The goal then becomes – “Fill your meter while preventing your opponents from doing the same”.


The game, as of now, works. It took me an evening to jam on the project and I’ve been slowly updating it since, adding feedback provided by folks at the local Philly Dev nights. This week, I’m hoping to show it to others at GDC, and hoping it’s not an uncivilized project to play in the area.

Diplomats, Agents, and Spies

This game is another multiplayer game, this time for 10 people. It’s designed to play at parties or social events where you can do more than just play the game. One of the best things about the game is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment on the player’s end, just a phone capable of sending/receiving text messages. I guess I shouldn’t take for granted that texting is a super simple thing, but it seems like it is in this day and age.

The setup for DAS happens on my end. I first gather everyone’s names and phone numbers, then place them in a file on a server on my side. After some magic on my end, the game starts by sending each player a text message. The message says something along the lines of:

“Hello <NAME>. Your special code is XXXX. Your partner’s number is XXXXXXX. Please call XXXXXX to find out your role”.

To clear that up. there are three roles in the game. 3 players act as diplomats, 3 players act as agents, and 4 players act as spies. Players work in pairs. There are 3 teams of Diplomats/Agents, while the final two teams are pairs of spies. While the players *do* work in pairs, the team structure is a bit different. The diplomats/agents are actually all on one team. Each team of spies is on their own team. Oh, and no one knows who is on the other teams. They only know who their teammate is.
Now for the goals. The goal of the diplomats is to find the other diplomats, exchange codes with each other, and text their codes to the system. The goal of the spies is to gather the diplomat codes and enter all three into the system. The agents need to assist the diplomats and help keep the spies at bay. There are a number of checks and balances that help prevent the game from being too easy for one team to win. For example, the agents are the only class that have the power to actually eliminate someone. If someone gives an agent their code, and the agent text it to the system, the agent eliminates that player. So, spies need to be careful about who they talk to. Maybe they gave their code to an agent. Or maybe to another spy…
The game has a time limit, so players can’t dawdle. If time runs out, the spy team that entered the most correct codes overall win.

Dry Ice

Dry Ice is the ‘traditional’ game that I’m currently working on. As of late, I’ve been mostly working on the multiplayer elements while drafting the single player campaign. On the multiplayer side, players are placed in an area with ships. These ships are fast, agile, and have speedy bullets….until they become visible.
The more a player shoots, the more visible they become. The more visible they become, the slower they move, and the slower their bullets move. Shooting makes you a target, but it’s the only way to eliminate everyone else. I actually just very recently but together a build with some updated values which hopefully make it much more advantageous to staying invisible, or at least, compared to before. Oh, and don’t plan on just sitting around. If you don’t move for an extended period of time, your ship becomes visible.
Well, those are the projects that are in the pipeline for now. And of course, the post-Kickstarter work that needs to be done. There’s a lot that I’m trying to do, but to be honest, I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Being able to move from one project to another allows me to keep my sanity. Also, I learn some things that help with other projects. It’s nice that everything can be connected in some way, shape, or form.
But that’s it for now. I should get back to….something.

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