Chompy Chomp Chomp Party on Wii U - Week 1

Posted on  
October 7, 2013
Sarah Woodrow

Last week we started development on a brand new shiny version of Chompy Chomp Chomp for WiiU. We've decided to call it Chompy Chomp Chomp Party.

Our announcement was featured on NintendoLife last week and we were also featured in the Indie Haven podcast today talking about how it all came about (57 mins in).

Chompy Chomp Chomp Party is going to be our definitive version of the game where we get to do things that our players have suggested and try all the new ideas that we have to make it even more fun. We made the first game very quickly because we wanted to get out there and show the world what we could do as soon as possible. We have so many ideas for the game that we really want to try. With Chompies we always want to be experimenting and trying new things to see if we can really make it the most fun game to play with your friends and family ever.

We are so excited to be bringing Chompy Chomp Chomp to Wii U! This is a dream come true. When we first made Chompies we had young families in mind and who is more family friendly than Nintendo?!

We get to make it in Unity, so it'll be in 3D. It's going to be AT LEAST 5 player and we are going to try and do some interesting and different things with the Wii U hardware.

Here is a little concept sketch. We really want to use the Wii U tablet in interesting ways. This is just an illustration of where you get to be the 5th Green Chompy :)

So what happened in Week One? Our first goal with any game is to get it playtest-able as soon as possible. So we are aiming at the moment to get the core game mechanic and then we can experiment with the new things we want to try as soon as possible. We need to be play testing these ideas early on because although they seem like great ideas to us, we don't actually KNOW if they'll be fun yet. It requires a lot of change and iteration to make it really fun, and we want as much time to get it wrong as possible :)

We are making the game in 3d, so we have worked on reducing the number of polygons on the models. We had them as 2d before, so it didn't matter that they ate up the poly count. Then Woody made them move around by mapping their movement to the direction pads. Unity's physics engine keeps them on the ground and stops them running through the walls.

The next most important thing to do after that was the colour change algorithm. It's more complicated than you might initially think. You can't eat the same person who is eating you and you can't get a target that is yourself. It also needs to scale up and work for many players. We have imaginings of being able to have huge multiplayer Chompy games so we always try to keep it possible in the code that we write for the algorithm.

Then we needed to get the chomping mechanic working. For this Woody wrote a collision handler to check for collisions between the chasing Chompy and the target chompy.

So that's where we're up to after a week of development and here's a screenshot.

Stuff we learnt this week:

~ We want to work more on the "story/co-op" mode as it is likely to be very different to the blobbidees mode on PC. So we need to get this prototyped before we continue working on the battle mode.~ Unity doesn't deal with multiple controllers very well by default on PC. But we're not worrying about that right now :)

We want to be really transparent and show our progress and what we've learnt, so this is just the first of these posts :)