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Blastrobots Post Mortem

A look at the development of Blastrobots, a student capstone project at the Guildhall at SMU.

Stephen Northcut, Blogger

February 26, 2013

3 Min Read

Blastrobots cover image


At the end of last June, our team, Wasted Talent, was formed and began the process of creating the idea for our capstone game. We wanted the game to be something in which everyone on the team had a part. This game needed to represent the ideas of all 14 of us, not just a small group.

In mid-August we started production on Blastrobots, a same-screen, multiplayer, isometric shooter featuring robots blasting their way through a futuristic space station. By the time production ended in early December, Blastrobots supported up to four players on the screen together, a four-level campaign including a boss fight, and an endless arena mode. 

What Went Right

When we first started planning in June, we had several ideas of what our levels should look like, and how the gameplay should work. By the time we started production in August we realized that the levels we had planned were not going to be fun, so we spent two weeks experimenting with the gameplay to find what kind of levels brought out the best parts of our game. In the end I believe that we created levels that players found fun and interesting.

Group Buy-In
The team felt that it was very important to incorporate design ideas from everyone on the team. This allowed the entire team to get involved and increased dedication to the game. Blastrobots wasn't passed down to the developers from the Game Designer or any other leadership position, it was created from the ground up by the team as a whole.

What Went Wrong:

Burn Out
By the time we reached our vertical slice milestone, we had created four entire levels. Shortly after that we were made aware of the IGF competition. Seeing no downside to submitting to a student competition, we decided to submit a polished version of what we had so far. We ended up doing a week and a half of polish on those four levels, getting them to a much better state.

While it was great that people were putting in the time and effort to make our game so awesome, they did so by putting off other work for other classes and working extra hours. We kept telling ourselves that once we had submitted to IGF, we would have time to finish the levels that we had promised for Alpha.

In the end, we had to cut all but one of the remaining levels in our game because we didn't have the time to get them to the same level of polish as our first four levels. At that point in production all of the work that had been put off for other classes came crashing down on us, and we could not put in the extra hours that would have allowed us to keep those extra levels.


 I am very proud of Blastrobots and the entire team that helped to create it. What do you think?


System Requirements:

Processor / core speed, capabilities: 2.0 GHz

Processor / number of hardware threads: Single Core

Memory:  2 GB System RAM

Video / card make or model: SM-3 Compatible video card

Video / OpenGL/DirectX/shader version: HLSL 3.0

Video / amount of video memory: 256 MB

Operating System: Windows XP SP3

Software: N/A

Peripheral: Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

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