Dev Diary Entry #1: Hambling Berzerk

I have recently been tasked with creating a game for my studio class at uni. The game is to be a clone of the old Atari game of Berzerk with a couple of changes. I am to create the game with a certain artist in mind. Everyone was given a different artist/art style to base their game around. I was given the awesome artist Maggi Hambling.

Since this is the artist I am going to be basing my game around, I have done a little bit of research to get some ideas for how I am going to remodel my version of Berzerk. So far, I think I will keep the original mechanics of the game the same and just change the assets of the game to represent a certain series of Hamblings works ‘Walls of water’. Hamblings ‘Walls of water’ paintings depict how she herself sees the ocean, how it makes her feel and what it represents to her.

She tends to use a very dark blue color palette mixed with very few light colors to create her works. I intend to carry this color palette over to my game to create a rather similar aesthetic.

Things that I want to keep similar

With my game there will be a lot of mechanics that are not changed but rather I will be modifying the existing mechanics a little to enhance the player experience since our current technology allows us to accomplish a lot more than back when Berzerk was originally created. I would like to have the character be able to move more fluently in the original 8 different directions but maybe just a little bit faster. I would like the enemies to be a little more spry and move around a bit more, actively looking for the player. As the game goes on I would also keep the mechanic of speeding up the player and the enemies as the player achieves higher levels. In one of the versions of them original game, the enemy characters would say things according to what was happening on the screen. I Would like to keep this in my game but have custom sounds that will be appropriate for the type of enemy that I will be including in my game. The projectiles that are shot by the player and the enemy will be relatively the same, the only difference being the appearance. The shooting mechanic will the same as in the original game as the player will shoot in the direction that they are moving but if the player is not moving they will shoot in the direction the player last moved. The enemies will shoot in the direction of the player but will only be able to shoot in 8 different directions total. I Would like to keep the level mainly the same by having 2-4 exits on the map, the map had boarders and walls. The only change I would make with this would be the straight walls that the map has and change them to look a little wavy to help fit the overall aesthetic.

Things that I want to change

There isn’t much that I want to change in the way that the game is played but I will be changing how the game looks. I currently don’t have any art assets for the game as of yet but I have ideas for what they will look like. The player will be a sort of look alike to the artist and the enemies will be the mass of haters that she has amassed over the years. The projectiles for the player will be paintbrushes that are being thrown by the artist. The enemies projectiles will be balls of black balls made up of words (hateful words) that they are throwing at Hambling. Evil Otto will act very similar to how he acts in the original but it will no longer by a happy face bouncing across the screen at the player rather it will be a wave the comes onto the screen that chases the player and gradually get bigger. Evil Otto would also become faster as the game levels progressed.

So far this is how I would like the game to turn out and I will be mentioning any changes to my current plans if they end up changing in the future while creating my game.

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