Feral Weapon

Game Design, Programming, Music

"Feral Weapon" is a game about managing an over-abundant resource - one's own power. The Feral Weapon is an orbital cannon designed to defend humanity from a non-specific enemy out to destroy it. The gameplay is similar to Missile Command in that it involves defending the player's cities, and that it is impossible to win, and the only feasible achievement is surviving longer than last time. The player aims the Feral Weapon by touching the screen, and fires it by releasing. The crosshair is set slightly above the touch point, to avoid obstructing the view with one's finger.

The twist is that the Feral Weapon has a mind of its own. It constantly charges up, with a higher charge meaning a larger area of impact. When it reaches full charge, it fires to a random location on the map and starts over. Every time that the Feral Weapon is fired, its charge times is decreased, which means that eventually the Feral Weapon will destroy everything and everyone on the map, ending the game. The player is tasked with holding off the enemy forces while firing as little as possible, to delay this inevitable doom.

"Feral Weapon" has a dynamic music system. Each level has its music separated into three synchronous tracks. The first track begins when the first shot is fired. The number of shots also triggers tracks 2 & 3 later on, to give a sense of musical progression. The music also subtly rises in pitch with every shot, to match the shorter charge cycles and growing tension. When a level ends the music's pitch slides down sharply - just how sharply depends on how well the player did. The sound effects are relatively simple, with a single generic explosion sound used for all fire/hit sounds in the game, but with pitch alteration to make it sound like several different samples.

"Feral Weapon" was my first full game. I wrote down the original concept for it long before I had the capabilities to make it myself - I was still terrified of programming at the time, and was working on getting into the translation industry, of all things. It was inspired by the Extra Credits episode discussing Narrative Mechanics and Missile Command. I wanted to make a game that similarly tells a story through its mechanics. Later that same year I decided to give Unity a try (mostly to dissuade my partner on "Yelda" from building his own engine in ActionScript). Things went shockingly well and I was on my way to build my own full game for Android platforms. I would work on the game for hours every day, from the moment I got back from my day job to around 2 AM at night, releasing daily builds to a tiny pool of testers. My progress halted as I entered the game development program at Shenkar college.

 Original concept mockup

Original concept mockup

 Development Build (and current release)

Development Build (and current release)

 Development Build

Development Build