Snowball’s Chance in Hell’s Kitchen…

A few weeks ago I attended a 24-hour game jam hosted by the people at Games.com and created a puzzle-platformer called Snowball’s Chance in Hell’s Kitchen. In the game you play as a snowball who is trying to get to the north pole so that they never have to melt. While the game was not completed, all of the gameplay was implemented and it turned out rather well. Continue reading to give the game a try and hear more about how it works.

Snowball's Chance Screenshot

For some reason, even though other Construct 2 projects work perfectly, this project won’t embed into my site. Go here to try the game until I can solve this issue.

The gameplay is designed to work as a puzzle platformer. As I said above, you play as a snowball that is trying to get to the North Pole. As a snowball, your size and mass are both heavily affected by the environment. For example, if you roll around in a freezer you might grow a bit, but if you jump through steam or roll over a burner you will shrink. On top of that we also had a game mechanic which allowed you to throw smaller snowballs at objects to knock them over or flip switches. Whenever you threw a snowball you are throwing part of the snow which makes up your mass to make that snowball and your size would decrease accordingly. Because of this you have to be careful to not use too much of your mass when throwing snowballs.

The only level we completed was intended to be the first level. In this level you are trying to navigate your way through a kitchen and find a window that allows you to escape to the wintery climate outside. All of the gameplay for this level was completed, but it ended up much easier than we expected. This was not a major issue though because even if this simple state we found the game fun, and it was good to see the project come together.

For this project I did some of the art assets, and I also did all of the gameplay implementation. We used Construct 2 to get this working because it is a very strong tool for prototyping, and allowed us a lot of rapid iteration, which was very useful since we only had 24 hours to make the game. I will most likely return to this project at some point since I really love the concept and it seems to have a lot of potential.

When I do come back to it I want to try and create a more complex system of environmental interaction which allows you to become icy and hard, or soft and slushy so that you can interact with different objects in more unique ways. On top of that, there were two features we wanted, but were unable to implement in this version. First, we wanted the snowball to be able to throw his entire mass. This would function similarly to jumping and probably would have replaced it in the final version, but it would also allow you to use the force of your body as an attack to damage enemies or knock things over. The second feature we wanted was one which would allow the player to pick up objects and bring them into their snowball to change it’s properties or to use in unique ways. The key example we had was rocks. In an outside environment you could roll up rocks which you could then use for a more powerful throw or attack.

Hopefully I will get to come back to it soon but until then I would love to hear what you think about the gameplay, and if you’d be interested in seeing more.

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