Continuing on their quest to make 12 games in 12 months, Divine Knight Gaming released the second game in the series. For February, they released Graveyard Defense, a simple actiony game taking place in a graveyard.
The game plays with the player, portrayed by a paladin type soldier, standing among four graves from which endless waves of undead spawn. The player must then use the arrow keys on their keyboard to battle them. Eventually the player will be overwhelmed by the monsters and they will die.
In the blog post about the game, Zachary wrote about what he felt makes the game special.
One of the neatest things about this game is the fact that it has sounds. This is my first game to include sound effects. They aren’t the best sound effects, but it is pretty good for a start. There are a total of five sounds for the game. One when the monster rises from the grave. One when the player kills the monster. One if the player misses. One when the player gets hit by a monster. And the final sound is when the player dies. These sounds were created using the great free tool SFXR.
But what good is a game design challenge without a lesson to be learned. In a later blog post, Zachary writes about a design lesson he received from how his daughter played the game.
As you may recall, the game is played by using the arrow keys to attack monsters as they come out of the graves. Eventually, the monsters come out so quickly and attack faster and you become overwhelmed and are defeated. The exploit lies in that basic interaction between the arrow keys and the monsters.
Because there is no penalty, other than a wasted attack, to hitting a wrong arrow, players can simply spam the arrow keys to rack up a high score. That is exactly what my daughter did. She used four fingers to mash the arrow keys repeatedly. So she was effectively attacking all four directions at once. At least for a while. She was still overwhelmed and she lost. But that isn’t the point. The fact is, the game has a weakness.
Whether this game is revisited in the future or not, this is a design lesson that will stick with him for some time. You can play the game at the link at the top of the post and from there can find many other games they have created.
We will continue to follow Divine Knight Gaming’s progress through creating one game a month this year.
Full disclosure: I am the creator of this game and a co-owner of Divine Knight Gaming.