Friday, April 12, 2013

GDW is over - Red Dawn

It’s been quite some time since I last updated this blog but it hasn’t been without good reason. My program always keeps me busy, especially near the end of the semester when crunch time is highest in order to finish our GDW game. But now its finally over, my 3rd year and final GDW game ever is complete. I may have briefly mentioned what it was in a previous post but that was so long ago I wouldn’t even have remembered writing it. 

All sorts of events happened before the final submission to UOIT such as LevelUp where students from U of T, OCAD, UOIT and others showed off their games to the public. In fact our game even got an honorable mention as well!  There was our own UOIT event called Gamecon where the game devs from all years would show off the almost final versions of our games and capstone projects. I'll cover both of these in a later blog but for now lets get to what my team's game is.

Apparently there was a movie  called Reddawn that came out before we named our game. We had no idea what it was. Moving on from that though, our game is a ship to ship combat game with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer and looks like Windwaker. Players will control one ship, sailing in a battleground with several other ships and your objective is to destroy them. There are multiple different modes to choose from such as death match, timed matches and last man standing matches as well as multiple different levels to select.


The most important part of the game is how do you control your ship? You can increase your speed or decrease your speed which increase your movement but inversely decrease your turn rate. The faster you go, the harder it is to turn. You also don’t have to hold a button to increase your speed. Once you are at a certain speed it won’t change unless you to choose to increase or decrease.

We wanted to make it feel like a ship, so that meant you weren’t just shooting some machine gun in whatever direction you were pointed. Since ships have stationary placement for cannons on the sides of the ships, that’s how you shoot. You control the left and right sides of your ship with the Xbox Controller triggers. Left trigger would fire cannons on the left side and right cannons would fire cannons on the right side. The same applies for flamethrowers located on the sides of your ship.

You also have access to a harpoon at the front of the ship that fires forward. If it connects with another ship, the two of you will be dragged towards each other, allowing you to do some weird physics defying drifts to aim your cannons in cool and interesting ways. Its used as a chasing tool for those pesky ships that try and run away from you. You also have access to mines that deploy from the rear of the ship. They do massive amounts of damage and you can leave up to 8 on the field at any time.

How to win

When you select a new game it brings up a menu that allows you to customize the match in any way you see fit. The main types of modes are deathmatch, life match (last man standing) and timed match. You can also choose how many AI you want to fight against, if it’s a team battle and also what level you want to go to.

For the modes, deathmatch is the typical get X number of kills to win. Last man standing is where you have a pool of lives which run out as you get killed. If you lose too many lives you’re out of the match. Timed match runs a set time and every kill you get gains you a point while every death nets a loss ofa point. So 7 kills, 5 deaths = 2+ points.

When a match ends your stats will be displayed, which are your kills, deaths, and team. A good way to compare yourself to the competition.


I said the game was multiplayer so that means playing with your friends. This GDW year we had the opportunity to learn networking in our games and so that applied perfectly with the concept for ours. You can connect on local LAN to other computers who have the game (unfortunately we didn’t learn how to connect across the internet though). All you have to do is have someone set up a Red Dawn server, have people connect to that person’s IP address and “Board the Ship” to establish connection.

Due to time constraints its not as user friendly as it should be but it still works quite well once you’re in. You can setup a match just like in singleplayer mode for everyone else in the lobby if you’re the first one to connect. You can chat before match and once everyone presses the ready up button, the match will start. It will even keep track of your wins and losses when you return back to the multiplayer lobby.


That’s a basic overview of our game. I have made it available for download for anyone that would like to try it. There is a download link above and right here.

I shall probably write another post for Post-Mortem of the game and also an overview of the Year and the UOIT event GAMECON where all of the GDW games are displayed.