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Developer's Diary: Cavity Crusade Dental Evolved

I am not unique in being a fan of the Geometry Wars series. Being a Nintendo devotee, I only have access to the Wii and DS versions. I rented Geometry Wars: Galaxies for the Wii and it became the first game in a long time that converted from a rental to a purchase. The Wii version has a feature that allows you to download the original retro evolved version of the game to the DS, which made it the very first Nintendo system game that converted me from a demo to another purchase for the DS version.

Having never played the X360 versions of the game, I never developed a bias for the dual stick control method; so I am one of those rare few that prefer the point to shoot method (especially for the DS). Being an aspiring game designer, I thought it would be fun to build my own take on the game using that control scheme (mouse instead of Wiimote, of course). I decided to start the project

- I’ll use the mouse to point and shoot. I want to make it very easy to access so that it could be played with one hand. So the mouse can also move your ship. Most people should prefer the arrows or maybe a joystick to move the ship.
- I love Geometry Wars graphic style. I want to make mine similar but totally different. I decided to try to emulate the style but invert all the colors so the background is mostly white instead of black and the moving characters are filled with color with light borders.
- I decided to make it like Retro Evolved where you had one stage where you would continue to fight and the action would continue to escalate until you die. The challenge is to get the highest score. A stage based game like Galaxies adds another level of complexity that I am not ready for, not having experienced how my basic game will play.
- I decided to have power-ups like Galaxies however. I think that doing some different actions with the mouse will help differentiate this game that would otherwise be a straight knock-off.

Because my goal was to take the Geometry Wars look and invert it, I was now dealing with a white background with dark colored objects comprising the action. To me, it wouldn’t make sense for the game to be based in space with a white background, so I decided to do a throwback to a game I made long ago called Cavity Crusade (JackGames.com), a point and shoot (almost a light gun) game where you battle germs to save your teeth. Teeth are generally white, so it makes sense for this to be a mostly white setting. Combining the titles of my old game with the new one I was mimicking, I decided to call my new game Cavity Crusade: Dental Evolved.

I think the thing that surprised me most about Geometry Wars was all of the varied behaviors the enemies had. In my next post I will cover the enemies of Dental Evolved.
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About jordanbieberone of us since 12:25 PM on 08.10.2007

Video games and other media are often accused of stunting the imagination, particularly in children. My goal is to show that software and media can be used to create immersive experiences that challenge and excite the imagination.

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