In our small penguin team, there is a strong belief that we should share our ideas and knowledge to everyone interested. We simply like to hear ideas from players. Additionally, we want to support other game developers. That’s why in this post, I’ll provide a background on how we came up with the whole “Rage Disco” concept. Why are there lasers? Why taking pills? Let’s find out.
Mini side project
When we finished a major milestone on another project (Red Hunt), whole team was quite exhausted. Summer started and some of our team members had planned vacations. We decided to take a break from the Red Hunt. Having said that, some of us wanted to keep developing games while others were absent. We began thinking about a small game that could be done in two months. Because such project would not bring any money due to ridiculously small size, we thought about developing features that would be useful for other games. One of the features we had in mind for some time was related to procedural level generation. Me and Hanidu (both of us are programmers and level editors) brainstormed about possible game ideas that could use random generation. To keep things simple, we thought that running away from lasers in a top-down perspective is a good start. Two weeks later, we had a main character and enemies which were running around and shooting lasers. As for the level generation, tiles with walls were spawned in random order while exploring the level. All of this working quite efficiently on our engine of choice, Unreal Engine 4.
The search for theme and fun
Running away from enemies was far from being immensively fun. We decided to grant points to players for something, so that they would have an engaging goal. Because our functionalities were limited, we started from giving points for every laser that didn’t explode at our character’s face. At that time, Msk (our lead artist) came back from his break and wanted to help. We were only using prototypes provided by Unreal Engine’s starting content up until now… Therefore, we had to decide on the main theme of the game. Because we had lasers and electronic music, epic party seemed good enough ;).
More and more content
We were only halfway through the summer when we already had a nicely looking party with lasers coming from every direction. The approach to lights and special effects was really cool and stayed with us until today. Sadly, our gameplay was lacking as the player didn’t have much to do. That is why we added pickups, that provided points and introduced various visual effects. We were certain that for such effects, alcohol and drugs are definitely fitting the theme of a rage disco. Thanks to the addition of pickups, gameplay started to be much more interesting. After getting them, playing becomes much harder, but more points are gained.
Long past summer, we were still adding features to the game. At some point we thought that this should be our first complete game with all standard features like settings, save and load, highscores etc. The turnaround is that we actually really like the laser party! Because of that, we are now in a phase where a little side project transformed to a small game that can be (hopefully) sold to earn some money. We are entering beta phase now and new awesome features will follow. Stay tuned!