What happens if you mix a group of people, an old and crippled game-making software, and two hours on a Saturday evening? Awesomeness happens, that is what. It’s the basic premise of the Klik of the Month Klub; you grab Klik & Play, a buggy, limited and old (from 1994) software that is nevertheless endearing and fun to use (also free,) then make a game with it during those two hours. The results are often broken and nigh-unplayable, but hilarious or even enlightening.

Runaway Blast screenshot

You can’t do a lot during that short span of time, so not being overly ambitious is key. Last saturday was my first time participating in the monthly event, and I thought that I was going to have about an hour’s worth of time to work on my game, since I was supposed to go visit some photography exhibitions, which in the end didn’t happen. Given my lack of familiarity with the (at times esoteric) software, my humble aspirations were, nevertheless, extremely helpful. My design document, if we can call it that, was scribbled only a few minutes before the two hours started. Sadly, I ended up going 40 minutes over the deadline, which is not actually enforced, since it’s all just in good fun, but still. The end result is a game I called Runaway Blast; you can download the slightly polished version of the game, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, the original from the official thread of the KOTMK #14, though you’ll need some DLL files only included in the other package.

It was an exciting experience, being there in the IRC channel, everyone making terrible games together, sharing advice (or asking for it, as I was doing) and just having fun. Afterwards, everyone trying out each others games, sharing praise or anecdotes. I will certainly try to be there next time too.

So, my game. The main idea was to make it a tense pursuit, to be outnumbered and with little resources, that is, only your wits (and some timed bombs) to aid you against the brainless mass of enemies. Which is not unlike a zombie game (survival horror,) now that I think about it. The map that I drew in my sketch illustrates this, but being surrounded from every side would have made it difficult to be strategic. The resulting mechanics are not too bad; not incredibly original or engaging, but for a first attempt, and for having been made in under three hours, it’s not a half bad result. Of course, what I’m not mentioning here is that the game is broken: you can go through walls, even though you’re not meant to. The limitations in the software made this unavoidable; attempting to overcome them would have costed me too much time, and I’m certain that it would have been worthless, considering the scope of my efforts. Had all conditions met, my character would have actually followed the pointer with a specific velocity, which would have fixed the wall-crossing bug and also made the game more challenging, since you would not be able to outrun your enemies quite as easily. The game will stay as it is, though, so we will all have to learn to live with that.