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  • Postmortem: Barricade: Midnight Terror

    [03.11.14]
    - Jeb Alvarado
  • Barricade: Midnight Terror started off as "Barricade", a small project for Microsoft's three-month App Idol competition in Puerto Rico from April to June in 2012. While we were excited to place as runner-up in the event, we weren't able to visualize the game's future on the Windows Phone platform. We opted for a fresh start and took the plunge into the dark realms of iOS.

    This game was the first intellectual property for our studio Kraniumtivity Games, LLC., and we started production for the title officially in October 2012. I was an online student at Full Sail University when we started, so I had little time to spare between my day job and classes. Our stellar programmer, Kelvin Bonilla, was also in a similar situation thanks to his full-time job at Hewlett-Packard (HP). Nevertheless, we knew that shipping this game would be essential if we were to call ourselves professional game developers.


    We came across complications during development, like all developers do, but we also found ourselves handling some unexpected situations that greatly affected production. A handful of these involved:

    • Kelvin quitting his Software Engineering job at HP so he could better focus on following his passion as a game developer.

    • My job transfer and eventual leave to focus full-time on academics and my final project at Full Sail University.

    • Kelvin and I volunteering as Conference Associates (CAs) at the 2013 Game Developers Conference! It was an incredible experience and we met many industry professionals who gave us great feedback on our game, specially regarding some flaws that we fixed as soon as we got back home.

    • Our involvement in starting Puerto Rico's first chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Motivated by our CA experience and IGDA's substantial role in GDC 2013, we founded the chapter so we could organize events for our local developer community.

    • The completion of my final project at Full Sail and subsequent graduation. This helped me fully devote myself to finishing Barricade: Midnight Terror in the subsequent month.

    While that was an extensive tangent, it's an important piece of backstory that led us to extend our development time.

    The Team (Credits)

    Our small team wore many hats, you know, because indies. Most of us couldn't work full-time on the project, but our core team managed the following roles:

    Kelvin Bonilla - Project Manager & Lead Programmer

    Jeb Alvarado - Lead Designer

    Jorge Colón - Lead Artist

    Stephen Alberts - Concept Artist & Designer

    Daniel Sosa - Environmental Artist

    Pablo Colón - Audio & Sounds

    Christian Rodríguez - QA

    Let's not forget those who helped us lay the foundation for our game during its humble beginnings on the Windows Phone:

    Emmanuel Barreto - Concept Artist

    Jose Luis Torres - Artist

    Anner Bonilla - Programmer

    Summary

    Barricade: Midnight Terror is an action/survival shooter that pits you against hordes of chupacabras in the dead of night. Players must survive six levels that include a mini-boss encounter and a final boss battle. Each level becomes progressively harder with each passing night as more and more chupacabras attempt to destroy your barricade. As the sun rises, chupacabras retreat and the game alternates to a second gameplay mode - resource gathering. During this period, players must effectively manage their time while searching the surrounding areas for supplies, repairing the barricade, and travelling to new locations. If the player does not accomplish their tasks before nightfall, they risk run-ins with the Chupacabras as they return to attack once more.

    The game includes rich storylines and character development in the form of cutscenes and quirky dialogue. The narrative is also embedded with references to Puerto Rican culture.


    The Story

    The tale revolves around Leo Renan, the unlikely leader of an elite team of skilled soldiers sent on a mission to a distant Caribbean island. Their objective was to extract a captive scientist from an enemy base but unaware of his impending rescue, the scientist rigged a massive explosion that destroyed the lab that held him hostage. The ensuing damage allowed the escape of his biologically modified experiments - the chupacabras. Leo and his team are alone in facing the major threat posed by their escape and the ensuing "protective" measures by other nations to destroy the island within the next twenty days. It's up to the team to find a way to defeat the chupacabras across the island. The challenges imposed throughout their journey will lead them to make decisions they might never consider in order to reach the Oleander Base; a safe haven that harbors their only opportunity for escape. Will they make it?


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