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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: No Jumping!

    [04.30.13]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Bernard John (B.J.) Badger, Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy alumnus, Muzzle Velocity

    Meet Joe. Joe lives in a world where killer zombies and flying thugs are always trying to bring him down. Fortunately, Joe also lives in a world with plenty of big, impressive guns to deal with these threats. There's one quirk, though: the recoil from these guns is strong enough to lift Joe completely off the ground. In fact, he can effectively fly!

    Muzzle Velocity is a game based on using the recoil of guns to maneuver in mid-air. Each shot of a gun pushes Joe in the direction opposite of firing, creating a Balloon Fight-esque system of movement where momentum must be carefully managed against the constant pull of gravity. Different guns provide not only different offensive options, but also different movement capabilities. Rapid-fire guns like machine guns and flamethrowers give a steady push, whereas single-fire guns like shotguns and bazookas provide a strong, sudden kick. Joe must also land in order to reload his weaponry, so clip size becomes a limit on flight time.

    Enemies in Muzzle Velocity come in two broad categories: land-based, and aerial. Land-based enemies typically attack in swarms and are too numerous to deal with head-on, encouraging Joe to take to the air and mow them down from above. Since Joe can't remain airborne forever, though, keeping the ground clear enough that he can find a spot to land and reload is important. Aerial foes are less prolific, but more intelligent and mobile. Since firing upward risks blasting Joe downward into the land-based mobs, it's often advantageous for him to maneuver himself above aerial threats and engage them from superior altitude.

    In between bouts with enemy hordes, there are also segments of puzzle-platforming. Long, obstacle-laden jumps from one safe platform to another will test not only the player's coordination, but their planning in regards to which gun is best for which situation. By equipping a gun in each hand, Joe can take advantage of two different movement capabilities at different moments during a single flight.

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