Bac atcha – solo project

What’s this? An isometric arcade shooter with no guns or bullets? No problem! Turn
your biggest threat into your greatest defence as you inhale your enemies and use them
as the ammo to spit back out towards your foes!
Break the chains that hold you and ascend as you give enemies a taste of their own
medicine, they want to push you around? Well for them it’s right “Bac Atcha”!

Bac Atcha was created in my 2nd year of university as part of a 3D modelling module, each student was tasked with designing a 3D level, modelling and texturing the assets, then using them to either make a game or put together an interactive scene to showcase the models, I chose to do the former.

I used Autodesk Maya to model and Adobe Substance Painter to texture.

I knew from the start I wanted to create isometric platform like stages that featured different biome environments on each. the gameplay however started off as this tower defence style game in which the player would shoot bullets at ever approaching enemies that increased the score counter at the bottom. I decided to scrap this due to gameplay causing the player to focus more on the survival of the static tower in the centre drawing attention away from the models and props that would be modelled and laid around the stages.

Bac Atcha early tower defence gameplay

After rethinking the style of game I wanted to make I decided on one that would facilitate the showcasing of the environments and models better while still being fun, instead of being stationary in the centre of the screen the player would now be able to run around the stage allowing the players eyes to see more of the stage as they follow the player around, this also leaves room for stage to have their own modelled centre piece that represented the biome they were in.

I also liked the idea of having the players cannon becoming a cannon like mouth, instead of shooting out bullets it would now suck in enemies which it can then fire back out at others. I decided to do away with the score counter which was another aspect that drew the players attention away from the environment and props so instead of simply being about killing enemies by shooting at them I decided to take this new suck in and fire back mechanic to facilitate the new gameplay loop.

I added knock back to enemies when they had other enemies fired at them and placed 4 chains around the stage edges that were holding it up, by knocking enemies back into these chains the player could break the chains causing the stage to fall and advance to the next. Having chains in each corner also meant that by default the players focus would be drawn to every side of the stage giving more attention to the models and props that were designed for each biome platform.

New core gameplay loop implemented

After adding in further mechanics and systems such as now having the players amount of hits they can take displayed at the top, fixing various bugs and having enemies that are knocked back able to knock back any enemy they they contact creating this domino effect it was time to start modelling.

The Grass biome is the first stage and comes with a very green and
earthy looking platform complete with a grass/leafy textured ground. The stage consists of low poly trees and bushes to fence off the edges of the stage. Every stage comes with a centrepiece to really drive the aesthetic home, for the grass biome I modelled a well and complemented it by creating a “fire fly” particle effect that surrounds it as well as a sun beam coming down on top of it.

The Snow biome is the second stage, it depicts a winter wonderland theme and the stage itself has a light snow texture painted on as well as a trail of footprints to help drive the idea that it is deep snow and not simply a white ground. The modules present include snow covered low poly trees and bushes as well as a low poly igloo. The centrepiece for this stage is a rather handsome snowman complete with a top hat and scarf for extra cool points. To help push the theme I also created a snowing particle effect.

The Lava biome is the third and final stage, once this stage is completed
the levels cycle back through. The stage floor comes with lava cracks textured. The
stage is surrounded by low poly volcanic boulders and the centrepiece for this stage is
an active volcano to give off the theme of a hazardous lava wasteland. I created a lava
spewing particle effect that gives off the idea that the volcano is spewing lava bursts. I
also created an embers particle effect that helps drive the idea that the air is very hot
and dry.

For the enemies I decided to go with a charming little ghost that would chase the player around the stage, they are adorable!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s