Nanobot Extreme!!! was created in the fall of 2009 by myself, Brett Widmann, and Joe Motacek as a part of WDMD365, a course on Game Development. Our goal was to create a serious game that taught a bit about global warming and its causes while giving the player a bit of fun. We chose to base the game play off of the game Flow. Using Keith Peters’ Steered Vehicle and Inverse Kinematics libraries, we were able to make the smooth movements of the particles and characters possible.
While we based our general game plan around creating a Flow-like experience, we wanted to improve upon the game play mechanics that Flow set forth. First, we gave a more empirical way of advancing levels and improving your character. In Flow, the players character grows as you consume other objects. Much like this, in Nanobot Extreme, we emphasize not only catching particles, but being selective. The Nanobot requires a mix of particles in order to grow. Another large change we wanted to add was add fragility to the Nanobot. We accomplished this by giving him a health bar, allowing him to be damage and for him to heal himself by consuming particles. In our improvements, we also took some aspects of Flow that we disliked and changed them to something a bit more convenient for the user. For example, in Flow the player constantly has to have the mouse button pushed down, giving the character a constant boost. After playing for hours (it happens… that game is oddly addicting), your finger hurts. Our solution to this drawback was to balance the game around using boost strategically, rather than constantly. The Nanobot can quickly catch up to particles by boosting at the right time.
In Nanobot, I was responsible for writing the classes that created the levels, implemented the physics classes, guided the AI and managed the character movement. I also designed the flying molecules and the backgrounds for each level.