Tractor Beams

tractorbeams-large-case
Client
Platform
Genre,
Released15th October 2008

All code by Richard Davey

Graphics by Gavin Strange / Aardman Animations

Sound from SoundRangers.com / Aardman Animations

PLAY

About

Tractor Beams is a game created for the Shaun the Sheep web site, and is based loosely around the dice game Yahtzee. Instead of dice you have characters from the TV show. Instead of a casino the game takes place in outer-space, where an alien (again from the TV show) has beamed the characters.

The objective of the game is to complete a round by clicking all 12 of the “combo” buttons in the combo panel (i.e. “5 the same”, “3+ Timmy”, etc).

You do this by mixing up the 5 characters that beam in above. If you want to discard one or more characters just click it and then hit the “New Beam” button. You can do this up to 2 times per go.

If you manage to get all of the combos before the timer runs out then a new round starts.

See if you can get a world-wide highscore! (scores only saved if you are registered and logged into the Shaun the Sheep web site)

Pros

  • I absolutely love Yahtzee, so it was really fun to make a kids variation on it.
  • I just love the visual polish on this game. Gav’s graphics really help of course, but I paid careful attention to all the little things, like button clicks, sounds, stars and special effects.
  • Very pleased with the overall sci-fi feel of the game, given the subject matter!
  • There’s a good deal of depth here if you care to dig hard enough. Some of the scores prove this!

Cons

  • You have to be logged into the Shaun the Sheep site for your score to save. We made this decision because otherwise the Mochi highscore API we’re using lets you free-text enter your name when you submit your score, and we dreaded to think what obscene things people could add to what is overall a kids web site. So we had to block that. Sorry!
  • I really wish the tutorial was an interactive in-game one, and not hosted on the web site, but alas I ran out of time. Maybe I’ll update this in the future if we ever produce a seeded version of it.
  • There are only 4 special effects sequences, I would have loved to add loads more :)

Development Trivia

  • The codebase for this game is almost entirely taken from my previous title Five Dice Frenzy.
  • Extensive use of Flint was made for the particles, stars and “beam on” effect.
  • The logo zoomer at the start of the game was a total fluke :) I was trying to create a different effect entirely when I made that! I loved it so much I kept it. I’ll release the source for this effect at some point.

Make yourself heard