Zombies everywhere (and animate skeletons as well) It’s almost Halloween. The dead are partying in the cemetery. Don’t let them escape. Also, pumpkins taste good, especially mid-air floating pumpkins. this game was written and produced by Kai S Johnson for Professor Perlin’s fall 2009 games class. This is the second set of mini games that the class has worked on. UPDATE (7 NOV. 2009)–Zombies was updated to a newer version today. Kai says, “The changes in v2 include adding sound and music, tweaking jumping and shooting, and longer levels.”
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  1. I love platformers, and this is a great game.
    I was trying to implement one myself, and came across the XNA Platformer Starter Kit ( You can start with a platformer-based template, and extend.
    I think it helps in understanding the intrinsic details of platform games.
    Just thought of sharing.

    Comment by Karan Anand
    October 27, 2009 @ 12:23 pm
  2. Kai,
    I’m sorry to see that you don’t have a long, thoughtful comment from Kai Johnson. Hopefully Kai Johnson will someday play your game and leave you with the same valuable feedback she’s left for everyone else in this class. ;)

    The keys are ultra-intuitive (ie I didn’t read your help screen and I got right away). Where are the groans and bone rattles? Really, sounds are a must for a zombie game. Your graphics are perfect. You can always have more animated objects but I like that the animations are simple. The shooter’s walk sequence matches the graphics harmoniously.

    More levels, longer levels. Even without more complicated interactions I wanted a longer level. Also some indication on the screen of where the level ends.

    Very well timed that your zombie game’s release coincides with this year’s halloween release.

    I wish the jumping was a little easier and more intuitive. Especially after I ran out of ammo. Jumping forward doesn’t seem to work, at least not how I expected (I have to hold done the forward arrow even when I’m in the air).

    Great game, just had a thought that this game might be interesting as a game with one long (infinitely long) level like:

    Comment by alec jacobson
    October 27, 2009 @ 7:36 pm
  3. I like this game! it reminds me the arcade game I loved to play when I was a child.
    I found that the player character cannot dodge zombies by jump, and skeleton suddenly dies even I did nothing.

    Comment by Youn
    October 27, 2009 @ 8:22 pm
  4. Thanks Alec! I actually did write up comments for myself but didn’t want to sway what anyone else thought of just the game itself. I’ll post before class tomorrow.

    Canabalt is a very cool game, and stretching the level rather than having discrete levels is a good idea, as the levels aren’t meaningfully different right now.

    Thanks for the feedback about jumping. My play style is to hold down the right arrow and fire and jump when necessary, so I hadn’t though about jumping while moving, and not using a side arrow key.

    Comment by Kai Johnson
    October 27, 2009 @ 9:26 pm
  5. The game is a lot of fun and simple to figure out. My only nits are that you can only shoot one bullet at a time! And I managed to run off the left hand side of the screen when I was running away from skeletons on a couple of occassions.

    Comment by Mike
    October 27, 2009 @ 10:40 pm
  6. This is a fun game to play. Its actually refreshing to play this one since its the only side scroller game for this assignment.

    Definitely miss the zombie sound effects. And also it was difficult, although not impossible, to jump over the zombies. Actually I felt the overall the level design made the game very easy. In fact to make it a more challenging, I tried to go through the levels by just jumping over the zombies rather than shooting them. (that didn’t work out too well!)

    I hope you make more levels and add more weapons (laser guns, bombs!). Should make the game very exciting.

    Comment by Rachit Parikh
    October 28, 2009 @ 1:40 am
  7. Great game. Sound effects would help underscore the dire need to track your remaining ammo. The halo around the ammo boosts are great and super effective. I think it would be funny to add fleeing people coming from the right so you have to be careful not to fire at anything that moves over yonder.

    The jumping was a little odd for me because it looks like he’s bouncing off some invisible wall. You could use a “parabolic” arc or something to make it look more real — but I love that he can jump improbably high.

    Nice work!

    Comment by Murphy
    October 28, 2009 @ 12:33 pm
  8. Cool game! Good initial implementation. Who doesn’t like shoot ‘em up side-scrollers? I’m eager to see what the harder levels will be like.

    There seemed to be a bug where the skeletons just dropped “dead” before I shot them. The jump also didn’t feel natural to me, i.e. my forward progress stopped sometimes in midair.

    Since you can’t jump over zombies, and there’s a chance you might run out of ammo, it’d be nice to have a punch or kick default option.

    Comment by long nguyen
    October 28, 2009 @ 1:26 pm
  9. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. There’s a lot of great suggestions, and most of them are very small, so I’m quite pleased :)

    My own thoughts on my game after playing it a week later are much more critical than everyone else, naturally. I’m also surprised that there wasn’t much request for making it more of a platformer, or using the y axis more, with ghosts or something floating rather than walking.

    Levels are short and relatively uneventful, and the goal post at the end of each level is a non-sequitur. The levels are approximately the same difficulty – plowing through pressing shoot is about all it takes. Perhaps monsters entering from stage left, or the addition of flying beings (bats, ghosts) would make it more interesting. Also, monsters should be randomized instead of scripted.

    The pumpkins are cute, but not clear why they are good for your health. The game mechanics are simple and there’s not much to the game. Perhaps some twist would set it apart – like a powerup that turns the player into a bat, or a werewolf and lets him summon help for a few seconds (a la nethack). You could also go the action route and add more weapons, like throwing knives, or melee combat. And instead of walking into you the enemies could strike at you.

    Comment by Kai Johnson
    October 28, 2009 @ 3:05 pm
  10. Good game. I liked playing short levels. But some more events would have been great. I did not realize when I completed the game and kept going on. The game became quite monotonous after a while.

    Some fun events. I hit a skeleton and a zombie both with one bullet when they cross each other. I could use jump to evade zombies if i did not have bullets.

    Comment by Rutvij
    October 28, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

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