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radar| harvest

< prototype 1 >

An unsettling game where you utilize an old-tech interface
to kill and harvest incoming creatures. Use their organs to 
upgrade yourself and become stronger.

While at its core, this game is but a top-down turret shooter,
the mechanics within are geared towards enhancing the
unnerving nature alongside the gameplay itself.

title box.gif


The gameplay loop starts on the planet screen.

Here, you can control the turret in the middle of the radar and shoot incoming enemies with the laser. Enemies will drop glowing organs when slain, which can then be sucked up by using the vacuum turret.

Once all enemies in the wave are defeated, you may advance.


Now in the upgrade screen, you can view your horrid self and
choose an upgrade if you're able to afford it.

It's a painful process for the poor meatskull inside.

After which, you return to the planet screen and begin the next stage.

title box.gif


title box.gif

Laser Effects

radar laser 1.gif
radar laser 3.gif
radar laser 2.gif

Now to compare, take a
look at the laser getting
stopped by the enemies.

Slower, adds more
tension, and causes you to
more attack more deliberately.

Here is what it looks like when the laser just blasts through an enemy. Quick, unchallenging, 
and basic in feel.

Since the laser is the primary weapon you have at your disposal, it needed to feel good. Adding screenshake, particles with the initial blast, a rising charge-up animation, a laser guide, sound effects, and many other enhancments are highly important to the feel of the gameplay.

With that mentioned, it should function uniquely when it hits an enemy too. Alongside particles shooting off the enemy and sound effects, the enemies should halt the laser's path while focused on them to make it feel more like a beam of light.

title box.gif


The secondary "weapon" in this game is the vacuum. It's used for sucking up the enemies' dropped organs.

What is the purpose of this? Well, in a game about "harvesting" organs, there should definitely be some mechanic that places the actual picking up of organs in the hands of the player. The tactile sfx and particles help sell the effect even more, it's just fun to swap and suck up what's been dropped.

It's always fun picking up loot in a game.

This mechanic could see further use in later gameplay - certain enemies might have armor that needs to be suctioned off first, rounds advancing on a timer so you'll have to be quick picking them up, an upgrade that allows you to suck up smaller enemies, etc.

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old UI.png

Originally, I had the idea to make the whole game controllable only by on-screen buttons and switches. This was a neat idea, it really helped sell the claustrophobic nature of the game and made it more difficult / horrifying just in its control scheme. Since it was a a bit of a chore to play the game this way, I had upgrades to replace the on-screen buttons with the ability to simply press a keyboard button instead.

This just ended up feeling like an unnecessary gimmick for the early game, when it could immediately be more fun to just use regular inputs. I removed this feature, but it feels wrong not mentioning it's initial inclusion. This was a mechanic that felt necessary at the start, but the game itself showed otherwise.

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This project was overall a very enjoyable one, and one I can definitely see myself returning to. It's set up in such a way that adding new enemies, upgrades, weapons, abilities, and more are fairly easy to implement.

I do feel the game could use some additional oomph to it to help it stand out even more from other shooters of its type. Leaning harder into the archaic horror themes seems to me like the most successful route - despite my stated aversion to the mouse-only control scheme.

It's got to be done carefully and correctly. Adding in new screens with analog tasks to perform, such as pulling levers to operate a radio, fix broken machinery, surgical operations on organs, etc. are a great starting place to test this idea further.

Game gets pretty crazy the more upgrades you get!

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