• ISN Anchorage

This is the first level after the tutorial levels. It demonstrates all the core aspects of the game and was used as my demo when I took Captain Kaon to Rezzed.

It started out as a much larger level, but was too big. I realised that for a mobile play session the mission couldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to play through.

The goals for the design were:

  • Provide a low difficulty challenge, using only Level 1 A.i ‘Pods’
  • Have a simple, easy to solve, puzzle that introduces the concept of connected objects to the player
  • Have an objective that makes use of the carrying mechanics
  • Use the Ceres Ice tile sets
  • Introduce the cruiser ‘Hermione’

Doors to first fuel tank area closed

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Background Narrative and Mission Objectives

The fleet needs fuel. The Argus floats in orbit of Ceres on emergency power. The burgeoning revolt below threatens the security of the entire system. If the fleet is going to move against these rebel and uncover the ‘Sigma Collective’ that is behind it, they must move quickly.

The stage is set and the stakes are established. The players objective in this mission is to recover two tanks of deuterium fuel to supply to the fleet. If they fail the fleet will suffer.


Basic layout

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The design of ‘ISN Anchorage’ is short and simple, giving the player a gentle introduction to the game. It makes use of the carrying mechanics for the objectives, has a simple door puzzle that uses the ‘connected object’ mechanics, and has areas that reward exploration.


Level Construction

First Stage; physical and visual level bounds

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The level was constructed in the GM:S room editor in a total time of two weeks.

It’s built from a 128×128 tileset and follows a set of guidelines established when I created my ‘first playable’ level.


Tools Used

Gamemaker: Studio

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Captain Kaon was made in Gamemaker: Studio, which has a number of useful tools built-in. In addition to these, I drew sprites in Gimp and Photoshop.

When support for the Spine animation system was added to GM:S mid-way through development I took advantage of it to add a level of fluidity to CK. I learnt how to create the animations in the editor and then scripted a system with-in GM:S to make use of the animations.

I sourced the sound effects from Freesound.org and used Audacity to layer them to achieve the effect I required.