Player Thoughts – Monsters Ate My Cheesecake

Each week, after a game’s release, people submit their thoughts on whether they liked or disliked the results.

If you’d like to join in with the feedback, leave a comment on the game, email me, or just Tweet at me!

This week’s game is Monsters Ate My Cheesecake!


Overview: A dark room of maze, a torch light, a slow reloading shotgun with 6 bullets which can carry a maximum of 12 bullets, few scattered bullets and a lot of green monsters which need 3 bullets to kill. Tag all the invisible monsters with the light, collect the bullets and kill the chasing monsters.

A nice and simple game.. Limited quite a lot by the torch!

Gameplay: Loved the lighting and the obstruction of light by the walls of the mazes and shooting multiple monsters at the same time. Initially I was lighting myself into a corner of the wall and dying many times but later became used to the navigating the maze with light.

The effect was the simple starting point for this week’s game. Could I do a nice lit-up torch effect, with only Alpha values to achieve it?!
Seems I could. Hurray!

I’m not 100% happy about the “Facing a wall” blackness, though. I think a little bounced light would’ve helped, but my maths wasn’t working out!!

Hated the reload time of the gun. Single shot monster kill or no reload time would have made the game more fun.

The reload, and the fact that everything in the game is so slow, is all down to the darkness of the game.
It was really hard to get my usual fast-paced action into this game. Things can’t exactly “run” at you when everything’s so dark.
So, the enemies were slowed down to a crawl, along with the player’s speed.
The slow reload was then added in because otherwise the player became too powerful and everything got far too easy.
I also had a three lives system, earlier in the build, but that didn’t quite work either.

In many ways, this game is quite a departure from my usual game style.
It kinda works, but it’s also kinda broke!

Sounds: Background score is good but different instrument for the melody could have been used to make it feel more eerie.

I’m really not very good at this style of game! Atmosphere just isn’t my thing, is it!?

I also tried doing a slow string/piano thing for Letter Lattice, too.
It’s not very good, either, and is quite repetitive, but has been left in the first iOS release of the game, just to annoy folk 😉
I fully expect 95% of comments to be of the “That music’s shit!” variety.

Scoring: Shooting the monsters each time gives 15 points. 40 points when monster is dead. Totally 95 points for killing one monster. Collecting each bullet gives 15 points.

Scoring was a last minute addition, but even that changed quite a bit. For a while, the scoring was..
Shoot a monster – 5
Kill a monster – 15
Pick up Ammo – 50
But then I found myself just wandering around and picking up all the ammo.
Balancing scoring can be tricky, sometimes.
What you think might work, ends up not working at all.

Overall a great showcase for a well executed 2d lighting based game.

Yeah, it’s a nice engine. Shame about the game, but it’s just too dark to do anything more interesting with.
I’d like to have a mass of Geometry-Wars style enemies, swarming all over the level. But there just wasn’t any way that you could fight them off in the dark like that.
The darkness made the whole game slower, and as much as I tried to get a good game out of it, it wasn’t as successful as I’d have liked.

  • Rajasekaran Senthil Kumaran

    I don’t like the gun reload time but like the pacing of the game. Where will anyone find a game where they can see the player sprite only when they get killed.
    I don’t usually complain about a game being easy as a weeks worth of game development should not result in less than 60 second worth of gameplay for the players.

    I would have loved the following in this game
    – A faint small circular glow around the player to spot the monsters not in the direction of the torch
    – A start point and an end point, collect certain number of items in the maze to exit to next level (Something like samurai plat)

    • There were a lot of ideas in my head, at the start of this project.

      Things like the title.. “Monsters Ate My Cheesecake”. It was originally “Gotta Get Cheesecake”

      I intended there to be a nicer “house” layout, and have the player head towards an open fridge, with the fridge light giving you a visible point on the map to head towards.
      Lazy level generation put a stop to that. The resulting layout doesn’t really look like a house at all. In fact, it’s a bloomin’ great mess! I’m not really sure what it’s meant to be.

      As with most new, unusual AGameAWeek ideas, though, think of this as a trial run. I know the engine is functional at least, so that’s a good thing. It just needs a little more thought put into it, to make it a more interesting game.

      • Rajasekaran Senthil Kumaran

        Yes the final fridge light and a starting bedroom light switching on with various rooms in darkness in between, might have been epic.