I used to play Destruction Derby 2 a lot on my Playstation when I was a kid. I loved scoring points for wrecking the other cars. A few years ago I stumbled upon these lovely tiny little toy cars on a flea market, and I figured I wanted to make a game with those. This is how my idea for Crash'em started.
I made it into a programming game, similar to games like RoboRally, because I love programming games. But if I was going to make such a game, I wanted to make it different from those already on the market. I wanted to make it more fun, faster and more interactive. The first thing I did was to add some time pressure, because when you’re racing a car you can’t think endlessly about what you’re going to do next.
Crash'em comes with an app, which is basically just a timer, playing the sound of cars racing and crashing. Players only get fifteen seconds to program their 3 steps for a round. If you didn’t place all 3 cards when the horn sound blares, you will have to add the missing cards in your program randomly. This simulates the difficulty of making a decision while sitting behind the wheel of a monster truck in the middle of an arena where other trucks are trying to hit you from all sides.
When you hit someone you give them a damage token which shows one of the programmable actions that got broken during the crash. Which means that this player will not be able to use this action anymore. This simulates the car parts that get broken during the crash. It can still be programmed, but it will simply not work. People frantically pulling on their broken handbrake trying to make a u-turn, ending up with their nose against the wall.
At the same time these damage tokens are also your victory points at the end of the game. You multiply the number of damage tokens you dealt out, with the number of people you have hit. This multiplying system makes it a lot more interesting to hit every player once, instead of hitting the same car every time. There is no runaway leader in this game, everybody is chasing down everyone till the end.
But that is not all. There is actually another race game that I used to love when I was a kid, and that is Super Mario Kart. There’s nothing better than picking up the items and throwing them in front of your opponents feet. Therefore I also added power-up fields in the arena of Crash'em. Driving over these fields gives you power-up cards which can be weapons used to damage your opponents more easily, shields to protect yourself, or energy drinks to change part of your program in the middle of a turn.
All these things have made crashem into a very enjoyable game which plays nice and quick. A game only last about half an hour, and is thoroughly engaging all the time.
Next month we will start a Kickstarter campaign to try and publish the game.
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