Kys

A game made over the course of a weekend for ToJam 2018, the theme being "Winning is for Losers." We were a team of 5!

 

We designed a 2D bullet hell around the idea that the player is being hypnotized by a hallucinogenic parasite who is trying to keep them alive to feed on the player. Our goals were to produce a bizarre and uncomfortable experience.

Avoid hearts to prevent yourself from being healed, and get hit by teeth to damage yourself.

Design Goals

Dying is Winning

To tackle the theme of "Winning Is For Losers" literally. We came up with the idea of a bullet hell that was about bullets that kept you in the game by healing you.

Discomfort

Discomfort sprouted from our first pillar quickly. We settled on the unsettling in order to steer the player towards the "true" path of the game, which was to kill themselves. The game's overall aesthetic, the "Dream World", was designed to be uncomfortable, in order to get the player questioning if healing is the right path.

Toxic World

Getting hit by teeth sometimes breaks the "illusion" of the Dream World, switching the game's appearance to the Toxic World. We designed this to be a point of intrigue for the player, leading them down the "correct" path.

I programmed a state machine with transitions to flip between these two views, and designed a TV-static transition for the swapping.

Inconvenient

Health

"Endless" health bars became a mechanic when we thought about how to signal the player's "mistake" in healing.

 

This also shows how far from the end the player is. These bars purposefully block the screen if there becomes too many of them, as an added layer of difficulty and further causing discomfort.