BATTLEBARN

4 Player Barnyard Mayhem

Title Screen
Title Screen

press to zoom
4 Player Map
4 Player Map

press to zoom
2 Player Map
2 Player Map

press to zoom
Title Screen
Title Screen

press to zoom
 

BARNYARD MADNESS

Battlebarn is 2 - 4 player free for all. Available to play local co-op with controllers. The aim is to get to the kill count before your friends do!

Each player is a randomly assigned an animal at the beginning to prevent your friend getting the animal they are best at. With destructible envrinments as well, the level will evolve with play, opening new lanes and areas to easier defeat enemies!

Each animal has strengths and weaknesses that you'll need to play to in order to win!

Sheep - A close range killer. With his shears, he is the fastest animal and can jump you around corners. Mixed with his dash ability to close a gap, he is deadly if you get too close

Cow - This half cyborg cow had her udders replaced with a minigun and can deal rapid damage! She's slow so try not to get yourself cornered. With her ability to increase her fire rate and damage temporarily, she can be unstoppable if she gets a good vantage point

Goat - This goat has an attitude, with a cannon strapped to his back, he can fire his cannon around objects! Making him able to defeat enemies round walls, with a tactical shot, he can pull of some crazy kills. His stunning headbutt can make an easy kill if you get too close with a 1-2-Combo! His cannon also does bonus damage to the envrionment.

Pig - This pig has a buddy! A smaller pig riding him... wielding a shotgun. The pig is the ultimate soldier, he can kill you up close and personal. With his ability to sprint, he can rush up and blast you quickly.

 

4 PLAYER MAP LEVEL PROGRESS

These images show the process from drawing, to final level, including an annotated art pass after a basic whitebox.

Initial Drawing
Whitebox with Art Pass Annotation
Final 4 player Map
 

LEVEL & SYSTEMS DESIGN

My involvement with Battlebarn was to design the characters, how they worked as well as to create our levels. As one of the only designers on this game I had a lot to accomplish in a short span of time

I created single page documents for each character at first, explaining their strengths, weaknesses and their weapon types so the artists could start concepting. (See Image)


Ensuring these were balanced using several passes of play testing including constant feedback was critical! I didn't want any characters to be too powerful.

Once we had an initial base for our characters I set to work on our levels. Our initial scope was meant for only one level, a 4 player map.

Above you can see my initial sketch, then the transformation of that into a whitebox. I passed this onto Maddie, one of our key artists and we iterated on it as well as pointing out which pieces of structure would be which asset we'd need.

We managed to get a solid 4 player map which had destructible assets in it that felt solid. So I took the extra time to make a 3 player and 2 player map, to account for less players. These can be seen at the top of the page.

Sheep Reference - Maddie Riley
 

REFLECTION

For one of the first games I worked on, Battlebarn for all it's faults, was actually a thoroughly enjoyable game to work on and play.

The core premise of Battlebarn was to play it and have fun fighting your friends in a bit of a cartoonishly violent setting. I feel this was definitely pulled off! Every playtest session we had went on longer than intended due to players not wanting to stop.

The randomised classes meant that players would have to adapt to the new way to play. This presented players with a new challenge every game. This worked for the early game, when players hadn't played characters, but after extended play, it meant that most players were good at playing all the characters. Whilst in essence this is good, the difficulty curve flattens out after a while.

However, where characters have the same controls but different abilities, the time it took to understand how to play a character was very short which was great. Succeeding in making a game easy to pick up and play feels really good to of pulled of!

When it comes to the levels, it was certainly a great time making them. We only had a short time frame of 4 months to get this game made, so to have 3 different levels and 4 playable characters is impressive! Creating 3 levels, and creating 2 variations of each level based on a day or night version made the game feel varied on every play.

If I could make the game, I would of like to spend more time refining cooldowns and player abilities to better match the other characters. For example, the goat was extremely hard to aim, the speed of his projectile definitely didn't feel fast enough at times. Where he was meant to be a mid range character, he felt closer to a short range character. 

When it comes to levels, certain aspects of levels are destructible, but I feel there wasn't enough that changed from level to level. More playtesting as well to see which areas players were using more than others. Maybe even adding moving aspects to the level or dynamic aspects would be something I would love to try if I were to redesign this game.