10 Games 10 Weeks

Week 4: Ghost and the Machines

For Week 4, allow me to introduce Ghost and the Machines, a tower-defense game where you take direct control of your robots!

Try it out here: https://switchbackstudio.itch.io/ghost-and-the-machines

This is another idea that was inspired by a Game Maker’s Toolkit gamejam. In particular, it uses the theme of “Only One” from the 2019 jam.

Typically in tower defense games, your viewpoint is basically third-person omniscient, and you have the ability to place towers freely and allow them to operate automatically. So, I thought it would be fun to incorporate a first-person perspective, and have the player have to manually position the “towers” (machines, in this case) and set them up to do certain tasks. What results is a game that’s more about frantic management, a bit like Overcooked.

In terms of mechanics and scope, this project was probably my most ambitious so far, and I’m fairly pleased with it. The aesthetics aren’t amazing, but the gameplay is pretty fun. That can be largely attributed to the feedback I got while having my partner playtest, as there were a number of clunky controls that needed to get smoothed out. Playtesting is key, as always.

Time to get back to it!

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