Haunted House

Haunted House

Haunted House is the working name for our first delve into XNA: a platforming game that centres around the usage of light to complete levels. We wanted to call it Torchlight, but it seems that we were beaten to it.

The protagonist of our adventure is a little boy who has flown his remote controlled plane onto the roof of a large, abandoned mansion. In typical ghost-story fashion, he sets out in the middle of the night to retrieve his lost toy. Within the mansion, he finds ghosts that roam around. Some even try to chase him. Fortunately, his trusty flashlight causes them to freeze in their tracks as he navigates the crumbling ruins of a building and jumps his way ever higher.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in Haunted House, the most obvious of which is the lighting engine. As it’s fairly key to the gameplay, a lot of effort was put in to making it look smooth and work with the graphical style. While the game is probably going to end up a bit lighter (it’s a bit hard to see where you’re going at the moment), we really like the ambiance it gives to the levels. Also new to us is the integration of smooth animations and jumping mechanics, as platformers that don’t handle well are simply no fun to play.

We’re currently at a stage in development where a lot of the basics are in place (physics, animations, lighting, controls, level loading) and we have a lot of potential to make a fun, short and more original game than some of our previous efforts. We started working on this project just before sitting our Pre-U (A-level equivalent) exams, and so it was cut short because we felt that getting into university might be somewhat important. With those out of the way came a new constraint on our development: university work takes up quite a lot of time! We’ll be coming back to it and polishing it up, possibly over the summer of 2013, possibly sooner.