Space Pirate

Space Pirate

We entered a 30-hour coding marathon in January 2013. The theme was announced on the day as ‘Space’, and so this is what we sat down to produce:

You are a merciless, space-faring pirate; terror of the seven solar systems. You make your living by raiding innocent science vessels, but they’ve started to catch on. Now, the ships that you board are armed to the teeth with defence turrets, landmines, heatrays and poisonous gas traps.

While we never really came up with a title (the time constraint meant that pretty much every second was spent coding and designing), ‘Space Pirate’ is a top-down bullet-dodging game that is unforgiving and challenging: one shot and you’re dead. The levels are procedurally generated from little ‘blocks’ of rooms, each with their own configuration of traps. You need to find your way to the control room, hit the self-destruct button and make your way out of the ship under time while grabbing as much loot as you can get your pirate-hands on.

It was a fun game to play, and it was running quite nicely after the time limit expired. Despite this, we want to continue to add to it: we think we’ve hit on something very playable and addictive, and all the tools are now in place to create more rooms and traps efficiently. Look to see more of this in future.

This project was written in XNA and guest-starred Lawrence Esswood on the programming team.