Funfare Escape – Trijam #190

Funfare Escape is Drentsoft Games entry to Trijam #190. The theme for TriJam #189 was Surrounded By Enemies. I knew there would be a lot of shooting games where enemies spawn from all directions and I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to make a game where the player must escape a zombie infestation through a maze. As the idea developed I decided that the player should start the game trapped in the funhouse at a theme park and make a desperate attempt to escape through a maze out into the wild to fend for themselves.

While there aren’t a lot of active zombies in the game I feel I managed to convey the sense of being surrounded through the use of sound and an initial entry to the game where zombies line the walkway, stopped only by a metal chain-link fence.

One thing I really liked about this entry was the transition from the diegetic funhouse clown music to the more serious action theme. This was achieved through the use of a 2D audio source for the funfare music, which plays over the title screen. As the player walks away from the house and towards danger an area causes the soundtrack music to play. Because the funhouse music is linked to the world origin it quickly fades out as the player moves away. I think I got the balance just about right but it might be TOO subtle and perhaps the maximum distance for the funhouse music could be set a little further so that the tracks play over each other just a little bit more. A fun thing to note is the funhouse music continues to play so if the player should be chased back or turn around they will encounter the nightmarish clown music once more!

I wish I could have sorted a couple of issues with this one. I had trouble getting the character to look in the direction of travel so it moves like some cocksure Chad through the level. I also had a little trouble with the zombie AI tracking the player, it was very easy to get them stuck in a seeking loop.

Overall I’m quite pleased with this one depsite its AI/movement flaws. The maze is simple but hopefully quite fun/satisfying to solve and I really quite like the sound design on the music. The zombie groans could have been a little more atmospheric though. I had them constantly playing to sell the “surrounded” effect but I think having them play with a 2D audio source would have made it more interesting and slightly less annoying.

Give the game a go and see what you think!

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