Journey across three unique colony-scapes in the chase after a troop of carny scum who’s up to something. Sure they’re hypnotizing and stealing like always, but they seem to be lingering a bit long. Cherry picking. The whole thing reeks of a plan and carnies don’t plan. They just jump in, rob and jump out, leaving the colonists to die of starvation or worse. If they’re up to worse, best put the hurt on ‘em now. Bounties lead to better gear. Better gear leads to bigger bangs. You get the idea. Time to burn the lot.
Burn the Lot is the creation of myself and Dan Long. From the description above, you can guess that the main theme is carnies. Corrupt space-traveling carnies to be precise and the role you play as the justice-wielding carny cop. The game is a third person shooter with a bend towards imagination rather than guts and gore. Avoiding hypnotizing magic and exploding pies are the name of the game. Achieving all of the level objectives is a plus that will reward you handsomely in the weapons store. But before we touch on gameplay, how did we get here in the first place?
Burn the Lot's origin is actually a completely different game. It was initially a game concept called Falling Awake. In this game you played a character living in a world run by the Raw Energy Drink Company. Everyone survives off energy drinks and views sleep as the devil itself. Because of this everyone is basically a zombie. Our character is unintentionally knocked out in to a deep sleep. During this sleep he falls to different carnival-themed planets chasing after the sandman, who you eventually would find to be on your side and the Raw Energy Drink Company the antagonist.
After concepting this story we quickly realized the scope of work was too large to complete in a realistic amount of time based on the size of our team. Rather than scraping the entire idea, we built from the pieces we were attracted to: The look of the main character, planet-shaped environments, and Carnies!
Our Carny Cop's look is rooted in a love for paper craft and vinyl toys. The simplicity of the model lends itself to a more design-focused texture and the low poly nature of the character was going to be the frame rate's friend.
Focused game menu
I went through several iterations of the menu before landing on one that had the correct flow between screens, proper selection of weapons, and best representation of story progression/level objectives.
In the end, I designed the interface to give high visibility to the two main sections; the entry to the game and character customization. The character can be customized at any point before entering the game. Customization of the character is also optimized to make changes to the character and their weapons on the same screen.
The player's character is always visible to reinforce avatar identity and to confirm weapon choices for carny battle.
The story and objectives are crucial and I went through a number of visual representations before landing on a proper balance of viewing objectives at a glance as well as the story driving that level.
The tutorial is critical to the success of player's initial engagement and education. Especially for players not accustomed to the third-person virtual joystick controls. The tutorial continues as your guide through the first level.
Game play takes place around a Globe
The globe creates a unique playing experience that leaves the player guessing what may be rolling over the horizon. It also allowed the playing environment to feel more expansive.
We were invited to the Unity3D's Unite Conference to speak about the artwork creation process and the technical accomplishments of creating a game around a globe.
Without giving away too much regarding gameplay (you'll have to pick it up and judge for yourself) here are some screenshots of the action.
Enemies range from clowns tossing exploding pies to knife throwers expertly throwing knives. Burn the Lot contains nine bosses, all with creative skills. You'll make your way past the Bearded Lady chucking exploding barrels only to encounter the Firebreather's dangerous flames.
Hope you enjoy this game and please go download it! Let us know what you think. We like feedback, good or bad, as long as it's constructive :)