Minima Bomber PostMortem


Minima Bomber is a 7-day game created for August’s Experimental Gameplay project.  It’s a platformer like any Mario game but has destructible terrain like Worms.

What Went Right?


  1. Pixel Art – With the time constraint and EGP’s theme of ‘Bare Minimum’ I decided early on to keep the game resolution/world small.  Since I choose a platformer, it was crucial to have a well animated player character so I decided to delve into pixel art.  I am not an artist, but by keeping the character to only a few pixels wide and a few pixels high, I was able to create a good looking, well animated dude who became Minima Bomber.
  2. Damage System – The damage system was conceived thanks to EGP’s theme and a reference on their website about nudity.  After working on the game for a couple days, I felt that there wasn’t enough unique about the gameplay so I opted to do some more pixel art animations displaying the character in different forms of undress. Having the character’s health displayed by his clothes added a nice humor element to the game.
  3. Upgrades – I was able to cram 2 weapons and 4 other powerups/upgrades into the game.  Acquiring a new ability every couple of levels kept the game fresh and added to the game’s simple move from point A to point B objective.  I was especially fond of wall slide and air-run power-ups which made moving around more enjoyable.  I also found that the missile weapon upgrade worked better than the original bomb weapon.
  4. High Scores – I was able to add my first global online high score system to this game and it actually worked!  More importantly, the high score list added replayability to the game since playing a 2nd time started a player with all the abilities.  High scores also added a greater penalty for death since it added to your total time.
  5. Core Gameplay- The core platforming gameplay mixed with Worm’s destructible terrain was a success.  The game was fun and easy to pick up and play.
  6. Level Loading System- Every level is made up of 4 files.  1 file saves the position of all the additional game objects, and there are 3 picture files that save the foreground, background, and collision mask.  This allowed me to draw all the levels in Photoshop using their tools and simply using the program’s built in layers to separate each part of a level.  Being able to create levels in this program rather than make my own level editor tool was crucial in meeting the 7 day time constraint.  16 levels wouldn’t have been possible without Photoshop.

What Went Wrong?


  1. Level Design – Because of the time constraints, the levels weren’t particularly well designed.  The beginning stages just add a new power-up nearly every level and don’t explore everything that the upgrades add.  Furthermore, I don’t think that I ever utilized the terrain destruction to it’s maximum.
  2. Enemies (lack thereof) – In the end, there was a total lack of enemies and some of the hazards/enemies (the turrets) look bad and become an annoyance rather than an enjoyable challenge.  The hazards weren’t all bad though since I actually liked the spike balls.
  3. Level/Background Graphics – While my art worked out with the pixel characters, it completely failed and made the levels look amateurish with a lack of variety.  The levels were in photoshop using gradient boxes and lack the detail/texture I would have liked or would have used in a full version of the game.
  4. No ability to Jump to High Scores – Pretty self explanatory, but players don’t even know there’s a top-10 high score list unless they beat the 16 levels.  After you know there’s high scores, the only way to check them is to beat the game again – which is pretty annoying.
  5. No music – I ran into so many problems with looping music when I tried to add it in that I just had to cut my losses.  Music would have been nice, but the ambient type soundFX work well.
  6. Bugs/Cuts – There are some noticeable bugs that are in the game.  Bombs can get stuck and bounce erratically, you can only throw one bomb at a time, among other bugs and crashes.  Time just prevented me from addressing all these problems


Overall, I think that Minima Bomber turned out spectacular considering it was done in only 7 days.  One of the most common negative comments I have gotten about the game is that it is too short.  While I would have loved to make the game longer, I think that this is not a particularly bad problem to have since it means people are left wanting more and enjoy the time they spend playing it.

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