Magikus - Designed by children

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Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Geek_Zolda » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:22 am

So this is a little project I did with daycare children (aged 6 to 10 years old). I told em "alright kids, we're going to make ourselves a videogame !"
I gave em an initial setting "magician accidentally summons creatures from other dimensions and has to send them back using magical powers" and they proceeded to draw\paint monsters, tell me how they should behave, give me a general idea of things they would like to see in levels and I more or less followed their instructions unless they were outside the realm of my abilities.
It uses chex quest as a basis, it's all in their mother language (french). It's a bit unpolished as I had a limited timeframe, and it's my first experience designing levels from the ground up... And my decorate skills are pretty terrible.

Screenshot_Chex_20180104_142445.jpg


https://www.dropbox.com/s/bqcpg95al9ebc ... S.zip?dl=0

Chex and gzdoom are included in the file because I have to assume most parents who will be downloading it will be a bit computer illiterate so I made it as easy for them as I could.
Launch Magikus.bat to start it.

Features 5 levels each with a boss.
Every level has an ally that you can free from a prison so they can help you fight the boss.
5 weapons each with two fire modes.
Weird ideas by kids !
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Melodica » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:21 pm

Played through this when I first saw it on /vr/, and gotta say, this is pretty fun! And it's also cute to see all the monsters designed by kids.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Awez » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:59 pm

Hey I saw this on /vr/, just came in to say this is absolutely adorable! So here's a bump for more attention.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Douk Nouk Kem » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:14 pm

Gave it a full playthrough when you first posted it on /vr/, although wall textures are a bit messy this was surprisingly cute, maybe you could share some stories about the enemies, like what are they supposed to be, how kids named them and such? Or maybe those little helpers which you can save, that glover dude really caughty me up bu surprise.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Geek_Zolda » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:06 pm

Oh sure.
Helpers came to be when one kid asked if you could have a buddy in the game and when I said it was feasible he crated this guy who has a butt on his head and farts on enemies to kill them. He initially named him "Proutos" (fartos) but after a while they all started calling him "Sprouts" (Sfarts). Same kid who got the idea of a magical guitar.
Funnily enough kids had a really tough time naming their creatures, which.. I dunno I thought they would be great at coming up with quirky names. But whatever. But they came up with a few "Kanifey" is named after "canif" a pocket knife (tentacle guy who launches volleys of red knives). The skating rabbits are just named "skating rabbits" kids were big on skateboards for a while. The magical artefact you have to touch at the end of the game is supposed to be a magical skate on a pedestal. Sappa is named after "sapin" a christmas tree. "This monster throws christmas tree bulbs that bounce slowly towards you" heh.
"Handy"is a pretty funny story, there was this girl who usually loves to paint and that day for whatever reason she was feeling incredibly lazy was half laid down on her chair. At one point she said "I dont feel like drawing... Can I do a guy who's shaped like my hand ? I could trace it over" I said it was a neat idea and went to another table to check out what other kids were doing and when I got back to her she was tracing around her hand... with a paint brush. Essentially painted half her hand black in the process. Darn kids and their weird ideas. She washed her hands and this revitalized her enough to add the finishing touches to it.
The weirdest ally to me is the jigsaw puzzle guy though heh. I asked the girl who made it "so... why a puzzle ?" "I dunno. I like puzzles" "Fair enough"

Another funny part of this project is that every kid always wants their monster to be "the strongest guy ever with a million differen attacks that kill you instantly" and once or twice I took em up on that and let them face their uberpowered monster "Wahhhh it's too hard" heh. No kidding. I had to compromize a lot with them to keep monsters a reasonable difficulty. They hate the crab dude with the shield (I guess everybody hates the hexen centaur !). I still remember when the kid made that one "So he's got a shield so he deflects fireballs right back at you." "ok" "And he's got that sword that really hurts when he hits you" "ok" "and he shoots lasers from his eyes and his legs extend when he does that" "ok" "and also his sword can shoot flames that go in every direction" "you know what... I think that's just about enough for this monster" He was a little disappointed, but if I hadnt stopped him, I'm sure he'd still be listing features to add to this day.

One kid always came to this activity (they have a choice between two) and was exctatic to come but didnt contribue a single thing. He would look at what others would do, comment on it but not once did he pick up a pen or brush to do anything, despite me encouraging him heavily to do so. He did appear to have a blast nonetheless so what do I know ? :roll: :D
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Douk Nouk Kem » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:00 pm

What about bosses, were they chosen simply because they were the biggest drawings or you held some kind of contest to stimulate kids? Multi headed dude was pretty good, although the final boss is definitely the best of them, even not counting that cheesy voice acting his design is just something that looks kinda imposing, even for a child doodle.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Rachael » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:03 pm

I wish when I was a kid I had a daycare-taker who let me make video games.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Geek_Zolda » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:12 am

Douk Nouk Kem wrote:What about bosses, were they chosen simply because they were the biggest drawings or you held some kind of contest to stimulate kids? Multi headed dude was pretty good, although the final boss is definitely the best of them, even not counting that cheesy voice acting his design is just something that looks kinda imposing, even for a child doodle.


There was no contest at no point, I didnt want no kid to feel bad about themselves over losing. (yeah yeah I know. But at least I tried to make the game not insultingly easy so they get to experience losing while playing :p)

Well at one point a kid handed me a second Mario ripoff flower and I paused for a moment and thought "you know this could be the chief of all the fire spitting flowers..." and one kid behind me stood up and asked "oh wow can I do another boss ? A big version of the zombie ?" "sure but he has to be a bit different from the small one" so he came up with the idea that he'd have "a hundred heads" heh. Anyway afterwards I told that other kid to stop it with the mario knockoffs and try to come up with his own ideas. (well I wasnt such a dick about it IRL btw haha)
A few sessions later a new kid joined in and wanted to do a robot as a boss. He was happy do do it because unfortunately I spent most of the session turning down his ideas (he was dead set on adding blood and realistic weapons. The whole idea was to make the game non violent where nobody dies so that was out of the question).
Later, a girl more or less accidentally joined the project. She had no intention to be involved with the activity but she sprained her ankle during a game session outside so she joined in. After her first half session she was hooked. She came up with lots of cool stuff. She did the creepy doll you can find in the house in level 2, the "invincibility pumpkin-helmet-cage", the icon for yellow magic and a few other things but her final contribution was doing the final boss.
I only told her "well he's the biggest and baddest of them all so make it a spooky one !" When she was done with it she was super proud of it but was too afraid to do the eyes so she asked me to add the eyes lol. "I'm going to mess it up please do the eyes !"
It's a pretty cool design and has character so that's why I decided to go all "saturday morning cartoon villain" on it and give him some lines heh.

Spoiler:
Last edited by Geek_Zolda on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby gwHero » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:30 am

Great initiative!
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby ramon.dexter » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:30 am

Geek_Zolda wrote:
Spoiler:



Savage, just savage :D
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby BeatCrazed » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:42 am

Hey Zolda, could you tell me what the boss music is? I feel like I've heard it somewhere but I have no idea where.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Geek_Zolda » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:04 am

It's depeche mode's Black Celebration. This particular midi version was pilfered from Yahtzee Croshaw's 7 days a skeptic point & click adventure game.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby TerminusEst13 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:49 pm

Been following this project on /vr/, it's good to see another one come out. Congratulations, it's fun to play and charming as hell!
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby BeatCrazed » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:40 pm

Thank you Zolda, 7 days a skeptic would have been exactly where I heard it first.

Well, I finished Magikus on UV then again on nightmare (barely. Fighting the level 4 boss with +fast is really hard and I scraped by with very little health. Then on the next level, the very next challenge is that room which lowers to reveal a whole bunch of piranha plants and some switches. Then of course you have to fight the mega piranha plant and all of this without much in the way of health refills. Nasty.) I really enjoyed it and loved the magic guitar (although the alt-fire of the ball thing was more effective, the guitar was way cooler.)

I hope you make more stuff.
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Re: Magikus - Designed by children

Postby Geek_Zolda » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:07 am

Yeah, game is pretty much untested for nightmare !
Kids play it in I'm too young to die (except a brave one who's playing HMP) and I mostly tested in UV.
I'm not that good as a doom player despite playing it since 95 !
And yeah, boss 4 can be pretty tough, his code is really pretty rubbish which makes his projectiles really unpredictable.
Magic guitar was a great idea by the kids. A lot of them were suggesting machine guns and rocket launchers and I was "no no... All of this is too realistic and violent, let's keep things magical !" and that one kid was "how about a magic guitar" and honestly this was a great idea.
I took a photo of my hands holding a toy guitar (a Kamen Rider Zanki guitar for you karate bugmen fans out there) and they traced over it. Magic wand is traced over a toy asparagus, the weird fist replacement is traced over another kamen rider toy (tajaspinner) and the orb was traced over a prop "magic potion" bottle held upside down.
As for doing more stuff, I've been working on and off on a remake of the Old "Zombies"TC. Progressing slowly but I hope I'll be able to release it someday !
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