Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shotgun Debugger

In Shotgun Debugger, you play a hacker on the run from black-shades-agents and fight against armies of droids. Projectile and energy weapons serve your cause, the most original of which gets reflected by walls and can be used to destroy enemies out of sight.

Game mechanics include damage-inducing surfaces, exploding barrels and droids and simple press-the-button or find-the-key tasks. The story progresses in text boxes which appear between levels.

Varying level styles...

Relatively simple puzzles...

Various weapons, including grenades...

... a kind of 'blue rocket launcher'...

... and a reflecting laser rifle

Shotgun Debugger has two problems: default control and perspective, thus here are two hints for playing the game:
  1. Press 'v'. It will fix the perspective.
  2. Use WASD and mouse (or set different keys in ~/.sdb/preferences.txt)
Also, here's one hint, in case you get stuck in the first level: "behind the police car". I didn't know about 'v' and the police car hint the first time I tried sdb about a year ago and gave up on the game after starting level one for the 20th time. :)

The game is rather hard and there are no save function, except between levels. Enemies mostly hit hard and I found careful movement and taking cover to be the safest way to finish it.

SDB gameplay [small .ogg | big .ogg]

Code and assets are both GPLed and levels are editable in the SVG vector format. Inkscape was used to create the 2D (but rendered in 3D) levels! The level sources, are available on the homepage. I also want to recommend the 'trivia' section there.

Part of one of sdb's levels, viewed in Inkscape

I think that with such level editing capabilities and mechanics (exploding and movable barrels) some interesting levels could be easily produced. I only need to figure out how to load levels independent of story mode.

Shotgun Debugger is probably the best 'pure action' (no base building or 'advanced' item collecting or xp-gathering involved) top-down shooter I have played so far and it's definitely worth giving a shot.

PS: If you're desperate for a windows version, over here!