Firecracker Fight wouldn't be Firecracker Fight without firecrackers. So my artists handed me a whole batch of firecrackers, and I got so excited I used the word "firecrackers" six times in one paragraph! I also think the design team might actually like me. Because they didn't hand me lit firecrackers.
It's pretty obvious, but this game is all about firecrackers. It's the result of asking myself, if there was one time in my life and one feeling I wished I could recreate for people, it would be the warm summers of my childhood, the weeks before July 4th, American Independence day. It was the one time a year that combined a carefree time away from schoolwork, with afternoons imagining that the punch of a firecracker was a strike against enemies on some heroic battlefield. Firecrackers fuel an imaginary war drama in the dirt and grass around backyard trees.
Turning this into a mobile game, you'll touch the bottom part of the screen to get a lit firecracker. Pull back and shoot like a rubber band. The farther you pull back, the farther it will fly when you release it. Then it soars for a glorious moment, and drops to the ground below, where plastic enemy tanks and jeeps are rolling toward you. More about that when we are building the gameplay. For now, the firecrackers.
I chose this particular set of firecrackers for two reasons. First, as a game designer, I know a good game needs variety; some pleasant surprises to vary the landscape. As a player you can have fun not just exploring levels of increasing challenge, but seeing how your various equipment interacts with the different targets in front of you. Second, these were the cool firecrackers I couldn't wait to get my hands on when I was a kid. Except for the legendary Cherry Bomb, but I'll get to that later.
Standard Firecrackers came in little packs of 12, or machine-gun belts of about a thousand, all carefully braided together so you could rip through them in a breathless moment. But I for one would carefully undo that fuse braiding and put each firecracker to its own innovative but destructive purpose. In the game, this is your main weapon against the dangerous toys your mean neighbor keeps sending at you, and they are literally unlimited.
Long Fuse Firecrackers aren't sold as such, but sometimes we would snip off a couple fuses to make one longer one. Maybe for dramatic effect. Maybe to time multiple blasts at once. In the game, you can blow up gunnery trucks by letting them drive over a lit firecracker. This will help you do that.
Ladyfingers were always a bit disappointing. Why mess with smaller firecrackers when regular ones were available? But they will be very useful in the game, when that devious adversary sets up some kind of hostage situation.
The M-80 needs no introduction. I'd only get my hands on five or ten of these per year. In the game, you'll earn them through streaks of trick shots, and, I imagine, save them for desperate times in our harder levels.
And this brings me to the cherry bomb. I'm going to admit that I've never seen one. It was a fabled munition my father described with his own sense of awe, and laughing at the stupid things they did as kids on the farm. It's worth noting, my dad isn't the model for the Teacher in this game. He became a horticultural scientist and looked at the stars and worked for peace. But he still had the lore of the cherry bomb. Me, I would blast soda cans into the air with firecrackers. In his day, they launched steel buckets. If you throw a firecracker in a puddle the fuse fizzles out and it's ruined. A cherry bomb in a water tank is so dense, it sinks, the waterproof fuse does its job, and you just got your own personal geyser. I know if I ever got my hands on a cherry bomb, it would be a pleasure I'd remember long after the inevitable ringing in my ears.
My son saw me reviewing the art for these explosives and he asked, "So, is the cherry bomb a board wipe?"
I said, "Yep. It's a board wipe."
This is going to be a fun game.