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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Wild Wild Life

    - Danny Cowan

  • Mitar Stjepčević, Student at University of Novi Sad, The Sunflower Patches

    Every time you see a hamster he is doing one of two things, trying to escape, or planning his escape. This is a game about a hamster whose dream is to see the fabled sunflower patches. His journey starts out by him planning his escape from the pet store in pursuit of his dream. The pet store serves as a way for the players to get acquainted with the controls and gameplay. You are soon scooped up by a new owner, looking to buy his first hamster. It is your goal to escape from every cage that stands in your way, by all means necessary.

    Along the way you will meet new friends. Each of the hamsters you join up with have their own specialties. The Syrian Hamster is the biggest of the bunch and is great for pushing heavy objects out of the way. The Roborovski is the smallest, best for getting through tight spaces. Depending on their size a hamster can carry more or less items in his cheek pouches. Items such as food can be used to bait other animals out of their usual patrol path or it can be consumed to heal your party. Their cheek pouches also have other uses such as allowing them to breathe underwater or carry key items.

    Chapters start out by letting you and your party scout the area and learn the daily schedule of your owner. You need to plan an escape route and get everyone out of the cage without being spotted. The emphasis is on teamwork, as you can order your party, letting each one do another thing. For example the Syrian hamster may chew on the bars distracting the owner, while the Roborovski hamster sneaks out among the havoc. To escape you must escape by using the items in your cage to climb out and open it from the other side. In another escape you need to empty the water bottle, in order to push it out of the way and reveal an opening in the cage.

    Once you do finally escape the cage you need to escape the building. This area has a focus on stealth, as you have to evade various other animals such as dogs, cats and giant bugs. Here you must use your resources and team to get everyone out of the house and to freedom.

    At the end of the chapter you and your party are captured by another person and brought to an even more secured hamster cage. The levels will be varied, starting off at the pet store, proceeding to a kind new owner, after which there will be a research laboratory and finally ending at a hamster breeder's ranch. As the game progresses owners will be more and more vary of your escape attempts. The final stage will feature a huge hamster cage with interlinking tubes, where you can see the sunflower patch through the window showing that you are finally close to your dream.


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