New game: Laser Industries 3

The third entry of the Laser Industries series has now been uploaded. Play it here!  Travel to a new set of a worlds and liberate them from the encroaching Gopher menace.

Laser Industries 3 will be the last of the 2005/2006 era games that I’ll be uploading as all the other ones that I pulled from my old harddrive are better off being remade from scratch. Even so, this is the penultimate game in the series.

This game was also the first one to include hidden levels.  There’s three of them in this game so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled.  You’ll be rewarded with some interesting secrets upon finding them.

Wait, you said it was going to be in HTML5!

I’ve chosen to release this game in Flash instead of HTML5 for one reason: the WordPress uploader.  I finished the game and made sure it worked with the HTML5 exporter, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to actually upload it because of the way the media library is structured.  I was going to take some time to figure it out, but I’d rather not keep you guys (wherever you are) waiting.  At a later date, I’ll reupload the game in HTML5 format.

So what’s Laser Industries 3 all about?

Later, I’m going to make a proper section of the website for this, but for now, I’m putting this here:

Laser Industries 3 was a very ambitious brain child for me back in 2006.  It was going to be a game that I put all my effort into, and would incorporate some of my wildest, most insane ideas into it.  For the most part, it paid off.  Granted, it comes nowhere close in quality to my more recent games, but I had a lot of fun making this little gem, so it’s an important part of my game making history.

Well, you may be wondering why one of the main premises of the game is to defeat these seemingly harmless Gophers. While the second game was just me taking a jab at Pichu from Super Smash Bros. Melee, Laser Industries 3 is actually a satire against all things sickeningly sweet that have no purpose. Even when I was young enough to be within their target audience, I’ve never liked mindless pre-school shows that treat the viewer like an idiot. (C’mon, kids are smarter than most people give them credit for.) LI3 ended up being my culminated “Take that!” to all those shows.

On another note, I know some of you out there might be concerned for these supposed poor Gophers. I will say that the historical event of the release of rabbits in Australia was actually one of the core inspirations to the concept of Gophertopia: the unleashment of a cute animal for the sake of “awws” that resulted in disaster. Just as rabbits are invasive to Australia, Gophers are invasive to the many worlds which are being siphoned for resources.

Designing the levels was the most fun part. The concept of them was rooted around two things: What resource the Gophers are stealing from the world, and what are some funny ways to see Gophers meet their demise? (I got a good number of ideas from Looney Toons.)  My personal favorite of all the levels is Midnight Tower. I had a blast animating the Gophers’ dreams since I got to explore what kind of ridiculous thoughts these simple-minded creatures would think of. And my favorite demise is them leaping off the edge like Lemmings. (Yeah, even as a kid I actually was going to make the blood red, but I was encouraged to keep the game family friendly which is why it’s yellow.)

I recall making a list of probably two dozen worlds, but the file size quickly reached around 30 MB after only 6 levels, because of all the music and sound effects.  Compression methods were not as good back then so there was not much I could about it other than just cutting them out.  To compensate for having fewer levels than its predecessor, I added secret levels and boss dungeons bringing the total to twelve.

And you might be wondering about the Gopher sounds.  My voice has since gotten too deep to do them anymore, but during development, I managed to scrounge up and restore a lot of the original recordings I made back in 2006.  Back then, I was able to nail them exactly like how I imagined them to sound, so while I can’t really make them say new things, I was able to piece together something based on the recordings I originally made.

The overworld of Gophertopia did not exist in the original. (In place was just a blank field that led directly to Area 38.) I saw it as an opportunity to put in a few unused ideas such as the school bus and the bizarre jack-in-the-box named Mr. Happy. But of course, I still couldn’t fit all my ideas in. I would save them for the sequel, but (spoiler alert!) Gophertopia gets destroyed in the prologue of LI4. One day though, if I ever decide to remake Laser Industries (I make no guarantees, but I’m not ruling it out), perhaps I can then make it more true to my bizarre, loose-screw childhood imagination.