Monday, October 20, 2008

Stacy and the Toxic Zombies

Friend-made gifts are the best. Right now, I'm wearing a shirt Liz made for my birthday from Mary Blair's concept art for Alice in Wonderland. And the shirt that Andy made for me for Christmas with a Julius Nyerere stencil gets a lot of mileage.

One of the best gifts I've ever made was for Stacy. It was a video game featuring our friends as the characters. It was five years ago that I made Stacy and Toxic Zombies (STZ). I was inspired by Andy and Andrew who were dabbling in their own games at the time.

It features:
Stacy wielding a bow while wearing an elf cap.
Raquel and her inability to hackey-sack,
Peter with his large hair and orange Syracuse jersey.
and secret character Ryan wearing treeplant gear, riding a four-wheeler and firing a shotgun.

Oh, and two hundred plus Toxic Zombies.

I thought it was lost but my brother stumbled upon it and I just finished playing. Amateur but entertaining, it makes me want to make more games. I can remember all of the pain and joy of drawing every animation and coding each feature. Not bad for a first try.

-Creative design: neat goal, shooting arrows and having to collect them to fire them again, unlockable character Ryan, multiple (eight) endings
-The nostalgic video game music
-I enjoyed the game's balance. It was difficult enough to require vigilance -things can turn bad in an instant.
-The inside jokes (Raquel's language, Ryan's terms: 'layta!' and 'steez', the term' soak'em' from Newsies)
-Part of Stacy's supercool equipment is a skateboard. But all it does is make anyone who touches it, including Stace, fall.


-Painfully long intro sequence (recalls my frustration as a kid waiting for a game to begin)
-Some text is cut off.
-Difficult for beginners to figure out how to summon the extremely helpful Ryan.

The game ends when you kill 200 hundred zombies. There's no way for Stacy to lose -she can't be harmed by the pushover Zombies. It's simply a matter of how many of her friends she can rescue and which one of the eight different endings you'll see.

Download here.
I think it'll only work on PCs.

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