Game Academy Autumn 2017 – Brainstorm

Brainstorm by Iron Heron

Programmers: Valtteri, Kai Heikkilä

Graphic Designers: Elli Leppänen, Sofia Kari


Brainstorm is a sci-fi themed 2D fighting game where the players play as highly developed robots. The game is only player versus player, and it supports both keyboard and (Xbox) controllers. There are two different characters in the game.

When designing the playable characters we wanted to make the robots look highly futuristic with some organic aspects to them. Shapes and colours also played a big part in the design process; we wanted the characters to stand out – figuratively and literally – with bright highlights and distinctive shapes. The arena the robots fight in is appropriately a futuristic laboratory with lit consoles and test tubes lining the walls.

Our original idea was that each character would be a combination of a Brain and Body. Every brain and body had unique abilities, giving players a freedom to modify their fighter’s powers and style. Midway the project we realized that we wouldn’t be able to make that, so we cutted out the brains, only taking one or two properties of them and implemented them to the bodies.

We put a lot of thought into the game’s balance and dynamics. We wanted the two characters be highly asymmetrical and still be balanced against each other. We took inspiration from the common character archetypes in fighting games. We decided to make a well-rounded Ryu-like character and a quick rushdown style character.

We wanted the game to be accessible and easy to understand. All the moves are made with a single button press, there are no crouching or dashing, and each character has only three attack buttons. The attacks can be different whether the character is on the ground or in the air. Because of the small number of moves, we tried to make each of them useful in different situations.

It was important to prevent infinite combos and throw loops from happening. We accomplished this by keeping a close eye on the game’s frame data. We also made the attacks push the characters away from each other as a preemptive measure. Throw loops were prevented by adding a throw counter that could be executed instantly by letting go of all the controls. This was inspired by the similar mechanic in Fantasy Strike fighting game.

Link to the playable version:

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