What's Actually Happening in Baseball in Hell?

MapScreen.jpgMostly unbeknownst to the player, the creatures that stalk them in Baseball in Hell are actually trying to play some kind of janky demonic baseball with their own set of rules. A lot of it is purposefully vague in the context of the game to add to the creep factor, and because it’s funny to me to make detailed simulations that nobody notices.

  • As you can see, there are a LOT of bases to run, and the distance between them, and the direction can vary. The player is free to choose to run at any time. They have to listen if the creatures are nearby, and for the ball screaming.

There are 4 Classes for the creatures whom I call “Chasers”:

  • Pitcher: The Pitcher will always stay near the pitcher mound (which is always at a specific offset from the player), unless he is closest to the ball. Other classes will attempt to stay out of the way of the pitcher, so they don’t block pitches.
  • Fielder: These guys will always chase down the ball, and their positions will reset to a random offset around the player.
  • Baseman: These guys will stay on offsets near the player unless they are the closest to the ball
  • Outfielder: This guy will always be in an offset based on the direction the player is facing, so they will usually be in the direction the player bats the ball. (He’s actually the creepiest, because you’d often see him just running out of your view in the direction you’re heading and turning)

Catching and Throwing : The chasers pass the ball between one another. When the player is off the bases, they will pass the ball to the Chaser nearest to the player. When they’re safe, after a while they will pass the ball back to the Pitcher. Sometimes they really stink at throwing.

Attacking Player : Like baseball rules, the Chasers can only “tag” the player when they are carrying the ball (or the player strikes out). Getting tagged will halt your momentum, and at one time I forced the player view to rotate toward the attacker, but the game was already disorienting enough.

Reset Positions : This mode activates when the player has been “Safe” for an amount of time. The Chasers will return to their offsets and pass the ball back to the Pitcher, so he can Pitch the ball at the player.

My Gamemaker “3D” Engine : i had this idea a while back while i was making Laser Lasso BALL to try to convert 2d positions into depth to appear in perspective. I’ve since learned a bit more about gamemaker so found some easy ways to achieve it.

  • I parented each object I wanted to draw to an object called “3DEntity”, and then drew all 3Dentities to a surface based on their positions and angle relative to the player. It’s all rather hacked together, with some tweaked magic numbers.3dCode.jpg
  • The ground is actually just a static image, of a circular hilight drawn on a plane, while the sky is a scrolling tile of horrors.Ground and Sky.jpg
  • The Bat and HUD elements are then just drawn on top.

I had a lot of fun making this game. I’m still amused by the theme. As soon as a friend of mine said “Survival Horror and Sports” the idea popped in my head, and I feel like I’ve gotten pretty close to that original vision. Like any project, I could probably tweak it endlessly. There are still some issues with collision— which has been my bane since I started making games— and the mechanics could use some more balancing.

  • PS. If you’d like to access the Dev Mode in game you can press Shift+Tab

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