Created: December 6, 2021

Genre: Top-Down Arena Shooter

Team Size: 4

Status: Prototype


Play the Game!




Project Summary

A Numbers Game is a top-down arena shooter game where the player must fend off hordes of hostile numerical digits using a stationary turret-like character. Destroy enemies to earn experience, and use your earned experience points to upgrade your character and beat your high score!

Work and Credits

A Numbers Game was developed by Whomst?, a small 4-member project development team. The team’s members and their responsibilities were:

  • Alex Kong (Me) – Primary Coder & Designer
  • Melody Geiger – Designer & Project Manager
  • Lajeeth Thangavel – Designer & Coder
  • Nick Smeraldo – Designer

Reflections and Development Process

A Numbers Game was a project created for my fourth-year Systems Design course. Each team was given a randomly-generated phrase that they would need to turn into a game. Some teams received phrases like “spirits of the zoo,” or “undivided unity league.” Our team’s phrase happened to be somewhat unique…

“A pianist discovers that one thousand philosophers are controlling random numbers.”

This was definitely a mind-stumper. We needed to figure out how we could stretch this prompt into a coherent game concept. We did plenty of brainstorming as a team. One of the first ideas we threw around was a story-heavy Stanley Parable-type game where the protagonist discovers themselves in the middle of a dystopian society where everyone constantly, mindlessly works at computers – keypressers, making our protagonist the “pianist.” Society is controlled by a single nameless organization – the “1000 philosophers” controlling the “random numbers.” The player character would try to interact with people, but would only receive the same half-baked, cookie-cutter responses. Eventually, our “pianist” would try to seek out a way to free everyone from this organization’s grasp.

We liked this idea, but we knew we simply didn’t have time to transform such a concept into a proper prototype, especially if we wanted to incorporate narrative into the mix. We wanted to go for something smaller-scope and smaller-scale. Nick tossed up the idea of using the “pianist’s” keypresses as a combat mechanic – specific keys on the keyboard could correspond to different notes, and different notes could be combined for different effects. We liked this idea, and figured we could easily create a simple roguelike game that would focus on this combat mechanic. 

Thus, A Numbers Game was born. (We resolved to later come up with a more creative name, but throughout development, this one just stuck.)

Early Development

[Work in Progress]


Developer Playthrough / Feature Walkthrough