Game: Must’ve Been Rats!

This past weekend, I made a silly stealth game with my friends Jake and Paul for the Global Game Jam.

You can download it here (just unzip it and run the MustveBeenRats.html file): Must’ve Been Rats! Download

You can also check out all the other games our friends created for the jam here: NHTI Global Game Jam Games

For those who don’t know, Global Game Jam is a 48-hour game jam. Basically, for 48 hours straight (or as close as one can physically manage), people come up with a game idea and create it! The theme this time was a heartbeat.



Our game is called Must’ve Been Rats! As I’ve mentioned, it is a very silly, 2D stealth game. The idea is, you walk around in this big dark room, with only a few small lights placed about.

There is an elevator somewhere in the level that will let you continue on, but it requires a beating heart to power it. You must find this beating heart in one of many briefcases scattered throughout the level. You can tell if a briefcase contains the heart by getting up close and listening for a heartbeat coming from it.

To throw a wrench into things, there are guards patrolling the area with flashlights. If one sees you, he will start to come after you. If he gets close enough, he will lunge out and tackle you, causing you to restart the level. However, if you can manage to sneak up on them, you can scare them to make them pass out for a short time, allowing you to walk right past them.

You must evade these guards while searching for the briefcase with the heart. The heart is in a different one each time, though!


We decided to use Flash, along with the Flashpunk framework, Jake’s super-awesome FLAkit library, and Ogmo Editor. These are all great, free, and open-source tools!

For some reason, which we cannot determine, we had a very tough time delegating work to each other. As such, things took longer than they should have, and we were consequently unable to add all the features and polish we hoped for. Regardless, we still had a blast making it, and we are happy with the result!

It was supposed to be a serious game. This started to change when Jake was explaining ideas on a whiteboard, and attempted to draw the player character. He looked really silly, and I jokingly said “that’s totally how I’ll draw him for the game”. Well, I started the art shortly after, and, after a few attempts to make it look serious, I caved and just drew it like Jake’s drawing. And…. that is what you play as in the game.


Our friend Mike Elser was working in the same room as us. He’s a pretty hilarious guy, so we decided to stick a headset on him while he worked, and record his voice. All the voices you hear from the guards are what came of this. It is literally 60% of what makes the game good. The “boogidy boogidy boogidy” sound the player makes when he scares people is Jake’s voice.

Here is what I did in this project:

  • All art
  • Level design
  • Recording, researching, and editing of all but two sounds
  • Creation of “music”
  • Most audio programming
  • Most briefcase and elevator programming

You can view the source code here: Must’ve Been Rats Source Code

LESSON LEARNED: Do not go into a 48-hour game jam with a pre-existing idea.

P.S. Here’s the title screen, which has almost nothing to do with the game!

Must've Been Rats!


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