Friday, 4 December 2015

How you can play Prowl

I'm working on an independent game, currently titled Prowl. You can read more about the game here. This blog post is about how you can play Prowl right now, and help me out by giving feedback on the game.

What is this?

These days, you hear terms like "beta", "alpha", and even "pre-alpha" thrown around. I think these are unclear. I'm just calling this "Early Release" - this isn't a finished game. There will be bugs. There are going to be significant changes to gameplay before final release. Most of the graphics are placeholders. But the game is still fun to play - consistently in the closed-group playtesting we have done so far, people tell me the game is fun. And I now feel like it's at a point where new people can pick it up and have a good time.

Sounds great! How can I get the game?

Click here to download the game. Once it's downloaded, just unzip to anywhere on your computer, double-click on "Prowl" in the folder and away you go! You'll need to get three friends to also download and run the game - send them to this page and they can follow these instructions too.

The game should run on any Windows computer. If it doesn't, or if you have any other trouble getting the game to work, please let me know.

Please note that the game is provided without warranty of any kind. By downloading and running the game you accept that I am not liable for any damage or other liability in connection with the use of the game. But I hope you won't have any problems!

How do we play?

Later on in development, all of these instructions will be in-game. For now, please have a quick read through before playing.

Getting connected

Let's assume you have four people with the game running on their laptops. First, someone needs to click "Host game" and the other three should click "Join game". If you are all running on the same local network (e.g. in the same room) then it should Just Work. If it doesn't work, or if you are playing across the Internet, you'll have to enter the host's IP address.

On the host's screen a local IP address and a public IP address are displayed. Use the local address for local games, and the public address for games over the Internet.

Click for help if you have trouble getting connected.

Choose a character

Everyone needs to choose a character - you can't have two people play the same character. The spider is one team, everyone else is on the other. Each of the three humans has a special ability:
  • One of the humans, "Alien", has absorbed some powers from the alien planet you are on. She can breathe the toxic gas of the jungle with no harm.
  • "Psychic" has the ability to sense the approaching danger of the spider. She can warn you when the spider is close.
  • "Tough" can move faster and take a lot more damage than the other two. He can run at the spider and distract it from the other two.


The basic controls are simple: Use the W, A, S, and D keys on the keyboard to move around, and use the mouse to look left and right.

As the spider, you can left-click to leap, and right-click to attack.

As a human, you can left-click to fire your gun, and you can hold down Left Shift to run.

Press Escape to quit.

How to win

The humans begin with 3 lives shared between them. Every time a human runs out of health, they respawn back at the start building. When all the lives are gone, the spider has won.

The spider can be hurt by the human's guns, but never killed. If the spider is wounded it can heal by finding a dark place to hide. If the spider completely runs out of health, it can't attack any more, and it has to run back to its nest to heal.

While the spider is licking its wounds is the time for the humans to act! They need to explore the ruins in the jungle to find equipment - health packs, gas masks and, most crucially, the flamethrower. With the flamethrower and gas masks, the team can explore further and find the spider's nest. If they can burn the nest to the ground, then they have a chance of defeating the spider.


I'd love to hear how you found the game. Please email me if you play - even if it's just to say that you played. But even better, please send me bug reports, feature requests, or your impressions. But seriously, if you don't have time to do all that, please still email me to let me know you played.

Can I share the game with others?

Of course! But please link them to this blog post, rather than just sending the game on directly.

Have fun!

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