Chernobyl Playground

Das vedanya, comrade…

It is the year 1986. On that fateful morning, April 26th, the world would be changed forever…

When the Chernobyl disaster struck, people were forced to evacuate the surrounding towns, leaving behind everything they held dear to them, to fade away in a nuclear nightmare…

But some refused to leave.

Soviet cleanup crews acted quickly to conceal the radiation, but many were irradiated. Mutant beings began to spring up around the town of Prypiat, and one irradiated boy decided to defend the one thing he cherished most – the playground.

Development Background

This was the game me and QuadraTron made at the Philly Game Jam 2012, and our first to really utilize 3D art. Our team, QuadraTron, included:

  • Zenas Bellace – Programming
  • Christian Plummer – Programming
  • Keith Maggio – Programming
  • Robert Nally – Art
  • Travis Carter – Art
  • Ben Jewett – Art

What’s funny to mention is this is one of the few times we actually had a good amount of artists, and got a lot of assets for the game! But when we looked at everyone else’s team, we saw them with keyboards and synthesizers, and we said, “We finally get dedicated artists, and everyone else one-ups us with sound guys.”

The theme for this jam was another picture. This picture of a broken-down merry-go-round really took us by surprise – “What the heck do we do with that!?”

We took a good amount of time planning out a game. We had a lot of really good ideas, but had trouble visualizing the game amongst ourselves. Ryan Harbison, the Interim-Vice-Chair of the IGDA Philadelphia Chapter, gave us some really good advice – KIFS (Keep it ****ing Simple). We settled on an Asteroids-esque Top-Down Wave-Defense Survival game. The gimmick that sets it aside from others is instead of controlling where you aim, you control the rotation of your spin – and you’re constantly spinning. We went with a Chernobyl theme for the game because it looked very similar to the pictures of modern-day Prypiat you’d see online.

We held several of these little meetings, going over what needs to be done, new ideas, and we created milestones for ourselves. once we had a list of features done and polished, we moved on to the next milestone. This routine worked out very well, and we did our best to minimize group think (by telling Christian Plummer to shut up once and a while (just kidding; we value your participation, Christian (Nested parentheses!))).

After all was said and done, we came out with a very solid, fun and challenging game! We have multiple enemies, multiple weapons, and a very evident presence of fun. I’m proud to have been a part of this group, and hope we can do more like this in the future!


The object of the game is simple – Survive.

Using your multitude of weapons, you must fight back the soviet horde for as long as you can. You have 4 weapons to chose from, which can be selected with the number keys:

  1. SMG – Semi-Automatic burst fire. This weapon can fire a lot rapidly, but if you fire too quickly, the weapon will slow down and need to cool before it can fire fast again.
  2. RPG – Slow, yet devastating. The rocket is good fr taking out certain enemies-of-interest very quickly. Its reload time can be a real killer, however.
  3. Nuclear Molotov Cocktail – Chuck and burn! Good for crowd control. Once it hits, it can set your target on fire, and make them run around like a flaming idiot. Once on fire, they can set any other enemies they run into on fire.
  4. Sniper Rifle – Line ’em up and headshots. This weapon can shoot through multiple enemies in a single shot. Its bolt-action reload makes it a bit slow, however.

Use the Left Mouse Button to fire your selected weapon. When you switch weapons, you need to wait to reload before you can use it, so use it wisely! The Right Mouse Button can be used for a one-time-use Atomic Bomb that does massive damage to all on screen.

You’re defending your playground from this spinning Merry-Go-Round. You’re always spinning, so timing is key. If you hit the Space Bar, you can change the direction of your spin – this is not instantaneous, however; you’ll slow down before spinning the other way. You can use this to your advantage and sort of “stop” yourself and aim in one direction (if you’re good enough, that is).

The Glowing Red Army

The enemies you face are quite the surly lot.

  1. Ghosts of Stalin – Brandishing epic mustaches, these creepy comrades come at you in force. They’re weak, slow, and come in great numbers.
  2. Soviet Khokkyeist – The pride of soviet sportsmanship, these hockey hooligans come at you fast and hard. Take them out quick before they outflank you!
  3. Cosmonaut Monkies – Fueled by Van Allen Radiation, these spaced-out monkeys have come for revenge!
  4. Borgie The Bear – H̴̡͞ȩ̶̕ ̧̧͢͞ç̷̡͜͜ó̷̷̴͢m̨̛͘ȩ̵͢ś̷̛͟ ̡̧̀͢͡w̵͘͢͡h̕͏̷̀ȩ̷̴̴̀ǹ̢͟͡ ̵͟1̶͠0͏0̕͢͜ ̛s̸̸̀o҉҉̀v̸̸̡̛͞i̧͘͟e̢͢t̛͟͏͢s̶̸̀͢͡ ̸̡g̨̡̛͞į̴̵͏v̶҉̸̢̀e̷̡͠͏ ͏҉́͡t͝͞h̴e̡̕͡i̴̢̨͡r̷̢̧͠ ̵̷ĺ͘͞͡i͟͢v̵͞͏̧è̶҉̡͞s̸̴̡ ̸̕͏͝͞o̴͢͝n͟ ̀͜͞t̴̢͝͝h̴͜͏̨ę ̸̵̡͢͢p̶̕̕͏l̶͏a̶͡y̧̛g̷̵̢̛r̨̧̕͡o̢͢͠u̷̸̕͟n̸͘d͏̧̧́͝ ̢̡̧̀f͝͝͏̡o̸̡̧͘r̀͢͠ ̸̨̀͘҉t҉́̀h͏͝e̶̵̴͡ ̴̸̀͜͠M̵̛̛͘o̴̢t̶̢̡͟͟h̵̢̨͘͠e̡҉r̷l͝҉a̴̕n̷̨͘d̡̕.̶̸.̢̧͟.̷̵̢

Once you lose all your health, the game is over, and you receive a score, and you get to see how many you took out.


This game was a ton of fun to make, and I’m extremely satisfied with the results. I hope you guys enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Play The Game!

You can download the game for PC or Mac from IndieGamesDay!

Also, take some time to look at the other games from the Philly Game Jam!


  • Programming
    • Keith Maggio
    • Zenas Bellace
    • Christian Plummer
  • Art
    • Travis Carter
    • Robert Nally
    • Ben Jewett
  • Special Thanks
    • IGDA Philly
    • Too Many Games Expo

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