The story behind this hack is that we needed time off. Both of us are working on long-term indie game projects, and we wanted to take a break from that and spend some time on something short and focused.
Our aim was to create something with rules as simple as a boardgame, but using computer simulation to allow for deep emergent behavior. From this, we designed the game around a single very simple mechanic: the players interact with the game purely by placing tiles, shaping the game world to direct and divert the creatures that inhabit it. While players win the game by having their minions destroy their opponent, they cannot interact directly with either.
Finding a theme fitting and informing this mechanic proved tricky, but sometime around midnight we settled on awakened malevolent gods, and adapted the programming and created art assets to fit.
In terms of tech, we built the game using Scala and libGDX, and that worked well for the task. libGDX provided what it promised in a straightforward manner, and Scala is a productive language. We also used Bfxr to generate sound effects.
We're most proud of the emergent gameplay that we got to explore with this game, often being surprised by the interesting results of combined simple behaviors. The game is tile based, and only 9 minions can inhabit a tile at a time, this cap on density leads to a number of interesting and emergent phenomena that aren't immediately obvious. Minions can also ebb and flow around the terrain in a very fluid-like manner. Some end up being far more suited to cramped combat than others, and choosing the right kind of minion for the circumstances (by placing tiles) is crucial.