Josh Sutphin


There are two factions at war in Fail-Deadly, and both of them are your enemy. As a shadowy third party, your goal is to goad both factions into mutually assured destruction, thus paving the way for your own nefarious scheme. It's a simple RTS in which you play both sides, trying to keep the battle alive -- but nobody victorious -- long enough for both factions' nuclear arsenals to come online.

Fail-Deadly took first place in the Ludum Dare 18 48-hour game jam competition in 2010. After Ludum Dare, I did a second development pass in which I overhauled the graphics, updated the soundtrack, and improved the game balance.


"Fail-Deadly is ingenious and simple... a weird, exciting, distinctly non-commercial idea." -Edge Magazine

"The final result is brilliantly compelling." -Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"Nicely drawn and featuring a strong original soundtrack, Fail-Deadly is a smart twist on overused ideas, and supremely polished too. This is an excellent effort, and well worth a download." -PC Gamer


Fail-Deadly was developed in Unity. This project significantly predated Unity's addition of native 2D tools, so I had to implement my own support for pixel-perfect animated sprites and texture atlassing. I also wrote the rest of the gameplay code and drew all the art. I composed a backing track for the Ludum Dare version, but commissioned a new, more varied soundtrack from John Axon for the post-Ludum Dare update.


A screenshot from Fail-Deadly, showing a squad of green infantry attacking an orange bunker.

A screenshot from Fail-Deadly, showing an airstrike impact.

A screenshot from Fail-Deadly, showing an orange tank platoon attacking some green infantry.

A screenshot from Fail-Deadly, showing an aerial assault by the orange team on one of the green team's helipads.

Created 11/12/2022 • Updated 11/29/2023