EDIT: The game is now finished and available on Kongregate, you can play it here:
Hi there, for the past year and a few months I've been working on this game: blocking out the levels, illustrating them, coding all the mechanics and making the sound effects. Just about everything in this game (with the exception of the music) was created by me and I'm proud to say that this is easily the best game I've made to date.
Firstly for those who don't know, this game is a 100 level platform adventure in which you have the ability to walk on ground and ceiling (Think of the flipping mechanic in VVVVVV, only you are also allowed to jump.) For simplicity's sake I will frequently refer to this mechanic as 'switching'.
Concept and Conception
As with most of my projects, this started out as a very different concept. This particular game started out with an experiment in which the player would switch between walking on walls and opposite grounds automatically just by jumping to them. This proved complicated and difficult to control and so I eventually adjusted it so that only the ceiling and ground were taken in to account. Unfortunately this was also too much of an issue regarding controls as testers soon proved. Finally, I put together a few test levels - with controls similar to what I currently have - and found that having full control over which surface you can walk on was clearly the way to go.
I've done a variety of things to keep the game fresh and fun to play after each world: Every set of levels are completely different in looks and in the way you play through them. The main gameplay alteration being a different powerup in each world, the levels are also designed differently to encourage full usage of said powerups.
Firstly we have world 1 (Apprentice Forest), which is an introduction world to allow you to get used to the controls without being able to make too many mistakes to begin with (for the first couple of levels it's very difficult to die unless you go out of your way to do so.) Your powerup in this world is a fairly basic laser which simply allows you to get rid of enemies that can't be stomped.
After beating this world you reach Mt. Tundra (as you may have guessed by its name it is an ice world), there is a general increase in difficulty as there are more obstructions and random patches of ice which cause you to slide around and require you to have more confidence in your control if you're to avoid falling off a cliff or sliding in to spikes. The powerup for this world in Double Jump, you can probably figure out what this does.
World 3 (Autumn Plain) is made with switching in mind, by level 4 you're given the Double Switch powerup which allows you to switch twice in the air (as you would normally only be able to switch once before reaching the ground.) The levels beyond the point of this powerup force you to use double switch in order to make it to the next patch of safety.
World 4 (Inferno Dome) has one of my favourite additions to the game, the Ice Breath. Ice Breath allows you to create your own platforms of ice to walk on and switch around, adding a whole new depth of strategy to this world. The ice melts over time and you have a limit to how much you can spray at a time.
World 5 (Desolate Fields) is some form of a desert with an unusual colour scheme, it's riddled with cacti-themed obstacles with the intention of being harder than any of the previous worlds were, your ability to switch correctly is tested here. The powerup of this world lets you fire cacti balls, which are used to feed the giant "cactimeleons" as well as collect unreachable coins.
World 6 (Nostalgia City) appears less demanding with switching but does have an added objective of hitting a set of buttons in the appropriate order so that you may access the exit, there is also a new enemy which follows you only when your back is turned. To compensate for this there is a powerup titled 'Explosive Bowels' which allows you to fight back the only time you can: when you're not looking.
World 7 (Fantasia Shore) is another ice world but with a very different theme and an added mechanic of screen-wrapping: You cannot fall off the world and die in these levels, you merely appear on the other side of the screen; this can be useful when you're being chased by giant spiked boulders. Again you are given a powerup to help to overcome the obstacles, and this world that powerup is 'Slow Motion'. This lets you go in to slow motion any time you like, which can be useful for almost grinding to a halt in mid-air whilst a boulder passes you by.
World 8 (Llama Land) is the final and toughest world that is part of the storyline someone made me include, there is no added powerup, but there are plenty of obstacles and very little safe ground for you to move around on. Most of your travel in this world will either be in the air or on moving platforms, most levels will also require you to unlock the exit before you're able to use it, which means a lot more travelling than the other worlds so far.
After world 8, you have by definition beaten the game as the story is complete at this point. However I have added a ton of extras that can be achieved after (some during) the game's completion:
- Medals for beating worlds in the quickest possible time or with the fewest amount of switches.
- Trophies are available for earning after you beat the game, collect all 10! (includes challenges such as beat World X without dying.)
- There are also golden llama heads for each of the 8 worlds you complete without dying, and a giant llama statue for beating all 8 without dying. There is no real gain to doing this, but I felt I had to put something in just in case someone is crazy or pro enough to attempt such a feat.
- Collecting 4 trophies unlocks World 9 (Ericadia Approved World), collecting 8 unlocks World 10 (Dragon Empire).
- You can also decorate your llama with hats that are unlocked via collecting medals.
- Advanced Mode is unlocked upon the game's completion, which allows you to replay the 8 worlds on a harder difficulty (you can also play the 2 bonus worlds on this difficulty)
As you can see, even after you've beaten the main part of the game there is still plenty of extras to unravel or explore. Here's a break down on the main features that are added after the game is complete:
Trophies are in the game from the beginning but you cannot get any of them until you acquire the 8th trophy (which is for completing world 8), they include challenges specific to each world (with the exception of one of the last 2 trophies) and do take a bit of practice to earn. When you beat each world you are presented with an overview screen which points out your success and any medals you find. This screen will now also show a trophy if you manage to acquire it!
Advanced mode puts you back to the beginning in world 1, you must unlock the worlds by playing through them again (but you can still go back to any world you like in normal mode.) The differences in advanced mode are noticeable from the very beginning: You now have to collect all of the coins in every level to unlock the exit. Difficulty regarding enemies and obstacles will vary depending on the world you're in.
Ericadia Approved World and Dragon Empire
The two added bonus worlds, they are far more difficult than any other world in the game - which one is the hardest is debatable due to their differences. As with Llama Land there are no powerups, these worlds are all about your ability to control your character.
World 9 presents you with an a fast moving enemy that can walk on both surfaces like you, adding an element of unsafety to standing around on the ceiling.
World 10 is home to the dragons, which shoot large balls of fire at you. You are also presented with the option of assembling the dragon eggs in their nest for a coin bonus (which of course is compulsory to unlocking the exits in advanced mode)
So I've filled you in on what I've been doing in terms of this game over the past year and a bit, if you're not a fan of reading then these videos will probably be of more interest to you. I have made several different play-through and trailer videos over the months mainly for demonstration purposes but also to give people an idea of what I've put in to this game!
(World 3, Advanced Mode Play-through)
(World 7 Play-through)
(World 7, Advanced Mode Play-through, mainly for comparison purposes)
(Trailer #2, mainly a continuation of #1 and a clearer view on what the power-ups do)
That is all from me, I have a few other play-through videos as well as a couple of videos mainly to show off the soundtrack. I hope you like the look of what you see, I'm aiming to release this game to the world in a matter of days!