#IndiesVsGamers and Trip Toes

I’ve made another game for a Jam, this time it was another 2D physics based game in similar vein to Shield Yield, in terms of gameplay, aesthetic and overall mechanics.

You can play it here (and vote for it if you’re feeling particularly generous!): http://jams.gamejolt.io/indiesvsgamers/games/trip-toes/80161/ 

Here’s a quick playthrough to get you up to speed (starts at 33 seconds in)


And here’s a 12x speed timelapse of the huge bulk of the development, albeit missing a few minutes of the final tweaks and fixes, because it was only sparsely done in between chatting for long periods of time



Now. Into the meat of it.

The theme of the jam was Arcade, which was announced at 5 AM on the 17th of July, so I was in bed waiting up to see the theme. Once it was announced, I had came up with a few ideas that were quite different to what you play today (for example, a game called “Arcade Cabinet”, where you play as arcade machines in suits, holding Parliament) but I eventually settled for a different idea.

The next day I settled on the idea of an endless game to do with stepping stones, so the title was devised while thinking about stubbing a toe on a stone, and is a play on “Tip toes” (or tippy toes depending on where you’re from). The original plan for gameplay was that every stone had an attached letter on the keyboard, and you would rotate and then move towards it once you pressed the right key. The letters were soon dropped as I thought they would be too difficult to implement by using Unity’s new UI, although I did get the letters to move to a new stepping stone, the problem was that the stepping stones themselves can exist unaffiliated with anything else in the hierarchy and are just fine like that, but a text element MUST be the child of a canvas, so I couldn’t simply create the text by instantiating a stepping stone prefab.

So I dropped the plan of attached letters and moved to a system where if you touched/clicked on a stone, you would move to it. This removed a lot of the challenge that was originally intended with the key mechanic and I was unhappy about that, but pressed on. I ran into problems when trying to get the automatic movement and rotation correct, so badly so that after 3 hours trying to fix it, I became so frustrated I completely scrapped it and switched to a system where the player was the one responsible for rotation and movement themselves (which is the game you can play today). In technical terms there’s nothing beefy going on behind-the-scenes, a single 2D Rigidbody, a moving camera whose speed increases with every stone you hit, some walls with box colliders attached and a couple of simple animations.

After having experience with the last jam and on Ski Don’t, I decided to use incredibly simple art for sake of speed and that decision had paid off because if I had resolved to use more complicated art I surely wouldn’t have completed the game on time (I finished just 2 hours before the deadline). Other than getting the damn hinge joints to work, the art was the hardest part of the last jam.

The music is ripped straight out of Hexane, and the beep effect is from shield yield. I didn’t even try to make music for this game as development only really started properly when there was only 32 hours left out of the 72 as I was busy doing other things for most of the previous 2 days.

That about sums it up. For now I’m fixing the bugs then getting it touch-ready as I plan to release on mobile, and somewhere down the line when I eventually learn how to do multiplayer games I’ll add it in to this one as it seems like a perfect opportunity to add more worth and replayability to the game.