New Game In Development – Zwibbs
I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally got a new game in development, Zwibbs. It seems that every time I have a large hiatus in releasing a game, and no steady collaboration partner, that I return to the scene with a “sliding tile” puzzle game (think sliding on ice in Pokemon). The first time this happened, was after I stopped working with David Mills (we made Stabika 1-3 together), and I made Dominus Void. Zwibbs is indeed a sliding tile puzzle game, just like Traverse, Guardian Rock, Numz, Orbox, Excit, and more. Rather than being just another game in the genre though, I’ve carefully studied the above games, and my previous works in the genre, to ensure that I not only correct the mistakes these games have made, but add something new to the mix.
The core mechanic in Zwibbs, aside from the sliding tile movement, is color. “Zwibbs” (the creatures you control), will be capable of changing color, and must do so to reach certain areas. You’ll be able to change colors by touching certain objects, such as flowers, special color swapping blocks, etc. You’ll also switch color if you are hit by various enemies, or take a hit from a nearby colored turret, which won’t always be desired. Sometimes you’ll want to retain your color, other times you’ll purposefully take a hit to switch to a certain color, it all depends on the situation.
While the above mechanics sound a bit too action-oriented for this kind of puzzle game, I’ve been extremely careful to keep things casual, and not force players to use extreme reaction skills. In an attempt to keep the game even more casual, the player can never actually die, only get set back. Getting hit by an enemy will change your color, potentially forcing you to backtrack to regain your original color, but you won’t ever actually die. The game has action elements, but they’re carefully moderated, and the core of the game is still puzzle. I’ve simply taken something that’s been a bit boring, and spiced it up a bit.
The main reason I’m working on this game, is to simply complete a game. I’d like to get back into the grove of working regular hours, and committing to projects, and so far, this game has helped a lot with that. I’m also looking to save up funds for my next project, so I can afford to pay an artist upfront, and hopefully profit a bit more in the end. I’m also saving a bit on the side for a more ambitious project, so I can pay for an artist, musician, voice acting, etc. It’s been awhile since I’ve actually worked solidly on a single project, but I’m absolutely certain that I’ll be seeing this one through until the end. It feels good to actually see some noticeable progress on a project, and not just know that I am indeed learning, but still have nothing to show for it.
As is, Zwibbs is currently just a bunch of simple levels to test mechanics as I program them, and a bunch of programmer art. That’ll change though, as I’ll soon be programming the final touches of the core game, and will be searching for an artist. I’ll show off some of my development area next week, and perhaps have a simple playable level to give you a rough idea of the core mechanics in action. For more udpates, be sure to check back later.