Tuesday, May 5, 2020

About Play with Fire

 “Wow, look, another platformer, that’s a new idea!”, said no one since 1980. Indeed, trying to make a platformer that isn’t repetitive and boring in 2020 seems farfetch’d, but as recent titles like Celeste have shown, someway, somehow, there’s still life in this genre, and people still want to play platformers. Ok, so maybe this idea is new! Well, actually it’s definitely not, because I came up with it in 2016 for a college class, BUT, I haven’t seen anything like it hit the market yet. Please feel free to show me what I’ve missed. The X-FACTOR, in this game, is adding a whole “new” control scheme. You play with your keyboard, but also your mouse! Now I know what you’re thinking, “No that’s not new, people have been using mouse and keyboard since the 40’s”. Why then, hasn’t anyone made a platformer that takes advantage of this, then?? (I honestly don’t know, maybe it’s because it’s a terrible idea.) Enter Play with Fire, a game that’s kind of like Super Meat Boy, except you also use your mouse, and the soundtrack definitely won’t be by Danny Baranowsky, because my budget is $0.

“What do you do with the mouse, doofus, I’m a whole paragraph into this nonsense, and all you’ve done is make weird references and talk to a reader that doesn’t exist,” I hear myself scream at myself. Well, you see, in platformers, there’s two main things, right? A player character, and a platform. So, what if you controlled the platforms?

Cheesy Tweetable Quote that you see all the time in tech write-ups for some reason, probably because it’s generally hard to understand tech write-ups so they just yell the important bits at you twice.
What if you controlled the platforms?”

Yeah, I mean, that’s the main thing. You can flick your player around with platforms that you control with your mouse! Also other things! Like those cool anti-grav things in Super Meat boy that were a pain to manuever around. What if you could control those with your mouse? AND stop right there, I still know what you’re thinking, because you’re me, “BARRELS, THERE HAS TO BE BARRELS”, “Like... Donkey Kong?” I respond. “YES LIKE DONKEY KONG,” YOU SHOUT. “O-ok then… baka,” I sheepishly mutter. (There won’t be a Donkey Kong inspired dating sim portion, I promise.)

So what does that look like? Well, a Jif is worth 1000 words so:


Like that, but imagine actual levels! Where you string parts of these elements together with precise inputs! Also, I still have no idea what direction I want to take with the graphics, so it probably won’t look much like this in the future.

I’ll be updating at this location on progress, and I hope to hear from people about what interests them, and what they think looks awful. Feel free to shoot me an email with anything related to the game at playwithfiregame@gmail.com

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