Monday, August 14, 2006

Steal This Game Design: Bobby the Bubblegum Boar

I came up with this design after I challenged a friend of mine to try and come up with a setting and some simple mechanics for a linear (stage-by-stage) 2D platformer. We had to come up with a setting, a main character, a bit of story and at least three original game mechanics (something you can't do in most 2D platformers.)

Unfortunately, real life got in the way of his coming up with a concept of his own, but here's my attempt. Doing this sort of thing is a good exercise because it forces you to be original within a set of tight constraints.


Bobby the Bubblegum Boar

Bobby the Bubblegum Boar is a 2D platformer done in a very cartoony, colorful style, with anthropomorphic animals.

Bobby is a young boar who chews bubblegum. When his forest is threatened by aliens who want to turn all the trees into toothpicks for sale to Klacktorg restaurants (the Klacktorg are aliens that have ten mouths, with 200 teeth in each mouth) he takes it upon himself to drive them away.

Bobby can walk, run, jump (jumping higher if he's been running) and can bump into enemies and destroy some walls after he grows tusks (after the first few stages.) Bobby also chews gum. The more gum he has, the more stuff he can do:

1- he can blow a large bubble and float up and around slowly for a while (careful not to get the bubble popped!)
2- he can also blow a bubble to capture some enemies, which he can then bop into other enemies and obstacles.
3- he can spit a wad of gum on the ground or on a wall to make it sticky. Enemies will stick to the wad, and Bobby can also stick to his wads (can be used to walk up walls, stick under moving platforms, etc.)

There are (at least) 5 worlds, split up into shorter stages:

  1. The forest
  2. A large cave environment (where the Aliens have hidden their UFO)
  3. The Alien UFO
  4. A Klacktorg restaurant (these places are HUGE)
  5. The Alien homeworld, where Bobby will find an Alien President and explain how to make plastic toothpicks cheaper than wooden ones, so the Aliens won't have to destroy forests anymore.

In general, physics are cartoony and exaggerated.

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