Upwardly Mobile (2D platformer)
For the platformer game project my team decided to elaborate on a control panel presented by Steve Swink during a summer workshop at the NYU Game Center. The control panel exposes ten of the movement variables used when developing Nintendo’s Mario character. Since we programed a user interface that controls each one of the variables using horizontal sliders and store the presets, we decided to develop more than one character — or at least a character that changes his movement over time in order to take full advantage of the UI’s potential. After a short team brainstorming session we came up with the idea that changes in the player character’s movement can express the changes in mood that happen when you listen to different kinds of music. Therefore our “hero,” a sad little bureaucrat, listens to music to escape the harsh, dull reality of his daily office routine and with each song finds himself in a new music adventure.
The character movement is the key to this game; for the “office” figure we chose a very depressive body movement: slow, can’t jump high, sad looking. For the eighties (A-ha, Take on Me) we drew the character with a fluffy mullet and gave him faster and more “jumpy” movements. The disco scene is less “jumpy” but the figure can descend the platforms, much like the “get down” lyrics in the songs Jungle Buggie by Kool and the Gang. Lastly, we decided to “break the walls” and completely liberate the figure in the great outdoors by eliminating both the screen boundaries and the platform while listening to Andreas Buchelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye.” The major challenge in this game has been to keep consistency between the character movements, visual design, music, and background settings to create complete emergence in the game which could not have been achieved without excellent team dynamics and an overall coordination.
Co-designers: Ilya Zarembsky, Jonathan B Zungre