I had just wrapped up working on a team for a game that was available on release day for the AppleTV. Working on that game got my creative juices flowing and I was ready to build a game of my own. Now, I just needed an idea. During this time I was enjoying Alto’s Adventure. If you haven’t played it yet, you are missing out. It’s a pretty basic endless runner, but has a few very important characteristics that make it such a great game.
1. It’s pretty
They did a great job with the graphics to make the game very visually pleasing.
2. It’s quirky
They added some elements to the game that don’t exactly make sense but do make it interesting. For example, you are trying to collect llamas while skiing and you are trying to escape the elders of the mountain.
3. The leveling (this one is the most important)
Endless runners can be fun…for a little while. Then they get old and boring. Alto’s fixed this issue by adding in a lot of different goals that you have to achieve during your runs. After you accomplish the 3 goals for your current level, you move on to the next level and get 3 more goals. These small tasks make the game incredibly addicting.
I wanted to find a way to bring these 3 characteristics to another type of game. I have always enjoyed word jumble games, but very similar to an endless runner, it can get boring pretty quickly if all you are doing is trying to solve one puzzle after another. So at the core, I knew I wanted a standard word jumble game, and I was able to make that in a weekend. I spent the next month, in my free time, planning out how the leveling would actually work and what types of goals/achievements the game would have. Then, over the course of a long holiday break from my full time gig, I put together a fully functioning game with leveling, “power-ups” and upgrades.
With the functioning product in hand, it was time to find some artistic help to make the game pretty and quirky. Luckily, the artist I had just worked with on the AppleTV game was interested in spending some time on this project, and he did it all for the low, low cost of one quesadilla from Moe’s. After several weeks of back-and-forth and a few iterations, we finally settled on the style and key features of the game that would make it interesting. With the help of another friend that specializes in audio, we assembled what will certainly be regarded as the greatest accomplishment in the realm of word jumble games, ever. Dancing robots, a sequel sent back in time to be released before the original, and a killer sound track are just some of the aspects of the game that make it fun and quirky. With Jumble-tron 2 – Electric Boogaloo, you just never know what you might see next.