Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is an independent game developer founded in 2007. Our seventh game, currently in development, is Pig Eat Ball on which we started working in 2013. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.

Nathan

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Multi-Use Mechanics: Soda Pop

We've spent the last two months polishing up world 4. World 4 is called "Kitchen Chaos" and I'll try not to spoil too much, but I'd like to share some of the development with you.

In the kitchen world, there are lots of different "ball types". Many different things to eat with different effects--more so than any other world in the game. One of those things to eat is the "soda can". You can't carry it, you simply eat it (or I guess drink it!) Once you do, you grow quickly in size as though you've just eaten 5 balls. This is a big deal! It grows your body up to the size that will cause you go get stuck in areas that are 1-block wide. So if you eat one of these in a small corridor, you'll get stuck. 
There's some yummy soda pop to the left!
Now that you've drunk a soda pop, how do you get unstuck? Well the same as usual, except instead of barfing, you burp out bubbles. As you burp, you'll shrink back down to size. This is additive, and the burps are always "on top". If you have 7 balls inside you, and drink a soda pop, you'll grow up to the 12 size. (7 balls + 5 burps). You still only have 7 balls, but you now have 5 burps in you. To shrink back down to your 7 balls size, you simply burp 5 times.  But try to burp again, once too many, and you'll actually barf out one of the 7 balls. If you don't press a button to burp, you will "auto-burp" back down to size after a time.
Oh no! You've ballooned in size! Time to burp back down.
For a long time we only used this as a penalty or trap for the player. We'd put it in spots to cause you to get stuck, or to grow so big you'd have problems getting away from spike balls. But we came up with a benefit to the soda pop!
In the lower right are some green super crates.
They are dark since they are "off" and you are too small to break them.
Because the soda pop grows you artificially fatter, it means you can break super-crates! Super-crates are breakable crates, but you must have at least 5 balls to break them. And the past month we've spent time combing over various nooks and crannies in world 4 levels and hiding some secrets here and there. Imagine powerups hidden behind a wall of super-crates, but no balls to eat to get big enough to break the super-crates! So occasionally there will be spots where it seems impossible to break them, but if you can find the hidden cache of soda pops, drink them down, then dash over to the super crates before you burp back down to size, the secret goodies are all yours!
Got the soda pop out of the side area. The crates are "on"!
Zip over and break the crates and gobble that powerup!

We've tried to do that as much as possible--ensure as many objects or balls have a pro and a con. Some objects may seem "obviously bad" but a lot of them have a benefit (possibly hidden at first). We've worked hard to increase the depth for players to explore the puzzles and possibilities. Not to mention to add more fun options and depth for when players make their own levels!