Some things have been happening that triggered me to write this blog post. One of them is that a good friend of the studio showed me a couple of neat muck-ups for a pixel art point-and-click adventure game, which took me down a rabbit hole of research, and I ended up reading 50 entries of the Thimbleweed Park blog in a day.
I also went to GDC for the fifth time! The first time I went to GDC I didn't have a good time, mostly because I didn't know anyone, my English wasn't great, and the projects I was working on at the moment were hard to talk about with a bunch of cool people at the Yerbabuena park.
Last year, I had a great time, mainly because I had two big things going on for me. The first one was that I gave a talk!. This was the first time I went to GDC with a ticket, which was great! The second thing is that I was working on Pullfrog and had one of the few PlayDates, (maybe the only one?) in San Francisco at the time, so everyone I met wanted to try out the game!
What happened with Pullfrog?
A lot! But it was on hold for about a year. We just took a break from it, mainly because Panic announced that thanks to the big success of the Playdate pre-orders, they were looking for games to publish.
We sent an email and a pitch deck but didn't hear back, so we assumed Panic wasn't interested. At the time we were working on Pullfrog's unlockable abilities, we had a bunch of ideas we wanted to try but to finish the game we had to focus on performance for a bit. We had already optimized the game a lot, but the game would drop to 20FPS regularly on advanced levels, so after sending the pitch deck, we decided to take a little break while we waited to see the future of the project.
We planned to publish this post in April! And a lot has happened since then, mainly that Panic! Got in contact with us, and we have been working on Pullfrog since the end of May. That’s the main reason why this post is published now: so that we can start writing about Pullfrog.
As I said in the previous log, we have been dabbling with 3D, and personally, I was really deep in to learning the Godot Game engine, so I wanted to make a small game with it to get it out of my system. So after we send the email, I started working on a small prototype.
The main idea of the game was to make a 2D platforming game with all the platforming mechanics: corner correction, dashing, wall jumping, double jumping, triple jumping, QUADRUPLE JUMPING, you get the idea. And we needed a way to limit the abilities, and one thing we hadn't done in a game before, was combat.
After I saw this GIF on my timeline, I came up with the idea of a game with a waterfall where you can climb to the top while punching things that are coming down. Depending on your combo, you get more platform mechanics.
After a day of working on it, I showed it to Jp, and he got excited and started working on the art. We made a couple of level prototypes to nail down the resolution and general workflow, and we had a nice demo!
Perfect, I said; in a month we will finish this little game and come back to work on Pullfrog.
It's been ~~10 months~~ 1 year, and we haven't finished, but here is how the game looks right now. We are pretty happy with it; we are still figuring out something on the main mechanics, but that's a topic for another log.