What a popular little experiment!

The last few days have been wild. Specter Spelunker Shrinks was really just supposed to be a prototype. I just wanted to experiment and get some feedback about the design. Boy, did I get feedback! Here’s some of the press and what people are saying:

EDIT: Also on Bytejacker!

The message is very clear: people like the concept. I have a ton of ideas for the full game but I have yet to decide what platform I’m going with or what exactly the scope will be. There are also many possibilities for how the gameplay might grow. Scaling works well when it’s put beside almost any other spacially related gameplay mechanic.

If you have any ideas, lemme know. I’m very open right now to new ideas. It’s also just a very fun thing to talk about! So don’t be shy to drop me a line 🙂

For the record, guys at CrudePixel, it’s “Grafals” like “Niagara Falls”. Only without the Nia-. So it’s just -Gara Falls. But without the extra ‘a’ and the ‘r’ is right after the ‘g’… Oh forget it!

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12 thoughts on “What a popular little experiment!

  1. Daniel

    Well, they do say the simple ideas are the best. You deserve the attention. Enjoy!

    I’m trying to come up with ideas, but I suspect you’ll have thought of them already: What would happen if it was a two player game? Who would stomp on who first?;-) Actually, that now makes me think of the scene in the Sword in the Stone where Merlin and Madam Mim race through different animal transformations to try to outdo each other.

    Or what if it was more co-operative? What if every time player one shrunk, player two grew and they had to navigate spatial puzzles like that. Or what if it was Lemmings style with the player character shrinking/growing to help out some npcs?

    What about introducing particle effects? or fluids? Imagine stomping in puddles which later become seas as you shrink. Ooh, what would happen if you got trapped in a bubble? Maybe you could do that on purpose to float across the terrain…

    Sorry, not very good ideas at the moment i’m afraid, my brain is mush just now. If I come up with anything else i’ll let you know. I’m really interested to see where you take this, but careful you don’t give away your ideas too soon, keep them for your next prototype;-)

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  2. Ken Post author

    @Mik, haha I had never heard that one! I should replace the spelling of my last name with the phonetic pronunciation of my last name. OK, maybe not

    @Daniel, woah! That’s a lot of ideas! 😀 Very trippy. I can really see that Sword in the Stone scene with the two player versus game. It’d be funny to get eaten by your opponent! I especially also like the two player co-op idea where growing one player shrinks the other. I appreciate how that’d force the two players to usually have a different perspective on the puzzle and how they’d have to share the perspectives to come to a solution.

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  3. l3reak

    I’d love to see something from you on the Android market! I believe every Android phone has hardware buttons, they pretty much all have a trackball/trackpad/4way-rocker or something dpad-esque like that, and the most popular device has a full keyboard, so there shouldn’t be any input issues. I’d be thrilled to see Indie development pick up on that platform.

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  4. Ken Post author

    Agreed, the physical keyboard on Android phones like the G1 and the Droid make it a good platform for 2D or 2.5D platformers. And with Unity 3.0 supporting Android there’s little reason not to make an Android game if you’re making an iPhone game.

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  5. Malcolm Ryan

    Nice original game mechanic. I’m glad to hear you’re interested in doing something more with it than just this platformer (the “generic platformer with a gimmick” market is getting rather saturated). I think it would be good to make the world seem more realistic and less just arbitrary spaces. Coming out of the tap was nice — do more of that! There’s something really interesting about exploring everyday spaces at a different scale to normal.

    But seriously, ‘z’ to jump? Is your spacebar broken or something?

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  6. Dave

    Well, they do say the simple ideas are the best. You deserve the attention. Enjoy!

    I’m trying to come up with ideas, but I suspect you’ll have thought of them already: What would happen if it was a two player game? Who would stomp on who first?;-) Actually, that now makes me think of the scene in the Sword in the Stone where Merlin and Madam Mim race through different animal transformations to try to outdo each other.

    Or what if it was more co-operative? What if every time player one shrunk, player two grew and they had to navigate spatial puzzles like that. Or what if it was Lemmings style with the player character shrinking/growing to help out some npcs?

    What about introducing particle effects? or fluids? Imagine stomping in puddles which later become seas as you shrink. Ooh, what would happen if you got trapped in a bubble? Maybe you could do that on purpose to float across the terrain…

    Sorry, not very good ideas at the moment i’m afraid, my brain is mush just now. If I come up with anything else i’ll let you know. I’m really interested to see where you take this, but careful you don’t give away your ideas too soon, keep them for your next prototype;-)

    Like

  7. Patrick

    Suggestions:
    1) Include hidden areas that are particularly difficult to reach which grant access to easter eggs or bonus points or achievements or whatever.
    2) Gravity: include levels that have a circular surface where all things fall towards the center. You could have two camera options, where you can set the camera to orient with gravity or with an objective “up”.
    3) Multiple paths with multiple endings. Using the world model in 2) you could have the player either ascend to the stars or descend to the core, as well as including forks where one has to choose the easier or the more difficult (and more rewarding) path.
    4) Make the world bigger (and smaller :p).

    *) You could turn this into a dungeon delving game by adding monsters (and maybe shops for new weapons and armor, and experience points to unlock new abilities). Heck, you could totally Metroid out this game by not giving the player the ability to shrink or grow until they earn it, thus unlocking previously-inaccessible parts of the world, as well as wall-grabbing/springing and maybe even flight.

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  8. LightningLord2

    My idea with in-game objects is that they allow different interactions that are open if you’re in a certain size range. Also, exploding animals by growing inside them would be hilarious.

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