Hi there! You've probably reached this page from the Freeplay website in search of the elusive 'Up Down Ready' which took Best Design in this year's awards.

UPDATE: Hello! If you've arrived here from StumbleUpon, why not go play the game now on Kongregate! With high scores and EVERYTHING.

The versions of the game that were on this page were hosted on Dropbox. Since the recent spike in traffic, Dropbox has cut off access to my public folder. I will hopefully be migrating this stuff across to an actual server, but the version on Kongregate is the official release.

I'm Delia, the Sword Lady half of Sword Lady and the Viking. You can find my teammate over here. We are third year students in the Games Design course at Griffith University, and Up Down Ready (previously known as Horse) is our first semester project from this year, made using Adam Atomic's free Flixel library.

We entered it in the Freeplay Awards for a lark, and were incredibly surprised and excited to make it to the finals and take away an award. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed making it!

- Delia

Monday, March 8, 2010

Game Concept 4 - You're in a box

You're in a box. A glass box. It's not much bigger than a person. You can move a little in the box - back and forth, bumping against the glass. The glass is so thick and heavy, the box doesn't budge. Outside the box, there's a breathtakingly beautiful world. You can see it, but you can't reach it, you can't hear it. You have to get there. You have to get out of the box.

You hurl yourself against the glass. You punch and kick and beat your head against it, to no avail. The box doesn't even move. You don't even leave a mark on the glass. Maybe you slump against the wall now - fall down, sob a little. You want to get out but you can't. You can't reach this beautiful world that seems just a hand's breadth away.

You get mad. Mad like a captive animal. You know no-one can hear you in here, but you have to get it out, and you scream. Loud and long and visceral and the more you yell, the more you want to yell. You are so caught up in the noise and the rage that you don't notice the box vibrating with the volume - at least, until it shatters.

The glass goes everywhere, bursting outwards away from you. You cower a moment in the wreckage as the pieces rain down around you.

When you look up, you aren't standing where you expected to be. You aren't standing in that sublime world that surrounded the box. But you can still see it. It's ahead of you, and above. In a blind fervour, you leap towards it, and tumble into space. You fall, surely to your doom. But the horrible sensation of the free-fall is broken surprisingly quickly as you crash land... into the wreckage of the box. You don't know how you got to be above it, but you're thankful for the absence of a grisly death.

Out in the empty space between you and the beautiful world, there are more boxes and other glass contrivances of all shapes and colours and sizes - drifting gently from side to side in an invisible aether, and all of them too far for you to reach easily. Infuriated again, you swear out loud; to your surprise, some of the boxes pop and shatter into a powdery mist. New ones coalesce from the pieces, and you are in luck: some of these are close enough to leap onto.

You step lightly from one glass creation to another, and happily begin humming a little tune. At the sound of your voice, the bridge beneath you collapses into nothing and re-condenses as a large Klein bottle, further up. With a gasp that causes an effigy of a kitten to shatter and shift downwards into a jellyfish, you manage to catch onto the rim of a passing bowl and haul yourself to relative safety.

You've figured it out, now - it's the sound that does it (took you long enough). Different pitches affect different coloured objects, and the volume dictates where they move in the space. Happily, and with more than a little trial-and-error and occasional dramatic falls, you make your way upwards and forwards, singing, whistling, yelling and cajoling the objects into position.

The beautiful, exquisite world is in reach. You can hear the sounds, taste the air. You step forwards off your last glass elevator and... bump into a wall. Startled, you stumble backwards - and bump into a wall.

You're in a box.

Mirror's Edge DLC, for visual reference.

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