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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Game Concept 5 - The Fisherman and the Moon

Just after dusk in a peaceful oceanside village. Out on the water where the sheltered bay meets the wider sea, the fisherman hauls in his last catch of the day. There is a heavy storm lurking on the horizon, and he wants to be back home and dry before it hits.

Knee-deep in slippery silver bodies, he reaches for his oars - and to his dismay, finds them missing! Frantically, he casts about in the boat for them, but they are nowhere to be seen. They must, he thinks, have slipped out of the oarlocks and overboard while he was busy pulling in the nets. He reaches over the sides of the boat, in a vain attempt to paddle back to shore with his hands, but with the weight of the fish, he can't even budge it.

The storm is encroaching at a frightening pace now; the fisherman can see high, white-capped waves rolling towards him. With no practical solution in sight, he looks up at the moon and utters a soft, crooning, sing-song prayer for safety. To his surprise, his prayer is heard - the moon seems to drift coyly a little closer, and he feels the unmistakeable surge of the tide beneath his boat. He laughs and sings the soft, lilting prayer again - and the tide pulls stronger.

Delighted, he calls to the moon, flattering and praising her. She gets closer and closer and now the tide becomes wild and uncontrolled, and he is sent sprawling back onto the pile of fish in his boat, on the verge of capsizing. He flushes with anger and changes his tune in an instant, yelling vulgarities and cursing her carelessness. She backs away into the sky and after a moment, the water is dead still.

The fisherman, however, is still far out from the shore, and the oncoming storm is closer and more threatening than ever. Overcome with penitence, he lowers his voice again and murmurs his apologies to the moon, drawing her back. Again, she comes too close, and again he sends her away - but his boat is now a little closer to shore. The fisherman smiles - he knows what to do now.

After an alternating sequence of soft, gentle cajoling, and violent screaming anger, the fisherman, exhausted, manages at last to bring his boat ashore, hauling it up with its precious silvery load onto the shore just as the first drops of rain strike on the sand. He gives his thanks to the moon and unloads the fish into a wooden bucket - and much to his surprise, nestled lengthways in the bottom of his boat, are the two mysterious disappearing oars.

With one last screaming curse, he makes his way up the hill in the pouring rain.

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