Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 20, 2013.

Update #7

Video Update: Basic Gameplay of Buddy & Me

2 comments
Hello Buddy & Me fans!

Fresh off of yesterday’s Android Support announcement, we have a cool new video to share with you. In the following video update, Sunbreak’s Creative Director Jason Behr takes you on a straightforward walkthrough of the basic gameplay mechanics and scoring planned for Buddy & Me’s initial release, including updated game footage straight from the iPad:


With more support from Kickstarter fans, we’d like to elaborate on those basics, expanding the number of obstacles, Buddy Assists, and variety of pickups in the environment. We’d also like to create a customization system, where players can exchange the Star Seeds they’ve collected for different outfits, upgrades, and mini-game modes. For example, a "Build a Treehouse" mode where players can over time expand a tree house piece by piece, for Angel Bunnies to live and play in. Or an interactive “Buddy Play” mode where players can pet, pose, feed, play, and take pictures of Buddy to send to friends. We’ve got plenty of ideas to make this game unforgettable!

Stay tuned for more video updates featuring the Buddy's character design, and a more in-depth look at the ways we're trying to re-think the endless runner genre for a wider audience, with fresh mechanics and accessibility. 

Thanks for watching,

The Buddy & Me Team

Sunbreak Games

www.sunbreakgames.com 

Comments

    1. Sunbreak_logo_color_640_tm.small

      Creator Sunbreak Games on April 11, 2013

      Matt, awesome feedback, we're definitely working towards something like that, let me give some behind-the-scenes info and see what you think.

      We prototyped the stars-for-speed concept, and it was a pretty awesome first impression. We had lots of fun figuring out how fast we could go before it got out of control, and pulled the camera out a bit for a better look ahead. We knew we were on to something at that point, that speed variation HAD to happen. But after a closer look, we noticed a few things. Pros and Cons:

      - (pro) Advanced players that want extra challenge, get it.
      - (pro) It really feeds in well to the whole scoring system. Going faster means going further, with more opportunities for more stars, and more quickly reaching time-pausing checkpoints, etc. It has a great snowballing effect.
      - (pro) Knowing we'd have a higher speed variation, it left room for our base game speed to be lowered slightly, which had an immediate positive impact on novice players, took away some of the platforming stress. We didn't have to compromise on a middle ground base speed to make everyone happy, we could have our cake and eat it too. :)
      - (con) If it's natural for everyone, novice or advanced player alike, to want to collect stars, in our prototype novice players weren't always aware that they were speeding up gradually, and so it started feeling like the game was mysteriously unfair and stressful for those not prepared for it. Part of that is our fault that we could try to address, like better feedback with "speed streaks" on the player, fixed tiers of speeding up, etc. But at the same time, again, if the goal is for everyone to collect stars, we were putting novice players in the position of unintentionally rewarding their success with stress, not more fun.
      - (con) We realized that if star collection was linked to both speed (increased difficulty) and Buddy, novice players probably would be much less likely to get to experience the game's finest companionship moment, of Buddy Flight. Keep in mind that in our current level layouts, you have to execute more advanced moves to reach bigger clusters of stars... so for a novice player, it can actually already take much longer and be more challenging to get enough stars to trigger Buddy.
      - (con) If we want to keep speed, we'll probably have to address this anyway, but... the level layouts are tuned for a fixed speed. The faster you go, the more and more it becomes luck to sustain that speed, because distances between obstacles just don't work anymore. We'd have to either manually create new level sets, or automatically create a system to smooth it out.

      So yeah, it's an interesting kind of creative conflict of interest. Advanced players deserve to opt into it, the game in general needs those highs and lows you described, but we don't want novice players to be so intimidated that their first impression is that the game's too hard. After all, the baseline game experience is a carefree romp in the woods with your pal. So now our discussion has turned to creative solutions, to keep the challenge for those that seek it.

      For example:

      - A special icon/pickup that causes a noticeable and immediate speed boost. Advanced players can seek it out, Notice players will either A) not be able to reach it or B) figure out how to avoid it. The big decision there is whether or not that speed increase is sustained and stackable over time, or if it's temporary. I'd like to go the stacking route.
      - A sequence of 3 or 4 harder-to-reach special colored Star Seeds (like Blue) in a row, that when successfully collected in sequence (bing! Bing! BING!!) lead to a "permanent" speed increase. Again, advanced players can work for this one.

      Whatcha think?

    2. 580316_10200745911603757_1227624658_n.small

      Creator Matt Lohkamp on April 10, 2013

      had a thought regarding speed:

      as the player collects stars, have them pick up the pace, so they're moving through the platforms faster and faster, until the climax is them jumping onto buddy and blitzing through a little flying sequence. this uses up stars (star power drains as they fly) and at the end, leaves the player jogging at a more moderate pace - which makes for a good sort of 'wave' feel to gameplay, where intensity builds with star collects and speed, climaxes at a buddy flying sequence, then calms down for a bit of a rest until stars accrue again.

      similarly, rather than knocking time off the clock, missing a jump and falling could use any banked star power for a buddy rescue - and consequently, a slower pace after the fall. It seems reasonable to assume that when players mess up and fall, it could be due to their speed, and not having enough time to react to an upcomming jump sequence - if so, this difficulty is then reduced after making a mistake, sort of setting up a continuous shift of difficulty and pacing as they make their way through the levels.

      ... entirely possible this idea isn't anything new, but thought it'd be worth sharing.

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