An adventure game with unique platforming puzzles. For iOS / Android Tablets, Win, Mac, OUYA, Linux
If that didn't make much sense, play the demo!
Want to know more?
LEVEL is a unique puzzle platformer adventure game with a twist! Like any side-scroller, the screen scrolls to the side in order to keep your character, a charming little maintenance robot, on the screen. But in LEVEL, only the "level" you are on scrolls. The area above or below you remains static, and you'll have to use this mechanic to line up jump portals, connect circuits, open new routes, etc!
And if that didn't make any sense at all, go watch the video.
Or better yet, play the demo. Here. L/R - move, U - jump, D - pickup
The core gameplay mechanic is the sliding scrolling levels. Only the level you are currently on scrolls when you hit the edge of the screen. (The levels snap at grid increments, so lining things up where you want them is never a pixel based struggle.) At its simplest this leads to the basic mechanics. These are implemented and playable in the demo already, and there are more to come!
- Aligning the levels to allow jumping through vertical portals. Some go up and down through through the middle of the screen, and some go out the bottom and come back down the top.
- Aligning levels to connect circuits which do things like open and close doors.
- Using jump pads to reach higher areas or propel yourself faster through level portals.
- Avoiding lava and monsters (hey, it's a video game, right?)
- Carrying around batteries and stepping on switches to power circuits.
- Getting keys for doors. Exciting.
This mix of mechanics allows for some awesome combination puzzles, like luring monsters into areas you can't reach to get a key for you, deactivating a circuit to build him a bridge, getting him onto a switch to open a door for you to get the zapper to kill him to get the key to progress! YEA! SCIENCE!
Did I mention that there is a demo? L/R - move, U - jump, D - pickup
In July 2011, the Adobe AIR App Challenge, Sponsored by SONY was announced. This was a game design competition meant to get some new and unique apps developed, specifically ones that took advantage of the dual screen design of the Sony Tablet P.
The initial version of LEVEL was designed for this competition in approximately two months and won an award for Most Innovative App. It was one of the few apps that was designed from scratch to take advantage of the dual screen design, and that's how the two level sliding mechanic came to be.
After winners were announced in November 2011, LEVEL was given a bit of polish and a few more levels and was released into the world. This was only ever intended as a prototype version, but gathered a lot of positive reviews and feedback on the Android Market.
In it's current state, LEVEL has a working engine, a bunch of mechanics, a number of levels ready to go, etc. In fact, using the already made level editor, it would be possible to just build more levels and call it done! But there's a lot more I want to do...
Here are some of the things I would like to add into the game!
- Graphics overall. I made the original game in 2011 for an under powered mobile device, with no time to optimize or take advantage of the GPU. I also barely had time to do artwork. That's why its all so black and white and plain. I want to slap a few coats of polish on this sucker! The style will still probably be fairly simple, because that's what I prefer, and it suits the theme. But all in all, things could use a face lift. Some character and personality.
- More mechanics. Including light / laser based puzzles, delay switches hooked up to circuits, manual level sliding levers, teleports. Many of these are easy to implement, but finding all the right ways to make them into puzzles is what will take time.
- A bunch of maps. Actually, I want to scrap the old maps (reusing ideas and specific puzzles) and roll it all together into a more cohesive world of maps and zones. Most of the current maps are very short and focus just on their few puzzle elements. Larger areas will mean more opportunities to do little bits of story telling and making the whole world feel bigger.
- Adding story. Nothing crazy, but I'd like to have a bit of plot to give a better reason than, "Oh no, better get out of here!" The starting idea is that you, the maintenance robot, become locked in the testing chambers when a new employee shuts down the facility without checking that the chambers are empty. From there, you will escape and, along the way, learn more about where you are. Hopefully they'll get you back out when the morning comes, but who can say for sure?
- Side quests. Again, I don't want this to get crazy, but I want something more for you to do than just jump your way through the maps. Along with the story, quests will have you collecting items needed to progress, restoring power when it goes out, helping out the AI...
- Music! Rather than buying a few random samples of music off of some website, I'm hoping to pay a real composer to make an original score. This will be a stretch goal. If I don't raise enough for this, I'll make sure to buy some really good music anyway!
- The AI! No, not GladOS. But I can't lie that this whole game is obviously a love letter to Portal. But this AI is friendly, and when he realizes you are locked in there and he is mostly useless to help, he will do everything in his power to try to give you information and tools you need to get out.
Hi! I'm Mike. Mike Stanton. I go by drMikey on the internet, and call my business venture drMikeyStudios. I am not a doctor, and my studio is a desk in a spare room in my house. Sweet.
I have been a gamer my whole life, and have been developing games for the past 10 years. You haven't heard of any of them, but I've won some awards!
- 06/12 - Planet Smashers - 2nd Place - Activision Independent Game Competition
- 10/11 - Conveyor - Best Game: Adobe AIR App Challenge
- 10/11 - Level - Most Innovative App: Adobe AIR App Challenge
- 11/08 - Harrahs TSQ Slot Machine - 1st place Best Outdoor Ad
- 11/08 - Jumbli launches live in Times Square and across Facebook
- 10/08 - Takuta - 1st - place MeezInside Contest
- 03/06 - Swing Most Innovative Game Parson's Mobile Game Mosh
I'm the whole game development team! I do all the game design, artwork, development, etc! The only thing I don't create originally is sound.
What I'm looking for this time is enough funding to allow me to sit down and turn LEVEL into the game it deserves to be for a full release.
So maybe you know how Kickstarter works and maybe you don't. I'm asking for $10K to work on LEVEL. If I raise at least that amount, Kickstarter sends me the money minus their fees and Amazon Payment Fees. I'll see roughly %80 of that money. Then from out of that comes money I'll spend sending out rewards to all you lovely people. I'll use what's left to build the game!
If the funding goal is not hit, you are never charged and I don't get a penny! Not a single penny. NO PENNIES.
Why do I need this money in the first place? Being a team of one, I don't have a lot of people to pay, but I do have to keep myself alive for the duration of development, and pay any hosting or licensing fees that I need to. If I raise enough, I'm also hoping to get some professional music done, as well as sound effects, and maybe a real voice actor as well!
Looks like the game is done already? It's not! I've got a bunch of concepts working, but the engine is super buggy and needs an overhaul. So do the graphics. And the sound. And the (lack of) story. Look at it like this. Right now it's basically just a puzzle game. I want to turn it into a (lightly) story driven adventure game that features some great puzzling mechanics. Trust me, there is a lot of work to do!
Also, I'm taking part in the OUYA #FreeTheGames fund!Double Our Fun(ds)!
Have you still not tried the demo? L/R - move, U - jump, D - pickup
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The most obvious challenge to most people is that I am a single person developing this game. From a development standpoint, this has never been a problem for me. I work quick, iterate, and do my best not get bogged down in trivial details. I do my best to avoid working in a vacuum by sending out prototypes to the ShackNews game community, and will get constant feedback from backers!
Early in development I almost scrapped the game entirely as I ran into a big challenge I saw coming. It seemed as though the very nature of the sliding levels would become a hindrance to expansion. If the level you are not on never moves, how can there be enough availability of movement to keep the game playable? This was solved through many hours of level design testing and theory, and new mechanic introduction. Moving forward, there are even more mechanics that will help keep things interesting (manual control of other levels between fixed points, teleports, more than two levels per map) Furthermore, the larger resolutions available on tablets and desktops will allow a larger base world size.
No, that's just the silly video. Sorry for the confusion, you play as one of the bots who is trapped in the facility when one of the managers doesn't do their job.
This wasn't mentioned in the campaign because I wasn't sure! The game is all being built in ActionScript 3, with the intention of native desktop support with Adobe AIR. Adobe stopped supporting air for Linux 2 years and 2 versions ago. That said, a native executable may be possible. If not, Linux players will certainly get a copy of the bundled to together and ready to be played in browser with a fullscreen option. So YES! Linux is a GO!
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