Flywrench started as a game I released for free online in 2007. It's since been exhibited in a variety of venues, from gaming expos to music side stages and museums. The gameplay is this: Each maneuver your ship can perform changes its color. Match an obstacle’s color to pass through it. There are no lives, you can attempt levels as many times as you want. There's also no break between when you die and when you respawn, you just constantly play. It can be intense, but it's not unfairly frustrating. You can download it here (Windows only)
Watch someone play through it
The funding is to expand the game. I'd like to finish a large chunk of it in time for the 2010 Independent Games Festival in San Francisco, submissions are due Nov 1st. I'm going to recode the game (the original was programmed with Game Maker) which will let me update the visuals and create more dynamic levels without slowdown. I'll also be able to make it run on Macs.
I'm working on this full time so some of the funding will go to living expenses, the rest will be for paying programmers when I need them.
[...The result is that completing the game is not simply a matter of navigating its obstacles, but of deftly controlling the player character, the ‘flywrench’, itself. Not only is it an effort to just maintain stasis in Flywrench, but it is extraordinarily easy to over-correct when you do move. On top of that, once you get into the meat of the game it is impossible to succeed without making quick, decisive, and sometimes very precise movements.
The question is, of course, why would someone want to play a game that fights being played well?
Because when it is played well, it is beautiful.
Flywrench captures something that is typified in the early Mario games and recently exemplified in Super Mario Galaxy: that movement can be the most compelling thing in a game. When controlling the avatar is some of the challenge, and when that challenge is ever-present, then obstacles cease to be arbitrary and begin to be opportunities for performance.
Every run you make in Flywrench will be completely different. Sometimes they will fail, sometimes you will stumble but still succeed through luck. Sometimes though, you will manage to send your colorful avatar flailing through the air exactly as you planned. In those moments you understand not just why Flywrench is beautiful, but what is beautiful about games.] Charles Pratt - Game Design Advance