Floating Wonderland: A gravity-warping 2D platformer
Floating Wonderland: A gravity-warping 2D platformer
Hi, I'm Rina Purdy, a solo video game developer, and this is my 2D platformer, Floating Wonderland.
Floating Wonderland has been a major passion project of mine for several years now. I've always held the philosophy of designing the type of game that I'd personally want to play, so here is exactly that! A 2D platformer set in a fantasy world of floating islands, where gravity can act in any direction. The gameplay features 3 playable characters with varied abilities, and involves them exploring large, expansive, and secret-filled stages, that encourage them to utilize gravity in order to navigate and explore. Touching arrows in the stage, or interacting with certain objects, will flip the gravity to a new perspective, changing the way the character interacts with the environment, and opening new paths. The game will expand on these gravity mechanics to facilitate all sorts of different puzzles and gimmicks.
Alongside my mechanics, I've also written a rich world for this game to take place in, and a set of endearing characters to go along with it. I've always been quite an avid story-writer, and this game has been my chance to really go wild with that. Following from my philosophy of designing what I'd want to see, it's also been a great opportunity for me to include LGBT characters in my main cast, which is representation I've always wished I could have seen during times of feeling different and isolated for being a lesbian.
The game is intended to have about a dozen different levels and environments, ranging from huge cities, to frozen glaciers, and wacky mansions. There are also many planned bossfights that either involve other characters, or larger monsters (or both!)
I've taken this game to various conventions and exhibits, and people have generally found it very enjoyable. This video shows me taking the game to PAX South, and sharing other people's experience with it.
The game is set in a fantasy world made up of an archipelago of floating islands orbiting around each other. On these islands, gravity operates in a unique way, in which every person and object is under the influence of its own gravity that acts in any particular direction, and can typically be changed by entering different gravity fields, which are littered throughout landscapes.
The world is populated by humans, and "mythics", which are human-like beings that typically have unique traits and supernatural abilities specific to their species, such as dragon people, that can manipulate fire, or rabbits, who can utilize telekinesis. Mythics are all vulnerable to contact with metals, which are toxic to them. There are typically many rifts between these people groups, and a lot of it has to do with events in the history of the world itself. Across their journeys, the 3 playable characters will each experience these conflicts from entirely different perspectives, and occasionally even fight each other. The whole plot can be pieced together from each individual campaign.
Kimiko is a 17 year old half human, half rabbit. with telekinetic abilities. She lives in a woodland treehouse with her best friend Rika, and is typically joyful and naive in personality.
Her story kicks off when Mima breaks into her home, and steals a precious item, which was a memento of her deceased mother. She chases after her to get it back, and the bubble of her sheltered lifestyle is burst as she is thrust into the ugly conflicts of the outside world, and gets the worst of both sides due to her half-breed heritage. She also begins to learn about what it was that Mima stole, and how it's related to her heritage.
Kimiko is a very lightweight character in gameplay, and has relatively floaty midair abilities along with the highest jump. As a special ability she can utilize a telekinetic field that draws in collectibles, or throwable projectiles. She also swings around energy balls, and anything she picks up, which can be used as either bounceable platforms, or projectiles to hit enemies.
Rika is an energetic and athletic human girl, who lives with Kimiko in her woodland cabin. She's playful, tomboyish, and much more hardened than her friend Kimiko, due to having her family and childhood home taken away by mythics. She goes everywhere with a magical floating doll, that she can use to augment her movement and offensive abilities
Rika sees herself as a vigilante, hunting down troublesome mythics and putting them in their place, So when her friend gets robbed by a dragon, she immediately gets involved! She's generally well-natured and avoids brutality, but as her story progresses, she starts seeing a much more sinister side to what the humans are doing, and ends up getting ostracized and hunted when she attempts to defend Kimiko.
In gameplay, Rika has a slightly higher movement speed than the other girls, but the lowest jump height. Her playstyle revolves around her acrobatics, and the combos she can do with her doll. The doll can be made to attack enemies, collect items, and latch onto walls an pull Rika like a grappling hook.
Mima is a dragon mythic living alongside friends and family in a village located on a volcanic island. She's a prideful and ambitious character, typically acting as a lone wolf in many scenarios.
At the start of her story, something happens that accidentally provokes the attention of the humans, and her village is raided and destroyed. She finds herself powerless to fight back, as the leader, Tessa, is an android that she can't touch or damage due to her vulnerability to metals. After a narrow escape from a thorough beat-down, and now being a target for mythic hunters, her only hope to fight back is to attempt an ancient immortality legend she heard of involving 3 magical relics - the first of which she finds just sitting on a desk in Kimiko's treehouse.
Mima uses her flight and fire powers in gameplay. She shoots fire to attack, and can spread her wings to reach high places. She can roll into a fireball to gain speed on slopes, and is also immune to all types of fire damage. She can swim inside lava, and other hot liquids, giving her access to certain areas that the other characters can't reach.
Saki is a nomadic Tanuki that befriends Kimiko early in her story. She will be a bossfight for all characters at varied points of their campaign, but her overall intentions are good. She is highly intelligent, and a bit of a rebelious character. She has strong grudges against some of the extended cast, most notably one of the villains that took her arm. Her abilities include being able to morph and stretch her body.
Tessa is one of the primary villains of the game. A childhood friend of Rika's, she's an Android created with the primary purpose of subduing powerful mythics. She acts as a dominant and oppressive force over all mythic characters in this world, and provoking her ire is practically a death-sentence. She is confident, cold, analytical, and ruthless. Her name stands for "Technologically Engineered Synthetically Sentient Android"
I am Rina Purdy. A 25 year old travelling freelance artist, plush toy maker, and hobbyist video game developer. I've lived as a hitch-hiking, couch-surfing nomad for pretty much my entire adult life, after growing up in an abusive setting, and getting tossed to the streets as a teen. Over the years, I've spent a lot of time developing a huge variety of skills from the many places I've ended up.
I've been developing this project almost entirely on my own, and have a lot of passion for what I do. I'm throwing everything that I have into this, and I'm picking up more skills just to make everything even better.
Part of me hopes that with this kickstarter, and hopefully eventual game release, I can put myself in a stable enough position that I can do some of the things that have been really challenging for me right now. I've lived off the kindness of other people for so many years, but this project is my attempt to finally stand on my own feet.
Ultimately, my biggest dream is to make something that I'm proud of, and that resonates with people. I don't really want much more than that, in fact, my highest aspiration in life is to live in a van or bus!
If you want to keep up with me, and everything I'm doing, feel free to follow my social media!
Budget and stretch-goals
There are so many things i want to do with this project, and some of it will partially depend on how much money I can pour into it. Obviously, a good proportion of the money will go into my own upkeep during the project's development - which is admittedly not much because I tend to be pretty low-maintenance. other funding goals include:
- Upgrading my current software: I'm currently using an outdated copy of Multimedia Fusion that I legitimately bought when I was 12 (I still have the box!). Also My version of MMF can't export Mac files, which I'm pretty sure is a default feature in ClickTeam Fusion. Either way, the upgrade will help me expand what I can do with the game, and hopefully make a better overall product.
- Console releases: I really want to get my foot in the door with Sony and Nintendo to release my game on their consoles, and possibly also look into physical releases.
- Possibly putting together a decent office space where I can work more efficiently than I do at the moment. Perhaps a decent computer set up inside a mobile home.
- £7500 - More playable characters: On top of my main 3, I have ideas for other playable characters including Saki, who uses morphing powers to temporarily gain new abilities with each form.
£10,000 - Translations: I'd like to release my game and story in more than just English, and so it would be worth working with people to translate it into other languages and ensure that it can be played by as many people as possible
- £15,000 - More merch: i really want to collaborate with other artists to produce amazing things that I can both keep as promotional, and also give to you guys as merch! Most things offered in my rewards are either things that I have, or am fully capable of producing myself, but I know there are plenty more things i can offer with work from other people (like the character art on my stickers and banner by @SamKalensky)
- £25,000 - Expanded universe comics: It would be so much fun to expand on the universe that I've created with more content. I already have several ideas that I know probably wouldn't fit into the game's plot, but would still be nice stories to tell.
- £35,000 - Voice acting: I would love to collaborate with voice actresses to really add some extra flavor to my characters and story.
This means so much to me, and I'm honored by every pledge I get! I'm hoping to release this game around mid-2020, although specifics will probably vary depending on what I can arrange, and how much I want to polish the quality of the game itself.
Risks and challenges
At this point, my biggest challenge is how far I'm willing to push myself, especially with everything going on in the rest of my life. I'm mostly just working on my laptop whenever I get the chance, but I'd really like the chance to get a stable position and my own office to work from, which is sort of the point of this funding really. I'm also entirely new to commercial development, so there are still things I'm learning as I produce this project. I'm confident in my abilities though, and absolutely do not want to disappoint.
Another major challenge is trying to secure console releases for the game, which is something I definitely want to do, but I've found to be surprisingly difficult. it'll obviously be on PC and Steam, but i really want to try for Nintendo Switch, Playstation, and other consoles. Physical releases are also something I want to push for, but are just as challenging to arrange.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)