Autumn in Berlin is a beautiful time of the year, the leaves are red, the weather is calm and creatures of all kind are in love. And for a 20 something single man with no romantic prospects it is depressing as all hell. The one thing you don’t want to do then is make a multiplayer game and play test it over and over again pretending to be your own friend. But despite my best efforts to avoid situations that remind me of how lonely I really am, I keep finding myself smack dab in the middle of those situations all the time.
Just like the weeks before I decided to dive into my bottomless bag of childhood experiences and try to recreate one of them for my game this week. The Indian childhood classic “Chidiya Udd” is a game played by a group of friends sitting in a circle with their fingers placed on a flat surface. One of the players would exclaim “The Pigeon FLIES!” at which point all players will raise their fingers to agree with the fact that a pigeon does in fact fly. The player who fails to do so loses and the remaining players continue on. The “Caller”, the player who makes claims will often confuse other players by sneaking in a statement that is obviously untrue, something like, “The Rabbit FLIES!”.
Recreating this experience digitally turned out to be not as difficult as I expected. All I had to do was keep track of the two players’ on button up inputs and check them with the image displayed at that moment. The images themselves were creatures and objects selected randomly from a modest pool. I then assign points to the players accordingly and time the game loop to determine a winner when the time runs out.
The game development although not as mechanically challenging did prove challenging in other aspects. I spent most of the time making art for the objects/creatures and polishing the overall look and feel of the game. I believe the efforts of my subconscious mind to create an arcade experience were by far displayed the most in this game.
I was also really thrilled by the reception of the game during the play test especially by Prof. Florian who was visibly elated throughout the play and played the game multiple times with different students.