Friday, February 20, 2015

Super Tiny Monkey Act 2: White Beach

It has been a few weeks since we released Super Tiny Monkey on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The days that followed were spent on delivering an update that would improve user interface and resolve the bugs that were found quickly after release. Now that Apple has finally reviewed and approved of our update for the iOS version, it's time for us to get back on track and start won the promised Act 2 of the game (and soon, all subsequent Acts up to Act 5).

I wanted each Act to feel unique in terms of gameplay. We (yes, you who have played the game!) already know that the premise of the game-- just navigate through the platforms, avoiding obstacles and outrunning Rico the Poacher. It sounds repetitive by nature, so I never stopped thinking of ways to spice things up for the new maps that we're going to deliver.

First, Act 2 will no longer take place in the same old Forest Edge map. If you've played the game, you will notice from the map selection that Act 2 has a beach backdrop:

Secondly, the new map, which will be called White Beach map, will feature a brand new set of obstacles. Aside from Rico the Poacher pursuing you, everything else will be new. This map will have rivaling territorial monkeys that will knock you out if you ever stepped on their tree, while some will even hurl stones at you when you get in their range.

Lastly, the new map will introduce a new game mechanic-- the "ride" mode. This isn't anything new or innovative by itself. In fact, this type of gameplay has been known to be mixed in with other sidescrollers as well (Megaman, TMNT, etc.). In this mode, your character will ride a bird, and this will give the player a new gaming experience, with a new control scheme and yet again a new set of obstacles.

This is a work in progress!

So here's the basic idea: at the beginning of Act 2 Goggles and Paru will meet a new character named Beaks the Hornbill. Every once in a while during a run, Beaks will appear and the player can choose to ride on him or let him pass by. Upon riding Beaks, they will climb up in the air above the trees, and the camera will follow them. Welcome to the "ride" mode!

The "ride" mode, also a work in progress

Remember Gradius? Oh boy, that's one of my all time favorites. This new "ride" mode is inspired by that game in case it isn't obvious yet. Much like in Gradius, you cannot collide with any other creatures or projectiles running across the screen. In order to avoid these new set of obstacles, you control Beaks by swiping your finger across the screen. Beaks will move in the same direction as your swipe, so there's no more tapping or gliding in this mode. All the power ups that Goggles has learned are still usable here, and you can choose to be a defensive or offensive player. When you do get hit however, Beaks will be knocked down and you will eject yourself, only to fall back down below the trees. From here on normal gameplay and control scheme will be used and you can only hope for Beaks to appear again soon.

Beaks the hornbill concept art

So that's the gist of the first part of Act 2. These are all still works in progress, and now would be a great time to get your feedback. What do you think of the design? We'd be happy to take on comments and suggestions.

Hopefully I can work on a prototype real quick and show you guys a working gameplay footage. Until then, see you around!

-- LJ

To contact the author, just send your e-mail to

Gnome More War Switch Preview: The World

Gnome More War takes place in the fantasy continent of Skyra. It features 6 maps scattered across the central part of the continent. After F...