Steph in Dreamland
Steph in Dreamland is a neat little platformer game about a girl trying to find her way through the dreamscape of her mind. It's based on the artwork of Steph Laberis and, to be perfectly honest, started as an attempt to win her heart. I'm not a great musician and I'm not an artist by any means, but I can make games! I was inspired by her artwork and thought to myself "hey, I could do something really neat with this!" I decided to give it a try and make a game so, with her permission, I proceeded to hack and chop up her pieces (tastefully) so they could be used in the context of a video game. I enlisted the help of my good friend Mark Sottilaro for the player animations and slammed out a ton of code. The original idea was to be done by the time she got back from a week long trip to Salem, MA. That didn't work out quite so well. The game simply wasn't very fun and was even a bit confusing. There were technical problems as well, such as the jump not feeling right and weird bugs with the gravity simulation. I bought more time, changed the design, stalled for even more time, and finally came up with something that I felt was pretty fun. Meanwhile, I was working on a book and crunching at work all at the same time. I ended up putting the game on hold for about 2 months while I got everything straightened out.
This project, which started out as a wooing of sorts, turned into something much bigger. I was determined to make it into a "real" game, make it fun, and try to have something very positive to show. It's still not done, but the major components are there and the first level is not only playable, it's fun. That's the key.
Now it's time for me to move on to other projects and let this one rest for a bit. I'll come back to it soon enough. In the mean time, I post it here for the world to see. Happy birthday, Steph.