Colin Northway’s physics puzzler Incredipede came out last week. In this unique game you guide a little cyclopean creature named Quozzle to the sunbeam at the end of 60 pre-made levels or a potentially infinite number of user-made levels (currently there are over a hundred in the in-game level browser). The challenge arises from controlling Quozzle’s legs, which are built out of long bones and squishy muscles. Some levels will give you a pre-made body and task you with the movement only, whereas others will let you place musculature or even bones. Needless to say, solutions to Incredipede’s levels can be quite varied and the free-form nature of the puzzles are a big part of the game’s appeal.
Overall, the production values are quite good, with attractive woodblock-style visuals by Thomas Shahan and sound effects by Super Meat Boy’s Jordan Fehr. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the game’s interface, which is quite intuitive, whether you’re adding legs to Quozzle or developing your own level to share with other players online. This is especially important given how often you’ll be tweaking your creations, which, if you’re anything like me, will veer toward the break-dancing, as-many-legs-as-possible variety.
Fans of Colin’s first title, Fantastic Contraption, will feel at home with Incredipede, as they are similar games at heart. Incredipede is available for $15 direct or from GOG.com. An 11-level demo is playable on the game’s website but does not include any of levels where you get to design your own Quozzle.
Steam Greenlight: Incredipede
This is a new trailer for Colin and Sarah Northway’s Incredipede, which features artwork by Thomas Shahan. Slated for a late October release, Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control Quozzle, a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. According to the game’s website, it will come with 60 levels and a level editor.
Colin Northway, creator of the popular physics game Fantastic Contraption, unveiled his latest project at Sense of Wonder Night in Tokyo last week, as part of the Tokyo Game Show. Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. The game will put various obstacles in front of you that you have to overcome with your creations. From the looks of it, you’ll have a lot of options in terms of what you can make and how you want to get past each obstacle!
Colin has made it clear that Incredipede is very much work-in-progress, and the graphics do not reflect the final look of the game. A video of his SOWN presentation can be found below (the noisemakers are provided to the audience to sound their approval).
Colin Northway gave a fairly business-oriented postmortem of his game Fantastic Contraption at this year’s Independent Games Summit called (no big surprise here) Postmortem: The Design & Business Behind Fantastic Contraption. He had actually given this talk previously at the last GDC Austin, so I can link you to Brandon Boyer’s detailed Offworld coverage of that session rather than typing up all these darn notes myself! In short: Flash is good, Box2D is great, and anyone can create and publish a successful game all by themselves. (Though, backup from Andy Moore certainly doesn’t hurt!)
Okay, it was a bit more in depth than that. Read on, if you dare!
Fantastic Contraption was conceived one night when Colin awoke and scribbled down a note beginning with “Cool Shit Idea.” The majority of the game was done within a few weeks, using only notepad and a command line compiler. A bunch of user (i.e., family) testing and website work later, the game was released. After going away for a weekend, Colin returned to find the game had blown up on StumbleUpon, crushing the servers. “It was a good problem to have, but there are no good problems, only problems.” Needless to say, the game quickly became a success. Andy Moore was soon brought in to manage the rapidly growing fan community.
Apart from the stats and such, what I really took away from this talk were some great messages for independent (and wannabe independent) game developers in general. Colin built a solid game that seemed to perpetuate itself, putting no resources into press, portals, publishers, ads, or anything. Here are some of the more quotable quotes:
“Box2D is the Fire Flower of game development.” (He even kicked back some of the profit from the game to Erin Catto, which is awesome.)
“Money is dumb and lonely and just wants to be with other money.” Once the game took off, people started coming to him. But “pay attention to the slime factor” when dealing with the business end of things. (Colin was at one point offered a couple hundred bucks for the source of and full rights to the game.)
“Go into the wilderness” when deciding what to make, “make what you want, not what people say” — you will find success with your own creativity. Sometimes “everyone says no” but “you don’t need permission to make a really good game, or a successful one.” “There are no gatekeepers.” (This is my favorite!)
Embrace social networking; you don’t need to conquer it to use it. And “close the information gap, talk to other indies.”
Also, Colin casually said “fantastic” (outside the context of the game’s title) like fifty times. I wonder if he noticed. :)
All in all, pretty inspiring stuff!
Colin Northway’s Fantastic Contraption is a super-nifty Flash-based physics toy that follows in the steps of games like Armadillo Run and Crayon Physics. The goal in FC is to get a red polygon into a goal area by attaching to it various wheels and rods. It’s an elegant concept, it’s executed very well, and it’s tons o’ fun! Some of the later levels are just devious, too…
A paltry $10 lets you create your own levels and share them with other registered players.
P.S. Does anyone else see something a little, ah, Freudian about that screenshot up there?