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Working on Ramble in the Sky: Review

Our story of diggin' into the world of gamedev starts with the game Ramble in the Sky. As for our first project we were trying to think out some kind of gameplay that would be fairly easy to implement. We already had been working on Amoeba project for about a year or so, but the contents started to grow out of control - we kept thinking out new features to give some variety to gameplay. So we felt something like tired of it and decided to try out something more simplified.

At first I had an idea about jumping over round platform which are moving in circles with different radius and speed. That one was hard and had really slow pace: you had to wait for a minute until those platforms get in the right positions to jump. Also it was hard to understand trajectories cause of combining round moves and straight jumps.

Finally I thought: why the hell it should be so twisted, let's try just some rectangular platforms moving left and right. And that thing happened to be more dynamic and easier to understand. You watch those platforms and think something like "I'm sure I can make it" and then just mess it up. It is still hard to catch up with right moment of jump, but the pace became much faster - waiting 2-3 seconds was enough for the right moment to come compared to a 1-2 minutes in previous case.

So we decided to try that idea. We started to work on different details: world scheme, interface, arts, integration with googleplay services and so on. There always happen to be much more work to do aside from implementing the core of gameplay. I supposed those platforms to be literally a platforms: some kind of Dungeon scheme where you just jump over them inside of some endless cave. And Kx offered some other idea - the one we sticked on - Sky and clouds.

Now let's see how did it turn out and have some kind of a review.

That's what do you start with once you pushed the "Start" button. The man standing on the cloud is the main character. Once you catch the right moment just tap the screen and watch him jumping up to the next one. If it went out well you gain 1 point: those represent of how many clouds you have passed. Once you start jumping, beware that the clouds are a bit light for the full-grown man to stand on, so at some point the cloud will start to evaporate.

Once the cloud is dissapeared, character goes on his last chance to jump - and sometimes he hits the spot. While you move on, the speed of the clouds keeps increasing giving you even more challenge to deal with.

Watch him caught in the mid-air!

That's pretty all of the tricks behind the Ramble in the Sky. Some players might be frustrated about how hard is it to start with, but still you can feel the enjoyment of beating your own (or your friend's) score while you catch up with the right timing. We continue to work on balancing the "easy to start/hard to master" side, and I can say that as for now the balance is more to the hard part. Also the gameplay is simple by itself so there's not so many pieces to change without messing up the entire idea.

If you feel like posting about it - we would be glad to find out there are reviews on our game! Even if it would say something like "Nah, I tried it and was too frustrated/bored because of...". Those things can help us to improve gameplay or to work on other games that people can be interested in.

by Ricane at 18.05.2014 17:42

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