January 11, 2015
Today I’d like to talk about our flagship game – Mr. Snapz: Cookie Caper.
The inspiration behind the game, funnily enough, originates back to 1990 when I (John) first played Bugs Bunny’s Crazy Castle on the Nintendo Game Boy.
When we first set about designing Cookie Caper, it was a very different thing: a science-fiction puzzle platformer, rather than one set in a colourful candy-filled world.
But those memories of Crazy Castle kept coming back to me.
Your mission in that game was to find all the carrots on each stage of the game. Obstacles included fellow Loony Toons characters, in addition to the stage itself being a maze. On the player’s side were objects that could remove the enemies from the game – dropping an anvil from a ledge onto Elmer Fudd, for example, in classic Loony Toon’s style.
Also on the player’s side were stairs and stairway halls. The stairs were just brick steps that lead to a higher level. The stairway hall allowed the player to disappear for a moment and re-enter the maze on the other level of the stairway. I remember really enjoying the strategic use on show here, since only some of the enemy AIs could use the stairway halls.
The corollary to Cookie Caper is that Mr. Snapz is chasing down cookie pieces to make a whole cookie. He also has comedic enemies, mostly of confectionary nature.
But instead of the player being the source of humor, the villains in the game provide comedic antics. There’s something intrinsically funny about a giant lollipop biting off the head of a gingerbread man.
Another difference is that, in addition to the objective of collecting all the cookie pieces, there is a time factor. The pieces must be collected within a certain amount of time in order to pass to the next stage.
The stairs and stairway halls inspired the lifts and the teleporters in Cookie Caper. Both the lifts and the teleporters provide advantages and disadvantages to players. They can be a quick getaway or false lead – and there are much more interesting applications that I’ll leave for players to discover on their own.
Thanks for reading – and stay tuned!