The Dare to be Digital 2015 team talks to Develop about working on their entry title SquishFits

Dare Blogs: Future Pixels’ Human Tetris-like puzzler

What’s your game?
SquishFits was born out of the latest Global Gam Jam. Based on the theme ‘What do we do now?’ a multiplayer game was created that aims to invoke that question in the players. The players control four unique shapes which must squish together to fit through the oncoming walls.

Based on the popular Japanese game Human Tetris (and Hole in the Wall in the US), walls approach the players and they must determine together how to fit through the shapes. Sharing lives, they must work together to avoid anyone being knocked out of the play area. Points are awarded for how accurately the players are able to fit through the holes.

Getting progressively harder, the players are continually challenged. There is an aesthetic competitive edge too. In between waves of walls, players can score additional points by showing off through flips and jumps. The player who has the most style points gets to wear the crown.

What has the Dare experience been like?
Dare to be Digital this year has taken a different direction to previous competitions which has worked in our favour. Ryan and I have a history of taking on a lot of work because we love a challenge. We’ve participated in a number of game jams, while trying to also balance Honours projects and Masters projects, and Dare is no different.

Alongside working on games, I also write software for a local satellite company and currently I’m residing in Ohio participating in the International Space University’s Space Studies Program. This creates an interesting logistical challenge in trying to coordinate development of the game with Ryan, who is based in Scotland.

Dare’s consistently fantastic with the outreach it manages. It’s amazing to be put in contact with the mentors that we have this year.

What have you learned from Dare?
Due to the nature of this year’s Dare and our schedule, we haven’t been able to work in a similar manner to a games studio. However, we’ve worked on multiple games together over the past few years from which we gained such experience.

Instead, our assigned mentor from Tag Games has been able to provide us with input which we hope to utilise to help emphasise the fun of playing our game when we showcase at ProtoPlay and future game expos. We’re pretty confident in our abilities to make an awesome game, but we’re lacking in experience of showcasing them, so his advice and experience is invaluable.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
Myself and Ryan have attended ProtoPlay in previous years, showing off games that we’ve worked on at the indie section. Each year it gets better and we believe this year will be no different. There is no greater feeling than when you get to see people play and love your creations.

Being able to put a smile on a single person’s face is great. Being able to do it for thousands of people? It’s a privilege, and we cannot wait to get stuck in!

What are your ambitions after Dare?
We want to help SquishFits find its best platform. Future Pixels is passionate about the importance of local multiplayer games and so we will be looking to platforms which will nurture the fun gameplay in the form that we’re aiming for.

Follow Future Pixels on Twitter @FuturePixels_15 to learn more about their game.

Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest is on 13th-16th August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square, with all 16 Dare student games on show, indie games, talks, workshops and more.

Team members:

  • Skully Brookes – Programmer – Abertay University graduate
  • Ryan Johnston – Artist – Abertay University graduate

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