The Dare to be Digital 2014 team talks to Develop about working on their entry title Kuria

Dare Blogs: Insert Imagination’s physics puzzler for Vita

What’s your game?
Kuria is a 3D physics puzzle game which utilises the unique controls of the Sony PlayStation Vita. Kuria transports the player to an underwater puzzle world, challenging them to manipulate the world using both the front touch screen and back touch-plate of the PlayStation Vita.

The player navigates the maze of pipes in all three dimensions to reclaim lost coins for the bath toy which has been lost down a plughole. Appealing to children of eight and up, Kuria will challenge and delight players, with mechanics inspired by well-known toys such as the Rubik’s Cube.

Kuria is set in the world beneath your bath plug-hole, and features two main characters, Scuba Stan and Squish the Starfish. Squish decides that he’d quite fancy a treasure chest of his own, and snatches the chest as the plughole is pulled from the bath, which is where the game begins. The final build we have produced for ProtoPlay consists of five levels, and introduces the player to the different features and controls as the difficulty advances, with two final levels to put their puzzling ability to the test.

What has the Dare experience been like?
It has been fantastic working in a ‘studio’ environment as a team. Doing at least nine-to-five every day as one unit has been enormous fun, particularly as we are working on a game that we are passionate about.

As we start drawing to a close on development, we find ourselves very happy with how Kuria has come along. The progress we have made has been amazing, seeing the game gradually develop from a 3D bathtub model on the Vita screen in week one to the four puzzling levels we have currently implemented in the game is amazing, and the feedback from industry mentors, play testers, and other Dare contestants has been fantastic help.

Getting to know each other more as well as the other teams in the competition has been great and we are all greatly looking forward to the final hurdle of ProtoPlay.

What have you learned from Dare?
Each team member has had varying roles throughout the competition each with its own challenges. One big lesson from Dare has been the unrelenting, unforgiving nature of iterative game development.

Keeping positive and professional for the benefit of the team, even when things seem tough, and keeping an open mind and open ear to the advice of mentors, your team members, and play-testers to strengthen the game in the long run. It has been great watching team-members tackle new skills as well as hone existing ones from the demand of the competition, and would really recommend the experience to anyone wishing to enter the Industry after their degree.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
Yes! Having the game complete and our idea finalised and playable will be an enormous achievement. Seeing the general public play Kuria will be extremely fulfilling. It is also really exciting to see how the other teams are preparing for the event and the indie projects that will be on show in Caird Hall over that weekend.

What are your ambitions after Dare?
Archie will be finishing off this final year of his degree at Abertay University, Steven is going on to complete his Masters at Abertay, and Jess, Shaun and Robin are looking to work in the industry. We hope that the game will challenge players of all ages to strategise in 3D, and would love the chance to develop it further in the future, and create even more mind-stretching challenges!

Follow Team Insert Imagination on Twitter, Facebook and see their blog to learn more about their game.

Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest is on 7th-10th August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square, with all 15 Dare student games on show, as well as over 30 indie games.

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