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

Dare Blogs: Polyhedron’s educational puzzle platformer

What’s your game?
Code Monkeys is a multiplayer puzzle platforming game for one to four players, with an emphasis on teamwork and communication. The main target audience is school children, however the game’s teachings will transfer to all ages and is even fun for casual players.

Players programme four robot monkeys each with unique abilities working together to reach the goal. Programming skills such as sequential thinking, planning and debugging are developed subconsciously while playing.

The game can also be used to encourage other game development skills by allowing players to create their own levels using the same tools as the designers. This can be expanded further, even allowing for replacing the entire art and sound asset library if the player wishes. Some may only ever play with the level creator, having fun with the tools it provides as others enjoy games like LittleBigPlanet or Minecraft.

What has the Dare experience been like?
Lots of hard work, we have put more effort into this project than anything we have ever done before. Going from a simple game jam idea to fully fledged development is a massive challenge but very rewarding.

Straight out of university we are competing in an international competition, being helped by some amazing industry professionals such as our mentor Alice Rendell from Kobojo, and getting to bring our game to such a big event where it will be played by so many people? It is a scary yet amazing opportunity that none of us could have seen coming when the game concept was just forming earlier this year.

What have you learned from Dare?
It has been eye opening. Most of us have never experienced a proper nine-to-five job before. After nearly seven weeks and 300 hours spent in our little office space we definitely have a better idea of what to expect from employment in the future.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
Absolutely, it’s an experience unlike anything any of us have done before. Having the opportunity to show off what we have been working on is nerve wracking but also a great chance to see what people think of the game.

What are your ambitions after Dare?
Hopefully ProtoPlay introduces us to some people in the industry who can help us promote our game into the right avenues and improve any aspects which are found to be lacking. Already through this process we have been put in touch with professionals who will help the game continue to grow.

We would absolutely love to explore more routes for Code Monkeys but we are also looking forward to creating new games with the knowledge acquired from participating in Dare.

Follow Polyhedron on Twitter @PolyhedronTweet and Facebook 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:

  • Ryan Coughlan – Games programming – Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Chris Coughlan – Game design, art, and web design – Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Sam Hirst – Games programming – Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Keir Rathbone – Game design and audio – Glasgow Caledonian University

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