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

Dare Blogs: The Pillowettes’ bug-infested puzzle platformer D-Bug

What’s your game?
Our game is D-Bug, a touch-based puzzle platformer in which you can become your enemies. It takes place inside of Button, a retro handheld system who is infested with bugs. Players attack bugs to take control of them — Button’s interface will transform to show custom controls for each one.

Players use these controls to crawl, jump, and fly their way through Button’s circuit-board world. The goal is to use the bugs’ unique abilities to reach the corrupted microchip at the end of each level – and debug it.

What has the Dare experience been like?
Simply invaluable. Sharing the same workspace at Abertay with the other teams has proven to be a source of inspiration and positivity for us. Being given the opportunity to not only go through the stages of game development as a team, but also to watch other teams and their approach to game design, is an experience that only a place like Dare can give us.

Spending so much time with each other, with only Dare on our plates this summer, has allowed us to get an authentic feel for what working at a game studio is actually like. In addition, Dare has provided us with helpful advice from mentors in the games industry that we’ve really taken to heart.

Being at Dare, immersing ourselves in the physical space of a healthy think-tank, has really helped us to not only grow as a team, but has also allowed D-Bug to shape itself into the best experience it can possibly be for ProtoPlay.

What have you learned from Dare?
To accept change and flexibility in designing and planning D-Bug. Frequent playtesting and constant iterations has allowed us to refine our core mechanic and make sure that that’s really fun and meaningful. In addition, we’ve learned to adapt when things might not go according to plan. This is really where we learnt the most.

Sometimes our game, seemingly organically, will take us in a different direction in the way we continue developing it. This is really the most exciting part for us and is how we get to make discoveries about our project that change the way we think about it.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
ProtoPlay will be an exciting opportunity to not only proudly exhibit what we’ve been working so hard on for the past few weeks, but to also use the event as a way to actively playtest as the event is happening. For us, D-Bug is constantly evolving, and ProtoPlay is just the beginning of its growth. We also can’t wait to walk around and check out the other completed Dare games.

I think at the end, we’ll all marvel at what we were able to put together in just one summer. If anything, ProtoPlay will be a testament to the quality of person we’ve had the great fortune of working in the same space in.

What are your ambitions after Dare?
While four of us still have to complete school after Dare is finished, we all regard Dare as one of the most important milestones in our journeys into the world of game design and development.

We were fond of D-Bug when we first conceived of it at the beginning of this year, and we’ve grown even fonder as we’ve spent time with our game during this summer. We hope to help D-Bug grow into something bigger beyond the scope of Dare. This certainly isn’t the end!

Follow The Pillowettes on Twitter and Facebook 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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