Co-Optimus - Editorial - Indie-Ana Co-Op and the Dev Stories - Having Two Different Minds

Indie-Ana Co-Op and the Dev Stories - Having Two Different Minds - Page 2

Careful... careful...

We also want to create hysterical, memorable times for our players. We took great care in the design of the levels to ensure teamwork be required in every one of them. This interaction starts very simply in the early levels, for example having one player to jump into a 1x1 gap so the other can push a box over them, rather than have it fall into the gap and become immovable. But the required synergy quickly builds, and in later levels a large number of precise steps are required from each character in order to advance. Some have asked whether a mentally intense puzzle-solving environment is appropriate to co-operative play, and we’ve been thrilled with the results.

Where a single player and a single mind can sometimes be advantageous in avoiding communication difficulties early on in the game, a team’s strength comes from having two different minds both working to solve a puzzle, and this strength starts to shine as the game progresses. Later levels require lots of planning and lots of trial and error, and where a single mind can get stuck in a particular mindset and fail to advance, the ability to bounce ideas off another person and have another creative mind working on the same puzzle really becomes an advantage. But communication is certainly something players will need to work on together if they want to see the game to the end.

Of course, simply picking up your friend and tossing them into a pit of lava is just as much, if not more fun than actually solving a puzzle, and that’s why this is absolutely encouraged. Get sick of someone barking at you about placing that dynamite correctly? Push them into that 1x1 square and drop it at their feet, and then see what they say about placement. They make fun of you for getting bit by that snake one too many times? You can actually carry it over and have it bite them. And I think you can still carry pygmies too. Not sure if that’s a bug or... Anyways, even though we’re huge fans of a dynamic duo talking over their plans before a level, executing a complicated sequence of action and timing puzzles perfectly, and getting a gold medal in both time and retries at once, we’re just as much fans of petty bickering getting in the way of any puzzle solving whatsoever. Afterall, PvP was always most fun when you weren’t supposed to be doing it, wasn’t it?

Our lovable heroes find themselves in a little bit of a bind

Adventurers who can overcome their need to kill each other, however, will have the greatest experiences with Wyv and Keep as they’ll get to spend the most time with them and witness all of the witty banter and charming interactions between the two characters. We wanted players to become invested in their characters and really enjoy the journey together, so we took just as much care in the writing of the script and the animations as we did to level design. You’ll quickly find Wyv to be a boisterous, adventurous free spirit with a one track mind that’s on the rails toward treasure. He’s slightly absent minded when it comes to anything other than gold coins, shiny gems, and priceless relics, and his solutions to puzzles tend to be the first thing that pops into his head.

Keep’s the polar opposite, as she’s careful, calculating, and responsible. We assume she’s got a love of treasure as well since she follows Wyv into perilous Amazonian jungles, but she often seems more concerned with her hair and makeup. She can be seen lecturing Wyv out of one of his sillier ideas or grabbing the map away from him when he’s led them in circles, and regularly saving the pair from certain doom. We think Wyv’s need to adventure and obsession with shiny things resonates with male fans, while girls relate to Keep’s love of sweets. Or if you’re a male fan with beautiful golden locks and who appreciates a cupcake? By all means!

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