The theme for the Global Game Jam 2013 was “the sound of a heartbeat”. Tanja Borzel had an idea for a game involving single cell beings swimming in the primordial soup, the player would synchronize the beat with other cells in order to connect to them, “becoming friends” and merging towards a multi-cellular being.
We teamed up and built a first prototype. She took care of the art direction and created all the graphic assets, I wrote the code. I had not been using Löve2D for a couple of years, last version I had checked was 0.5.0. Over time, new versions of this framework had come out, adding new interesting features like shader support and sprite batches. I decided to give the latest version at the time (0.8.0) a try. I was pleasantly surprised, so much that this is the framework I have been using for the majority of my games in these two years.
First of all, we made a game with a strong influence from “exploration” games, something deliberately relaxing without any pressures on the player nor fast-paced action. One of the design goals for this game was “no aggression”. We would avoid any game mechanics involving cells “attacking” each other, by eating or any other similar means. On top of that, another design goal was to create a game without instructions, a game where the whole point of it is to learn how to play by trying. Given that the concept of this game is very different from the typical ones, in terms of new game mechanics to learn, the prototype had the flaw that it was very obscure and players were mostly lost. Across time, this has been a game that survived in a corner of my hard disk. Every few months I would go back to it and change a few things and show it to friends for play-testing. Through this iterative process, the game has evolved into what it is now. I am satisfied with how accessible it has become, and I am finally sharing it publicly.
As I mentioned, the game is made with Löve2D (version 0.9.1). It’s free to download, but we appreciate a donation if you like it. It’s available at itch.io.