Octo-Darwin is a fast paced, side scrolling platform shooter we created for the Ludam Dare game Jam competition (A competition where you are tasked with building a game in 72 hours). Bat-Monkey has escaped from Darwin’s evil lair and stolen the evolution gun! You control Bat-Monkey and help him escape by shooting the glowing objects (bananas, mud puddles and horses) to rapidly evolve them and slow Darwin down.
I was the designer in the team consisting of myself, Oliver Knott, Alistair Lynn, Jeremy Morse and Sam Phippen. The theme this year was “Evolution”. This instantly led us to think about Charles Darwin and monkeys, but we wanted to make evolution a more active part of the game. To do this we introduced the “Evolution Gun” which rapidly evolves life, with unstable results (hence the octopus tentacles and bat wings).
We focused on simple game play and controls, using the games difficulty to enhance the replay value. All the player needs to do is jump to avoid obstacles with the space bar and shoot objects with the mouse to slow Darwin down. This simple control scheme creates a very focused experience which can be difficult at first, but as they player progresses they quickly improve. The procedural generation of the game world and the online leader boards allows people to continually play to achieve a high score.
We’re all really pleased with the result and you can see the feedback and play it for yourself here.