Let’s plays!

As a reward for winning the Gamer’s Choice cathegory at the Swedish Game Awards, a selection of Swedish youtubers have played the game’s vertical slice and are uploading videos of their experiences.

So far two videos have been uploaded, with more to come. Tune in below for some excellent multiplayer action from ArgaSkånskaMän 🙂

or check out MrSmutsens breakdown on the current single player mode, with feedback and thoughts on the controls.

2nd production phase and screenshots!

Hi!

We have now entered our second phase of production, where we aim to make the mountains more varied with different rock formations, a new set of climbable objects (spinning grips, anyone?) and new cosmetic details to spice them up further.

Keep your eyes on this space for weekly updates on the state of the game. Meanwhile, have a look at some fresh screenshots!

1 2 3_anger_death 4 5

We won some more things!

Hi!

Recently, the Swedish Game Award winners were revealed. The Swedish game awards is an annual game contest open to students. Frog Climbers was nominated for the Best execution in design award and the Game of the Year award.

Frog Climbers won the Best execution in design award, and the Gamer’s choice award! Thanks to everyone who tried the game at SGA, and thanks to the Swedish Game Awards jury for the love! We are very humbled and happy!

Lastly, congratulations to Adventure on Clover Island for winning the Game of the Year award, well deserved!

Here is a photo of TeamCrew holding prizes. From left to right;
Charlie, Sebastian, André, Semih (slightly photoshopped due to being on vacation when the photo was taken), Emil

4/5 TeamCrew members!

We won some things!

Hi!

Last week, Frog Climbers was shown at the Gotland Game Conference. In general people seemed to have a lot of fun with the game! There was a lot of shouting, laughter and general giddiness around Frog Climber’s booth, which was great to see.

At the awards ceremony, Frog Climbers was chosen as the best first year project by the jury and was given the pwnage award(best game in exhibition).

Frog Climbers was also nominated for a couple of cathegories:

The Cha-Ching! Award (most economic potential)

The Almedalen Library Award

The Innovation Award

The Tokyo University of Technology – School of Media Science Dean’s Award

Students’ Choice Award

We would like to thank anyone who took the time to play the game during the exhibition. 🙂 Keep your eyes on this space during the coming weeks for more details on the development on Frog Climbers.

/Sebastian

New trailer!

Hi!

Frog Climbers is entering its final week of development! During this time, TeamCrew will be polishing, tweaking, and balancing the game so that it is as polished as possible before the Gotland Game Conference at which the game will be featured.

Yesterday, we finished a trailer for Frog Climbers! Check it out here :

That’s all for now! Have a great day!

Gripping tales of player interaction

Hi! Sebastian here, game designer for TeamCrew.

Today, I would like to adress one of the design challenges Frog climbers have provided Team Crew with, which is player interaction. I am going to describe our initial goal and vision, the problems that rose, and the solutions we have come up with and things we are thinking of incorporating. My hope is to give you a view into the design challenges that comes with designing even relatively simple games.

So! Today I am talking about player itneraction. Frog Climbers is a climbing game primarily designed for two players, and making sure both players are constantly having fun and feeling like their efforts are relevant was very important to us. Here are a couple of goals we had for multiplayer design-wise:

1. Players unequal in skill should still enjoy playing together. From my experience, this means that the lead player should never feel the need to slow down for the bottom player or feel pity for them. Instead, we aimed to replace that pity with a burning hatred, putting coals in the competetive fire that is Frog Climbers.

2. Players should constantly interact. It was discovered early that one of the strongest aspects of Frog Climbers is managing to grab onto a friend, pulling them down as you reach fro grips above them. Increasing these moments seemed like a good idea.

Catch up mechanics in action!

Catch up mechanics in action!

Overall these goals means that we want both players to be roughly on the same height at all times as they attempt to get further up. Now that I have defined the goals, I will go into some of the solutions.

Never give the player at the top an advantage.

To encourage player interaction, we want the bottom player to catch up, creating this rule. Due to this rule several planned features were cut.

For example, it was planned that some grips would come loose when grabbed, turning into throwable rocks. A player hit by a rock would lose their grip or be stunned for a period of time. However, since throwing downards is easier than upwards this feature would have benefited the top player, so it was cut.

Give the player at the bottom several options to catch up.

Catch up mechanics, oh what joy! At the moment, Frog Climbers features three catch up mechanics for the player behind:

A. Most importantly, the player behind can grab onto the top player’s legs. From there they can grab the opponents knee, then backpack, and then the grip the opponent is grabbing. The player at the bottom gets to the same grip as the leading player, evening the playing field. This also makes it harder to get ahead as a player since you can be dragged down by a mean friend, making sure there is a tangle of player interaction once the players are at the same height.

B. The respawn system. Initially Frog Climbers had limited lives. If one fell down, that was it and the remaining player would win. This was the opposite of encouraging player interaction since a player could potentially leave the game befire the race was over. Since featuring infinite lives would not neccesairily ruin the fun for experienced players, we decided to do so. The respawn system is also very forgiving in that it drops the losing player just out of reach of the leading player’s legs, giving them a chance to catch onto the legs if they are quick enough.

C. A kind bee for the beeginner. When the distance between the leading player and losing player was too great for the losing player to catch up, something to give them a boost upwards and get them back into the game was needed. Thus, when the game detects that a player has been far behind for a period of time, it spawns a fly on the lower part of the screen, moving slowly so that the player behind can easily grab onto it. When grabbed, the fly heaves the player behind upwards, taking them to the height the leading player has.

Overview. 

So! Those are some of the ways Frog Climbers have been balanced to encourage player interaction. I think the biggest lesson to be learned from this is that Frog Climbers was designed for fun, rather than competitive gameplay. Frog Climbers constantly works against skilled players so that players unequal in skill can play together and still have fun. One could argue that it is an unfair system, and they would be right. On the other hand, it has also proved to be a very fun system. The game does run the risk of making experienced players feeling unfairly treated, which is something we will need to look out for in the final weeks of development.

That is all for now! Thank you for reading, and have a frogtastic day C:

Hi!

Time for an introduction, don’t you think?

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What is frog Climbers?

Frog Climbers is a chaotic climbing game for up to two players. Players play as professional rock climber frogs, intent on reaching the top of the high mountain in order to gain rock climber glory. Only one frog gets the glory however, so it’s a race to the top using whatever means neccesary in order to become the most famous frog climber!

Who are TeamCrew?

We are a team of five game design students attending the game design education at Campus Gotland. We have been tasked with devbeloping a game in ten weeks, Frog Climbers is the result of that. TeamCrew consists of the following members:

Semih Parlayan – Lead programmer

Emil Elthammar – Lead Sound (also programming)

Charlie Eliasson – Lead Tech (also art)

André Bengtsson – Lead Art

Sebastian Larsson – Game Designer (also art)

Who are YOU?

I am Sebastian, and I will be updating you at the end of every week on the status of Frog Climbers from now on! Stay tuned for more info on the game and a view into the development of Frog Climbers!

Until next time!