Astral Catapult

Published On April 24, 2012

Physics based Platformer for PC and Windows Phone 7
Game design by Jack Dye, developed by Silicon foundry (Matthew Harris, David Hart, David Armstrong, William Dann, Ashley Eglin, Jack Dye)

The basic design was formed in a response to a brief set by aim higher, which was to create a short game to inspire prospective students the benefits of university education and debunk some urban myths about the type of people who go to university.

The game begins with the player as a ball on a starting platform, the player must execute a series of jumps to bypass obstacles and land on green safe platforms, the objective of the game is to make it through the level without dying.

The player loses if the ball lands on spikes, lava, or rolls to a stop without landing on a green platform.

Level Designs
To make the game more interesting 8 Powerups were designed to enhance gameplay:

Subject PowerUp Effect
Chemistry Sticky Ball (sticks to walls and ceilings)
Physics Adds an Aiming guide
Maths Calculates Reflections on wall collisions
Geography Displays a Mini Map of off-screen platforms
Art Adds partial effects to balls motion
Re Restores the ball from X turns ago
History Shows Previous shot"s guide
Biology X% chance of bird saving ball when falling
Music Subwoofer blast from below gives the ball a "double jump"

Along the way when the player collected powerups the player will be shown information about continuing the subject in higher education, a combination of powerups would adjust the possible degrees that can be taken with the a levels and in turn give different career paths.

The powerups are stackable so collecting more of a powerup increases its effectiveness.

The game was developed over a month with a university set deadline which we had to meet.
Our team was split up into 3 programmers, 1 graphics artist, 1 tool programmer and a documenter.

At the end of development, we had a fully functioning game with 5 levels, 5 powerups, 6 platform types and a level editor.

I coded most of the physics, ball, powerup and platform behaviors, and created 3 of the levels.


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Level Editor
The level editor is fully functioning, with a test mode to directly start the game in the current level, and is used to place platforms and powerups, and change the level size and background allowing quick deployment of a large number of varying levels