To understand the roots of “Monster Slider” you must first back track to when the game’s design was originally conceived. Community Manager Ryan Olson helped fill in the blanks:
“Rob Lockhart, the game designer, was at a game design conference called Games Learning Society in Madison, Wisconsin. He was thinking of god games like Black and White and The Sims and what would a god game look like in its simplest form. Directly shifting the world to guide a creature to a goal was the result. When Rob got back to the studio, he gathered up some odds and ends in the office to create a paper prototype of his idea. Once some of the gameplay was tweaked, then the game went into full production…”
As great as having a unique idea and vision for a product is, only through iteration and collaboration can these kinds of concepts make the jump from the page to the screen. This is where prototyping comes into play. Despite the word “prototype,” implying some sort of playable product, different designers choose to present their concepts in different ways. Each studio is different and apparently Toy Studio is no exception to the rule.
“The original paper prototype we made of some gameplay options was something to experience! Rob, the designer, was acting as the game AI creating puzzles from scraps of paper and moving the monster we had to represent Squishy in front of us. He would bring in people from their desk and sit them down to play out a few games. There was a bowl of jellybeans in the meeting room and then Rob put them on some tiles and we had portals. Just like that. Squishy’s Revenge was just scraps of paper, candy and odds and ends from some board games we have in the office that turned into an original game…” — Rob Lockhart, Game Designer
And just like that, a game was born. Shortly thereafter a tight knit collection of three were tasked with bringing a glorified break room mess to life. With the help of only a single designer, coder and artist, the product leapt for the design document page and into existence. But not all was well in the world of rotating tiles.
Stay tuned, for tomorrow we finish our epic tale, and learn more about Toy Studio’s latest effort, Squishy’s Revenge!