A Game made for the 2017 Global Game Jam, in collaboration with Paul Kopetko and Byron Hallett.
Slide along the cable to take control of the tower, then confound your opponents by flicking waves of your own devious design back at them.
The theme for the 2017 GGJ was 'Waves'. I was reminded of a fond memory from my childhood when I use to flick a long rope, sending waves of energy down it's length. I proposed that we could explore the idea of flicking waves down a rope, or having to jump and slide on these waves. We decided to we could have players experience both, flicking waves and jumping on them, in an asymmetric, competitive game mode. We arrived at a 'Cable Car' theme because it fit our core mechanic idea so well.
After a few accumulated hours of playtesting, we found that it was a little too easy for players to overthrow the player with tower control. Ideas were thrown around such as aiming rockets from the tower, or electrocuting cars that happened to be touching the line. We needed something to send approaching players backwards, but not to be too overpowered. We also thought it would be fun to have to dodge and avoid obstacles in the air when approaching the tower.
The bubble gave us everything we wanted to balance out the gameplay. The tower could send out bubbles slowly floating towards the oncoming players, trapping them if they jumped at the wrong moment. If it ensnared a player, the bubble would hold them and carry them slowly away from their objective.
Furthermore, we came up with a fun system to determine the size of the bubble, which would, in turn decide the length of time the bubble would imprison a player. When the player in the tower holds down their action button, the bubble starts to grow in size. As the player holds down the button, the bubble growth rate exponentially increases. If the player waits too long to release, the bubble pops and they lose their chance to trap any players. If they release too early, the bubble comes out too small and is not very effective. A fun mechanic to encourage a bit of variation and keep the game interesting and challenging.