Honeyslug is a game development company we started in the summer of 2008, with the aim of creating games with interesting mechanics which we could make with just a couple of people.
We’ve found Flash to be a great platform for prototyping our game concepts – most of which are 2D games – and one of the ideas we had was Kahoots – a fusion of Zoo Keeper and Lemmings – where you guide your little guys (called Kahoots) to an exit door, but aren’t able to control them directly. Instead you swap adjacent blocks – things like bounce-pads, spikes or reverse blocks – to alter their routes. As we started to build levels with the basic features, we came up with ideas for new ones – and added cannons, which the Kahoots can be blasted out of, Cardborgs – nasty creatures which kill any Kahoots within reach, and cardboard boxes, which must be crushed or torn up by Cardborgs to clear the path – meaning that you often have to juggle things around in order to keep both Kahoots and Cardborgs alive, without allowing them to make contact.
Based on the pixel art prototype, we worked with a Flash games portal who published the flash version, and funding its completion – and at this point we started to think about ways we could really make the game stand out visually. Since Nat had done a animation degree, focussing mainly on stop-motion plasticine animation, and Ricky was a dab hand in Photoshop, we decided to bypass the route of paying an artist to create polished assets for us, and instead make all the art ourselves – with the strict rule that everything in the game would be real – either scanned, photographed or hand-drawn. We set a budget of £30, and went down our local high street buying things for the game – buttons, beads and fabrics from the local haberdashery, sweets and chocolates in the pound shop and of course, loads of plasticine for the characters!