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Introducing Coconut Dodge

Hi Folks!

My name is James Marsden and I’m the Managing Director of FuturLab, an independent development studio based in Brighton, UK.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing our story about how a bunch of ambitious Flash developers became licensed to make games for PlayStation, and how we’ve made the move from Flash to PSP!

First of all, let me give you an overview of our upcoming PSP and PS3 minis game, Coconut Dodge, due for exclusive release on PlayStation Store in May.

Coconut Dodge

GAME PLAY

Coconut Dodge is a hypnotically addictive arcade game in which a player must dodge falling coconuts, weave through airborne mazes and play beach ball keepy-uppy to collect giant shiny treasures. As you can see from the video, the game starts quite easy and gradually ramps up to insane levels of coco-bullet action!

RACE MECHANICS

Coconut Dodge

What makes the game so addictive is the combination of the predictable mazes and the random coconuts and beach balls. It makes the experience similar to a racing game, where the first few attempts at a new track are difficult, but once you’ve learnt the track, you can hone your movements to perfection whilst confidently dealing with the other cars.

Coconut Dodge works in a similar way as you learn to memorise and master the mazes. Before long you’re proudly keeping several beach balls in the air whilst elegantly weaving through a hailstorm of coconuts :)

HARDCORE

Coconut Dodge

Most of the mazes in the game have two different routes; one that is nice and easy, and one that is more difficult. The difficult route always has more valuable treasure in it ;)

So, when you come across a maze you can get through it quite easily, which makes the game suitable for some quick casual fun on the bus. However, to get the most treasure and a high score, you have to learn some pretty complex movements that require good rhythm and very high precision.

Coconut Dodge can therefore be played casually, but don’t let the simplicity and cute artwork style stop you there — this little crab is hardcore!

MAZE MASTER
We have provided another game mode called Maze Master. Maze Master lets you play each of the trickier mazes over and over until you’ve mastered them. You can then return to the main game to test out your skills for the high score!

MUSIC
An overview of Coconut Dodge wouldn’t be complete without giving mention to the music. We believe game music should be just as addictive as the games themselves. As such, we guarantee you’ll be whistling the Coconut Dodge theme tune for months to come :)

That’s it for my first post, stay tuned for my next article, where I will reveal how we captured Sony’s imagination without any game industry experience, and became licensed to make games for PSP and PS3!

Hint: you can do it by just having good ideas!

Thanks,

James

25 Comments
0 Author replies

Looking fantastic! I’ll make sure to pick this up!

2

Sorry but this looks like trash for me.

Looks brilliant yet infuriating! great to see new games – and new develops – on the Minis!

I’m really curious about how you went about developing for the PSP, hurdles you faced along the way, learning curve, etc. Can’t wait.

The game itself looks like some arcade style fun. Is the video the real game speed?

*developers even!

For the price of a mini – sure, I’ll bite. ;) Looking forward to checking it out.

7

Looks very hardcore. I’m not particularly interested in small games, but eh, good luck to yall.

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 17:23
8

@Stiak

Yes the video is the real game speed, although we’ve lost a bit of the framerate in the video capturing. It’s quite a bit smoother in-game. Also, it was me playing it in the video, and I’ve been working on the game for a good few months, so I’ve already got the moves learned :p

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 17:29
9

Thanks all for your nice comments!

Howya James,
just popped in to say this looks like a smashing little gem and addictive too.
I love seeing new indy devs getting their stuff out there. I’ll be buying this for sure. :)

SIR-DARK-HAZE 28 April, 2010 @ 17:43
11

Hi, James how will the scoring system work. Is it just numbers or will there be stars to fill up. Also once you got a certain score on a level you unlock the next level or will they all be unlocked at the start? thanks sorry for all the questions

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 17:53
12

@SIR-DARK-HAZE

Hiya, the high score in the main game is just numbers, yes.

However, to get anywhere near a high score, you need to be able to weave through the mazes pretty well. Each maze in the Maze Master mode is locked to begin with, and is unlocked as you reach it in the main game.

You are alerted when this happens whilst playing. You can then play the Maze Master mode to reach a certain score target in that particular maze. A mastered maze is rewarded with a little crown, and at that point you should have the awesomes to be able to pick up the valuable treasure in the main game.

Does that make sense?

James

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 18:03
13

@Bonyman

Thank you!

SIR-DARK-HAZE 28 April, 2010 @ 18:06
14

James yes thanks for the quick reply. That did make sence. Thanks. you going to hate me but another question is that will the next level unlock if you play the level before or do you have to get a certain score on the previous level?

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 18:10
15

@SIR-DARK-HAZE

Each maze unlocks as you reach it. You don’t need to master each maze to reach the next one.

We’ve designed it this way so that it can be played casually – you can probably play through to the end of the main game without mastering any of the mazes – and just have some ball bouncing, coco dodging action.

But you’re not going to get a high score that way, and the real pleasure of the game (in our opinion) is mastering the mazes :p

SIR-DARK-HAZE 28 April, 2010 @ 18:21
16

Ah just read through your first reply again and that answered everything. Thanks I will purchasing this game. Nice to see a dev who listens to the public. At least its not like Echochrome were there wasnt any competition apart from time.

looks cool. If its cheap I will buy it :)

James Marsden 28 April, 2010 @ 18:23
18

Wickeds :)

looks like a perfect wee mini game. looking forward to it. Wonder what else you have else in store for us. :)

craigiversen 29 April, 2010 @ 00:14
20

Hi James, weren’t you in X-Men? I’m sure you don’t really have cyclops’ laser vision in real life. Please don’t do another movie like 27 Dresses, my wife cruelly makes me watch them! :)

Tridentmorph 29 April, 2010 @ 07:52
21

Wow, just me or does that look rock hard?
Guess I must be getting old :)

James Marsden 29 April, 2010 @ 08:24
22

Hello all, thanks again for all the comments!

We’ve just launched the official Coconut Dodge Facebook page where you can see more screenshots and find out more details about the game.

Please come along and see what’s what: http://bit.ly/amzlVS

James Marsden 29 April, 2010 @ 08:28
23

@Tridentmorph

Hiya,

There’s a few people that think the game looks very hard, so it’s not just you :)

However, we designed the game for everyone to enjoy – it just has the top tier of difficulty in there at the end of the game to please the hardcore peeps. We’ve designed it so that you should be able to reach that level of skill with practice.

I’m no gaming hero at all, what you see in the video is the result of lots and lots of practice whilst making the game :)

“AWESOMES!”

James Marsden 29 April, 2010 @ 11:43
25

@bap10

Thank you :)

It’s a little bit early to be talking about our next game just yet.

However, I would like to say that we do have something we believe is magical lined up if Coconut Dodge is successful. You can read about it here:

http://www.coconutdodge.co.uk/futur.php?page=futur

Thanks,

James

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