I wanted to create an ocean themed platformer where symbiotic relationships drive the gameplay. I guess I was thinking of those tiny birds that sit on hippos and pick off bugs & the little cleaner wrasse you see when diving.
I wanted every environment to feel like a different climate & ecosystem. I aimed for distinct colour palettes & played around with the look of the platforms & sea life. I really liked finding nature inspired patterns & interesting geometric shapes.
I created spritesheets with frame by frame animation for the characters. I sketched the animations in pencil first and then brought that into illustrator. It was fun working on all the different emotions for the walrus.
I wanted to avoid onscreen button controls. I tried to find simple touch gestures that felt intuitive.
At first I thought I could make all the audio myself. I found a lot of great sfx online and for the walrus I recorded myself grunting like an old wheezebag. My attempts at background music were pretty terrible tho. I ended up finding a kickass composer online called Patrick Rundblad. He created some great music that really fit the tone & gameplay of each level. My favourite is probably 'Sherbet Shore'.
Marketing was an interesting challenge. I used twitter, instagram & facebook. Twitter seemed the most effective but creating content for instagram was more fun. I got some great feedback, like which levels were too hard and ideas on how to improve the tutorials. Some nice reviews as well. One fan made a crochet version of the main character, which was pretty amazing! I also got some cool stickers printed up as give-aways.