No one knows exactly how nature works or how it unfolds. Nature paves the way for all types of life, from single-celled organisms all the way down to magnanimous creatures. One of these creatures turns out to be the titular Incredipede, a lifeform that has evolved from a single eyeball.
To learn more about this creature and the game he inhabits, I talked to Colin Northway, who created Incredipede, along with his wife, Sarah.
“Inredipede is about playing with the raw wet strings of life,” said Northway. “We lived in the middle of nowhere Honduras for a few months surrounded by so much life. The natural world is vast and tiny and interesting. I want to play in that world really badly, so I made Incredipede. Quozzle is the star of the game. She can grow bones and muscles wherever she wants so she can be anything she wants. A lizard, a monkey, she can float on the wind, anything she (or you) wants to do.”
I asked Northway where he came up with Quozzle’s unconventional character design. After all, it’s not everyday that players control a constantly-evolving eyeball. “The idea of Quozzle as a head with just an eye evolved over many months,” Northway answered. “At first, there was no head, and then for a while, it was just a beating heart. There were legs and muscles from day one. I guess it was kind of weird just having a bunch of bones and muscles though so Quozzle came into being. She looked pretty crude before [game artist] Thomas Shahan stepped in and made her, and the rest of the game, look amazing.”
Shahan’s artwork gives Incredipede a storybook appearance. He also brings valuable photography experience to the table, having previously had his photos of jumping spiders appear in issues of National Geographic. He also has a portfolio of woodblock prints that show off vast dreamscapes filled with monsters and exotic life, the kind of vision that Northway had for Incredipede. “Thomas does a really good job of capturing the beauty and horror of the natural world,” Northway added. “There’s always something new to notice while playing. I’ve stared at the game for hours, but still enjoy finding little things in his work that I didn’t notice before.”
The world of Incredipede is covered in ruins and the object is for Quozzle to make it to the other side of the island. There are a number of gatekeepers that demand food and gold for safe passage, so the game’s levels are focused on Quozzle gathering these goods. The bulk of the game sees players escorting Quozzle and her cargo around all the various obstacles of the island, including water and lava.
Northway has put many hours into Incredipede. Not only has he worked diligently on developing the game, he has also devoted a bulk of his time into playtesting the game. Not many game developers test their games personally, but Northway has found this approach to be beneficial to his project. “Playtesting is really important for games,” said Northway. “As a game author you have an experience that you want to bring to people. You’ve gone out into the jungle and found this wonderful experience but it’s a hard trek to get out to it. One of your big jobs is to bring that experience back and make it easy for people to enjoy. The only way to know how well you’re doing that is to have people play your game.”
Incredipede is built as a Flash title, which is remarkable given the game’s advanced visuals. Northway has expressed an affinity for working with Flash. “The language has a few quirks but I find it robust and easy to develop in,” he explained. “Flash Builder’s profiling tools are amazing and Stage3D has changed things a lot. Incredipede doesn’t look like a ‘Flash game’ because there are all these things I can do with Stage3D that I couldn’t do a year ago.”
Incredipede is set to release at the end of October for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
blog comments powered by Disqus