For the past few months I’ve been working on something new on the side. It’s a project that spun out of a really quick prototype I made in a weekend which, when I showed a few friends, I realised had some potential if it were fleshed out bit more.
SMITHEREENS is inspired by Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh, and to a lesser extent Super Meat Boy. For a while, I was really drawn to games of that style which had the fast paced “die and retry” gameplay loop. They’re games that are extremely difficult and challenging, but have this way of encouraging the player to keep trying regardless. As I thought about it some more, I realised that what these games have in common is that they minimise the penalty for failure. When you die in Super Meat Boy, you’re able to try again and be back in the game in less than a second. There are no lives, and (aside from a few Iron Man achievements) no penalties for not getting it right the first time. Hexagon takes the same approach, as do others in its category.
I wanted to try and make a game in that style; fiendishly difficult, but always fair and respectful of the player’s time. This game is my attempt at that. It’s called SMITHEREENS.