It’s not just big games that are showcased at EGX, a whole host of smaller titles make their way onto the exhibition floor. And although small, Sprinkle Palooza made a big impact on us here at Any Button Gaming.
It’s a is a cutesy 2.5D platform game with feel-good moments and just a hint of darkness, designed for PC and suitable for all ages.
Slightly different from the normal indie devs, SP is being developed by students from the Nation Film and Television School based in Beaconsfield. As part of their MA course, students have to design and produce a working title, or at least a working prototype. It’s an in-depth two-year course with the first year being centred around five smaller modules. These smaller sections allow the students the time to get familiarised with different skills and platforms within game development – from 3d modelling, coding, consoles, VR and everything else you could imagine. Year 2 it steps up a notch with each student taking on one larger solo project of their choice. The course begins in January each year and by December the students should have a working build of their own game, although there are other requirements depending on the course focus.
And it’s these projects that the students were showcasing over the course of the 4 days.
So what did we think? Well even as a pre-alpha game, SP played really well, with a beautiful art style that captivated us no end. The way the balloon puppy moved managed to give it a sense of youth, bounding from one obstacle to the next, you could just imagine what it was thinking- OMG, OMG I can jump…OMG.OMG whats that? You get my drift. At this level in the game’s development, there wasn’t much to see or do, but that’s, not an issue. It was more about getting the game out there, and there’s no better way than to bring it to EGX.
We spoke with The games artist and designer Evy Benita and head of marketing Briony Tanner during our visit, and although it was fleeting – due to me desperately needing sleep, we got the sense that the girls were really excited for what they have created, and as Benita told us via email, they would love to keep it going to full release.
The demo is in pre-alpha. The look and feel of the game is still being polished, but the demo gives a pretty solid idea of the aesthetic I’m going for. The next stage now is to look at what I’ve learned from watching people play the demo at EGX, and make adjustments based on this. Gameplay-wise, there are bugs to be fixed and handling to be optimized. Then there’s the matter of looking at what sort of elements could enhance the player’s experience when playing. The next stage of development will focus heavily on the integration of narrative. One of my biggest goals for Sprinkle Palooza, as well as for future projects, is to create characters that players can connect with.Nothing’s set in stone at the moment, but I can tell you with all my heart that Sprinkle Palooza is a game I would love to keep developing and bring to life. I want it to be a short, feel-good experience that is easy to pick up and approachable for everyone.