1. Squidiverse - Production Pipeline
Phoenix and Aaron came up with the game concept together, with the basic starting point of the
Squid character. The character it’s self was the first part of the game to be created, with genre,
style, and story, all created around the character later.
The platformer genre came from their enjoyment of the Mario series of games, and so based the
style of the game on that, although the gameplay does also take inspiration from the Sonic and
An 8-bit art style for the game was also established early on, to try and evoke the mood of the
games that inspired it.
Aaron and Phoenix established a simple story by working together. The story is intentionally
simple to keep with the old-school style of game, whilst the narrative of King Crab capturing
Squid father both makes them sympathize with Squid, and also fear King Crab as the game
Phoenix – Graphic Artist created concept art for the creatures in the game, including Squid and
the villains he faces. Most time was spent on Squid, trying to make sure his personality was
represented through his design, and he was engaging to the audience.
The villains for the game were created by pulling lots of images of creepy and interesting fish
from the Internet, and creating a mood board out of them. Phoenix could then pick and choose
attribute from all the different fish to create new and alien creatures.
The interface design was worked on by both Aaron and Phoenix, with all the graphics designed
by Phoenix. The in-game HUD developed as the game progressed, with new elements being
added as the game changed. For example the representation of Squids life was only added, after
QA testing, when players complained of difficulty and a life system was added. The menus in the
game were also refined over time, starting as crude text screens and developing into more
Aaron – Composer made all the music for Squidiverse, he was very experimental with the way he
created the music, not sticking to a particular key and using plug-ins that he had never used
before to get a genuine 8-bit styled song. In the song he composed for the Chalk Planet he had a
drop where the tempo dropped from around 135 to only 50, a simple arpeggio played during
this point, slowly speeding back up to a tempo of 135, this was to portray the style of level, how
you need to be slow and patient on certain parts and faster on others.
Aaron – Sound Design Aaron as well as composing all the music designed all the music for the
game; he used some of the same plug-ins that he had used on composing the music. He layered
2. multiple sounds on top of each other in order to thicken them up and create a much deeper and
enjoyable sound design to the game. The sounds designer had to be quick and simple and this is
exactly what he created, most sounds used are upbeat, other than dying or getting hit sounds,
since the same plug-ins where used from making the music the two blend together very well
and create a good experience for the user.
Testers came in from another Media Diploma class to find bugs and glitches in the game,
valuable feedback was given which helped shape the game for the better. The biggest examples
of this are the re-mapping of the keyboard controls to something for comfortable for players,
and the addition of a life system that just lowers the difficulty slightly to encourage players to
re-play the game without getting too frustrated.
Aaron also got some of his friends who are hard-core gamers to test the game and got video of
them doing so, for reference.
Throughout the game development process, both Aaron and Phoenix tweeted pictures of the
game, including concept art and in-game stills. Along with this they tweeted Alpha and Beta
Gameplay footage of the game with #GameDev to try build an audience for the game.
Aaron uploaded Beta Gameplay footage of the game to YouTube for everyone to see, showing all
aspects of the game.
The gameplay works very well, it’s playable, engaging, and fun. There’s also a good level of
frustration that keeps players hooked, wanted to overcome the obstacles and beat the game.
A few elements of the game add a layer of polish that makes the game fun to play, such as the
rocket flying away at the end of the level, the Crabs animating as they walk, and the background
working in parallax. These little visual touches really help bring the game to life and make it
One game design improvement would have been the addition of more enemies. The crabs
become a bit boring; especially by the time the player get’s to World 2. World 2 would also
benefit thematically from a change of villain, something that is suited more to a chalky terrain.
There are still a few movement glitches that it would have been good to fix. There’s nothing
game breaking, but an example of this glitch is when; you hold down “O” to go left and you tap
“P” and let go of “P” you’ll still keep going right, it’s a minor glitch.