A Recurring Nightmare
The Experimental Gameplay Project describes itself as:
We're a group of indie game developers, running a friendly competition every month. The rules: Make a game based on the month's theme, and don't spend more than 7 days. New games posted at the end of every month.
I've been following the contests for some months, and decided to, at last, participate in one. This month's topic was:
May is the time for big-budget movies. The type with guns, babes, explosions, pithy one-liners, and HIGH VELOCITY car chases.
So...High Velocity. Think of a game that adjusts to the concept and develop it in 7 or less days. Great!
I've always wanted to explore, in videogames, human emotions that are not commonly addressed. Shame in a social, public context is one of them (if you know about any game based conceptually on shame, please let me know). And this game, believe it or not, is not about defecating, but about shame.
The Plot: you need to poo. Urgently. There's no way to stop it from coming out.
The game mechanics are simple: find the toilet before the countdown ends. Use cursor/arrow keys to run, and change direction. There's a special move: mash the Z and X keys, while you are standing still, so you'll shake your legs (Z for the left leg, X for the right leg). Do it fast enough and you will win some extra time (just like in real life; it works for me, at least). If you don't shake your legs while you are still, the countdown will go faster. So you either run or shake, because stopping completely for a while will probably lead to an unhappy ending.
Also, as the seconds pass, your speed will get faster and faster, making it more difficult to reach the toilet and avoid 'obstacles'.
There are 3 stages (with only seven days and starting from scratch, I couldn't do more!).
The first one takes place in a city, downtown. You have to get home in time, because by any means would you use a toilet that's not your own. I've met a lot of people who admit the can only use their home toilet for pooing. Though you can, because of the urge and the fury, tumble down the buildings, it may not be a helpful thing.
The second level takes you to a disco. Loud catchy music, a friend that never stops talking about herself, girls dancing around, muscular guys staring at those girls...it should be fun, but you need to poo. All the dancing girls are having a fantastic time, so if you touch them they'll grab you for a quick dance. The guys either wont let you pass, or will drag you around if you get close enough. There's a light in the toilet (red or green) indicating if it is busy or not.
The third stage is a bit...different, and I don't want to spoil it. Just one hint: There IS a way to 'win' the level.
The whole game can, theoretically, be completed from beginning to end in less than one minute.
If you fail in any level, you can retry it as many times as you want. Actually, even if the time runs out, you can still keep walking around (your speed will be very slow, because noone can run fast with dirty filled pants). This was intentional and necessary: in a game about shame (and the necessary velocity to avoid it), you must show what happens after failure. For me, this is the most interesting part: playing your failure. And feeling the shame.
Hope you like it!