Ittle Dew 2: The Whiteboard!
Hey! This is Joel from Ludosity again. In my last few posts I’ve talked about the various elements that make up Ittle Dew 2 – the the combat, the puzzles, the enemies, the overworld – but this this I wanted to let you in one of the tools we use to come up with all that good stuff. It’s kind of a trade secret, so come in close so I can tell you…about the whiteboard.
Yes, we have a large whiteboard in our office, and, in theory, that’s what we use to discuss and evolve a lot of the design ideas we come up with, like the creation of new enemies or new overworld areas or stuff like that. Maybe we’d put scheduling and project-planning information on there too. At least, that was the idea. In practice, what happened is that every time one of us wrote something important or serious on the whiteboard, someone else would doodle something completely silly next to it. Honestly, there’s a lot of doodling happening on the whiteboard (a lot of just pertaining to whatever games we’re currently playing for fun), and not a whole lot else.
But that’s not a bad thing at all! A lot of our characters have been born as jokes. Some features as well. Someone says something funny, we laugh at it because it’s a joke, and someone draws something about that, on the whiteboard. The next thing we know, we’re looking at each other and a game idea starts to come together, and before you know it, one of us is saying, “Actually, you know what, guys? This should probably go in.” If you played the original Ittle Dew, you may remember Ultra Fishbunjin. He’s ridiculous: a super-muscular fishbun who throws dumbbells and generally makes players angry because he’s so difficult…and he definitely started out as a whiteboard joke. So did some of the recurring characters in our other games, like the Apathetic Frog, the Hype Snake, and Business Casual Man. They all got their start as goofy doodles on the whiteboard. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that a lot of the enemies in Ittle Dew 2 came about this way.
Fooling around on the whiteboard has lead to other unexpected things. There’s a block you can place in the game, and it sort of pops up shortly after you place it, and eventually we realized that we should have enemies react some way if you have the block pop up beneath them. We joked that it should just launch the enemies into space and we drew a little gag about it on the whiteboard, but before you knew it, a programmer put it into the game. It looked great, so we kept it. Of course, that expanded into a discussion about how we could add a scene onto the ending where you could see all the enemies that you launched into space, just floating up there, but in the end we nixed that idea. The game does keep track of how many you launch, though!
The truth is, the whiteboard doesn’t get used for too much serious work anymore, but we did use it to plan out the ending cinematic to Ittle Dew 2. Although after you see it, you might decide that isn’t exactly too serious either… I guess you’ll get to see for yourself in the near future once the game finally lands on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One!