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As Yet Untitled

Ttlscreen
Title screen from As Yet Untitled

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As Yet Untitled

As Yet Untitled is a 2D platformer game developed and published by a one-man development team, consisting of Jezs. (Also known as: Goober, Goober13md, Jezs_, JezsSwift, PaulChuckle, DavidBrent, AlanPartridge, KarlPilkington.) The game was created as a solution to the OCR’s 2017 Creative Use of ICT GCSE task. The task involved a fictional game development company titled Play Retro, who had requested that the candidate develop a retro-style computer game with a modern twist, so that it would appeal to teenagers of today.
Jezs developed the game using Gamemaker 7 over a two year time period, starting in September of 2015 and ending in August 2017. Throughout development it was required that documentation was created outlining the entire development process of the game, as it was necessary for the GCSE qualification. When the game and documentation was eventually submitted, it was graded at an A* achieving sixty marks out of a possible sixty.

Main Game

The game has no storyline, and is comprised entirely of “point A to point B” style levels. Including the tutorial, the game contains four worlds. Tutorial World (referred to as Lagopodus), Ice World, Wood World and Obsidian Nightmare, inspired by MAP13 of the Doom WAD Sunder. The main game itself was primarily inspired by Mega Man and I Wanna Be The Guy, utilizing textures and sound effects from both.
The game plays similarly to Mega Man, with the player being able to do no more than move, jump and shoot. Extra lives are found on certain levels, as well as cash which can be collected to increase the player’s score. Beating levels and killing enemies also increase the player’s score, and the score will deplete upon deaths. The main obstacles the player must avoid are spikes, holes to the void and enemies placed on the levels.
World and level difficulty becomes progressively higher as the player gets further through the game. Obsidian Nightmare being the final and most difficult world, despite not containing any enemies. This world introduces a new type of block, which the player can destroy by shooting in order to progress through the stages.

Titlescreen2
Earlier development version of title screen

Development 

Game development commenced in September 2015, while Jezs was 14 years old. For the first year of development he was being monitored by Mr. C. Fairburn, his ICT and Computer Science teacher at the time. The earliest stages of development involved many vastly differing game prototypes. Initially, the game was going to be a simple 2D maze game, however it was not long before Jezs discovered the I Wanna Be The Guy fan games and decided to create a 2D platformer of his own. During this time Jezs was planning to develop his own I Wanna Be The Guy fan game, that would be titled “I Wanna Be The Jumpy”, and would be based on his friend Jumpyluff. He hoped his decision to create a 2D platformer and frequent use of Gamemaker during his IT lessons would motivate him to work on the fan game, however it remains incomplete to this day.

PointlessPixelIn January 2016, Jezs decided the modern twist to the game would be to include local multiplayer support, suggested by a colleague studying Computer Science at A Level, and reinforced by Mr. Fairburn. Jezs attempted to implement this feature, but found it to be far more work than he had anticipated, and dropped it entirely. Instead he decided to utilize high definition images for backgrounds as well as MP3 music to be the modern twist to his game.
By July, the game was almost complete. After being tested by Mr. Fairburn vast modifications to the control scheme to allow for it to be more easily played by left-handed users. After this point development paused and was not continued until September, now being monitored by Mr. D. Knaggs, his new ICT and Computer Science teacher.
FullBodyPixelDuring development in late 2016 and early 2017, a final boss was intended to be added to the game. The boss was going to be based on the British television quiz show Pointless, where the player would combat the 6’7” co-host Richard Osman to deplete their score to zero, and achieving a coveted pointless answer. Due to time constraints this was never added to the game, however an image of Richard Osman can be seen momentarily after completing the game as an Easter egg, symbolic of the final boss which was never implemented.
As the deadline for the game and documentation were nearing, extra lives and cash were implemented, with cash being a collectible to increase the player’s score. This was the final addition to the game before it was eventually exported as an executable and published.
Due to the file size of the executable being too large to upload to the exam board’s repository, it was required that he wrote the game to a disc to be sent to the exam board via the postal service. As a practical joke on his teacher, Jezs segmented the file and wrote it to fifty floppy disks, claiming when Mr. Knaggs had told him to write it to a disc, he had pronounced disc with a ‘k’ rather than a ‘c’.

Tutorial1
Texture for a tutorial stage from an alpha version of the game

Reception

Players of the game were generally pleased with the difficulty and control style. The main complaints were moving off-screen causing the player to lose a life, and a glitch which was not fixed during development causing the player to die on a spike before colliding with it. The main aspects of the game that were praised were the level design and difficulty curve.

image
Glimpse of the final level

 

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