Inspired by the air deprivation mechanic from 1991 Game Boy game "Altered Space", "Must Have Air" pits you against up to seven other players each trying to find air cannisters before their air runs out. Once air cannisters have been picked up they respawn after a random amount of time forcing players to move to the next canister or to an empty spawn point that may have a cannister spawn upon arrival.
Blue and green cannisters spawn in preset locations throughout the map. Blue cannisters increase air by 20 units while green only increase by 10 units. You can spot air cannister spawn points in game by looking for the energy column that vertically shoots upwards from their locations. When spawning blue and green cannisters make a slightly different spawn sound.
What would a platformer be without moving platforms. Player has to time jumps on randomly vertically moving platforms.
Player is simply launched into the air but control direction of speed based on how fast they run into the launch pad.
Yellow tiles cause damage when run into. Crouch under or sometimes consider jumping through to gain a needed cannister.
This area just slows you down. Whether you are walking or jumping molasses grasses will impact travel time.
Use speed strips to move quickly all around levels. Players can do entire laps to move around the map quickly.
Simple but time impacting maze with two different options for cannisters as well as a few shortcuts from inside the maze.
Its hot lava. It hurts. Don't jump in it.
Another platforming regular. This 360 degree rotating platforms takes a little more timing than players would think.
When players choose to hack the computer it INCREASED air deprivation for ALL players including themselves.
Another platforming classic. Players can find that elusive under water cannister if desired.
While waiting for other players to appear in the multiplayer lobby it was important to provide single players something enticing to do. Although providing them with a way to simply explore the level the more engaging option is to run the time attack mode to see how you stack up against other players. Time attack is all about lasting as long as possible. Time attack run video below:
Core Games often runs game jam contest which is where Must Have Air! came out of. Knowing that the air deprivation mechanic was something I had been interested in a while it worked really well with the survival game theme and prompt that was provided. With only 4 weeks to create the project and never having created in Core it was quite a fun challenge to hit within the constraints. I desired to keep things simple and knew that I had to keep the level and map small and straight forward. Adding mechanics to the map vs. the player was fun and gave me lots of options in the map design for the project.
Must Have Air! Ended up winning a runner up award in the "out of the box" category within the jam contest!