Carpl Now On Sale
Carpl, Littleloud’s first iPhone game, is now available to buy on the iTunes store.
Carpl grew from the idea of creating an iPhone game in which the tip of one’s finger (the player’s input device), becomes the main ‘character’ in the game.
This removes the need for an on-screen avatar and, in doing so, peels away one layer of abstraction between player and game world.
In other words, the player is not represented by an on-screen graphic. Rather, when you’re holding your finger to the screen you are a part of the game, while, when you pull your finger away from the surface, you are not.
In that sense, it’s closer to the Eyetoy mode of interaction: the physical presence of the player is required at all times for the game to function, in contrast to a character-based game, where Mario or Lara continue to represent the player in-game even when the player puts down the controller.
We decided a suitable visual representation of the system would be the surface of a pond, as, when you trail your finger through water you have physical presence within the underwater world while, when you pull your finger out, you are immediately removed from it.
The core game mechanic this scenario led to is a sort of collect ‘em up game, part inspired by Nokia’s Snake, part inspired by Geometry Wars’ ‘Pacifism’ mode, in which you must collect Lotus flowers while avoiding being touched or, in this case, bitten by pond life.
It’s a simple game of survival; there are no levels as such, although the longer you survive the more enemies appear on screen, escalating the challenge.
There’s a high-score table but, at the moment, it’s tied to a single iPhone/ iPod Touch. Hopefully, in a future update we can add the option to post scores to Twitter etc, and thus extend the community challenge.
Carpl costs £1.19 and is available here. Any comments or feedback gratefully received.