The Game Developer's Journal: Inspiration: A World Of Goo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Inspiration: A World Of Goo

Let me step back a bit and pose a fundamental question: Why did I choose Amoebas? The answer is definitely important.

Really, amoebas.

Just think about this, will you. There are a billion, trillion different phenomena in the universe. I could have chosen aliens, military skirmishes, black holes, secret agents, culinary battles, racecars, logistics, pencil factories, tesla coils, or anything else to be the subject of my game. Yet I chose amoebas and adventure.

In part, it's because I enjoyed Biology in high school (rather, not so much that I enjoyed the bookwork, but that I saw value in it all). My game's art style, design--almost everything--were inspired. 

Here's where all the inspiration began:

Design: World Of Goo
Shadowy Figures 

In 2009, I stumbled across an interesting image while playing in the Wii Photo Channel. I saw a black blob with two big eye balls, and in bold letters read the words, "World Of Goo."
Eventually I decided, "I want that game." The game was odd and for that reason it promised something. At the time, this was the most expensive game on the Wii Shop channel (which was an exciting, new market that had my interest). I wanted to go for the best possible experience and this seemed to be it!

I do not regret buying World Of Goo. Not only was the objective and goal unique, the whole package shined brilliantly because the game's theme was so pervasive. 

What you had to do was build a structure using small "goo" balls. Once in close proximity, the balls would weld together by forming tar-like strands between themselves. The possibilities of what you could build were only limited by the number of blobs alloted for each level. (On a side note, there was a free build mode, in which you could build anything with extra blobs--I had well over 200).

You've probably already made connections. I chose a blob-like character because the goo creatures look like blobs. Yes, I was inspired by that.

Furthermore, I got some ideas from the dark art style. One of the levels features a sunset with silhouetted foreground. Believe it or not, this was the original style for "The Amoeba Of Light:" everything except the background was going to be pitch black.

Eventually, this changed; that's obvious now. However the effect is still there. Ever question why all Amoeba and friends are transparent-black? Now you know.

Next week, I'll uncover more works of art that have had a lasting effect on this entire project.

World Of Goo Image 1 from, "Preview: World Of Goo," © Future Publishing Limited, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA

World of Goo Image 2 from The Pretentious Gamer, "Sillouette Aesthetics in 2D Games,"© 2007-2014 The Pretentious Gamer

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