Hello Indie Gamers! My name is Ali Husain, and I’m the founder of stoptoplay, a small indie studio based out of Austin, TX. stoptoplay started back in 2016 when a friend and I decided to pursue our passion for making games. We could probably have picked a better time, since we both worked at a fast growing start-up. Time was a very scarce resource.
Many lunches, and crumbled pieces of (digital) paper later, we had an idea for a game that would be called E.V.A.L – The Existence vs. Annihilation Logic. E.V.A.L would be the name of the artificial intelligence, the antagonist. The game itself would be based on the following premise.
With the ever accelerating pace of life, the existence of mankind is exceedingly dependent on how fast we push buttons. Corporate, a gigantic company, has created the future fitness test, to evaluate the future fitness of human specimens that take this test. E.V.A.L was created to monitor and evaluate the specimens’ performance.
The story we had decided on helped us figure out some key gameplay elements. The game would be fast paced. There would be buttons that would need pressing, frequently! An action runner would be the perfect genre.
An action runner wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the first game I would be making. I’ve always been more of an RPG/RTS person myself. This was a welcome challenge. How would I take a genre, that was clearly not my favorite, and turn it into something fun?
The core gameplay would be based around having a creature that could change shape and color getting through obstacles with different shapes and colors! To add some flavor to the game we started coming up with ideas for power ups and hazards that would change some game mechanics for a short time, keeping the game from getting monotonous.
There was still something missing, and that’s when we got the idea for a new control scheme. Instead of having just the button based controls, we could have an alternate way for players to play the game. This was going to become the key differentiator.
Since the character could take only one of three shapes, a circle, square, or triangle, and one of three colors, red, blue or yellow. We decided to split the screen in three equal parts. The players would be able to draw the shape they wanted on the part of the screen corresponding to the color they needed.
This control scheme worked quite well and made it so that playing the game with buttons vs. drawing felt like a completely different experience! Here’s a short video that shows the control schemes.
We ended up having three game modes. Story mode, a short campaign where you learn about the game mechanics and play through the story. Evaluation mode, 20 uniquely designed levels to challenge players. Lastly, the endless mode, where players can play E.V.A.L as an infinite runner, competing with others around the world for the highest score in the future fitness test!
E.V.A.L is free to play and is exclusively for iOS . It releases on 12.20! Preorder and give it a try!
About E.V.A.L: https://www.stoptoplay.com/eval
How we made E.V.A.L: https://www.stoptoplay.com/blog
Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/stop2play