Every road has to start somewhere.. This particular project began in late 2008, when all of the DrinkBox Studios employees (6 at the time), sat in a circle brainstorming ideas for the studio’s first game. Tales from Space: About a Blob was created by combining a few very different but complimentary ideas that the team had come up with. We were all pretty excited about the concept once we settled on it.
Each of the “departments” began thinking how the game would be built. This was one of the few times I actually had time to contribute to the project on the programming side and I spent a day or two playing with Box2D, managing to create the very first playable prototype of what would later evolve into our Blob:
The above video shows a prototype Blob moving and jumping around, while interacting with small objects in the environment. The Blob is constructed as a looped chain with internal spring forces between the “treads” to keep its general shape. The Blob was moved around by applying a force to all the treads concurrently, with the jump simply being an upwards impulse force.
Obviously the Blob character has changed drastically since this prototype. The Blob seen in the above video is very “stiff”, “floaty”, and slow moving. This prototype Blob also took a very long time to change directions and since then a lot of effort has been put into making a character that is very responsive to control, without losing the look of being a gelatinous Blob at heart. This was a pretty delicate thing to balance, but I think we’re all pretty satisfied with the way the Blob looks and feels now.