The Fourth Wall is a game about screen wrap. You are a wizard that has the ability to control the boundaries of his 2D world. Embark on a lifelong journey, solving puzzles through a unique, calming world.
In terms of the core mechanic, it was VVVVVV. The game had a section of rooms that had screen wrap, though the rest of the game wasn’t like that. It made me curious to see what it would be like if the player could toggle the screen wrap on and off. In terms of structure and game design style, I have heard many players compare it to Braid and Portal.
Besides the core mechanic being fairly unique, The Fourth Wall is different from most games in that it only has text in the intro and ending, and control is never taken away from the player. Also, the player character ages. I haven’t seen that very much in games.
It’s difficult to tell, exactly. I built the first prototype of the game for one of my classes in the fall of 2010. I started up the development of the version you see today in April of 2011, and kept working on it through the summer. We finished the game in December of 2011.
Deciding when to stop working on the game, and deciding what to cut. There are a ton of mechanics, levels, art assets, and story aspects I would have loved to have put in the game, but I didn’t have time for them. I have to allow time for my classes, so at some point I just had to tell myself to keep it simple so that I could have it as polished as possible.
Unlike most games at DigiPen, The Fourth Wall that you see today was not made for any game class. By the start of fall 2011, we were working on the game in our spare time with each of us taking a whole course load at the same time. Also, the game was made in Game Maker, with myself being the only programmer. The game also had a narrator at one point, but I cut it due to it being unnecessary; it was too helpful to the player.
The name was chosen because the mechanic doesn’t make any sense to anyone in the game – it only makes sense to the player. I thought about different names for the game, but eventually stayed with The Fourth Wall.
Maple Valley, WA
DigiPen Institute of Technology
I’ve been playing games since I was a kid. I did have an NES, but it was when I got a Playstation that I knew that I loved games. I grew up playing games made by “The “The Big 3” (the 3 developers that I always follow): Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, and Sucker Punch. I am a huge fan of platformers, but variety is the name of the game, so I am always trying to play as diverse a set of games as possible.
I’ve known Corrine and Amalachi for about a year now. They were friends before I met them, but I was on a team with them for a film project for one of our classes. A while after the project I was looking for artists, and I knew that we worked well together, so I asked them to join the team. Amalachi took some convincing, but eventually they both were on the team. I’ve only really known Jordan for a few months, but he had played early versions of the game and took interest in it. Eventually I realized that my music wasn’t going to cut it, and asked him to join the team, especially after hearing the music he had done for Nitronic Rush. Alek runs a club at DigiPen that I attend quite a bit, and we eventually became friends. He performed one of his songs at the DigiPen open mic night, and I thought it was a perfect fit for the game. Fortunately, he was willing to contribute his song to the game.
I’ve been playing a huge variety of games. Skyrim, Saints Row 3, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Rayman Origins, Battlefield 3, and Zelda Skyward Sword. Oh, I also recently played some Atari 2600 games! Just a warning: the E.T. game isn’t fun. Warlords is fantastic, though.
Shadow of the Colossus.
That’s a difficult question to answer, since I seem to be able to find something valuable or entertaining in most games I play. If I had to choose, I would have to say World of Warcraft. It just takes too much time, and every time I try to get into it, I realize that it’s probably not for me.
The NES. Kirby’s Adventure was all I would play.
Probably my PC. Steam is such an awesome thing to happen to the market, and most of the games I want to play end up on the PC anyway.
I’m only half-joking when I say that we don’t have much time for hobbies, since we attend DigiPen. I have been getting into board and card games, though, and that’s nice, since I only played the big-name games when I was younger.
Corrine and Amalachi are artists, so I don’t think they ever stop drawing, even if there’s no specific assignment for them. Corrine is a Magic: The Gathering fiend, and Amalachi likes going on adventures in the Redmond area.
Jordan spends his time playing and composing music, developing websites and playing indie games.
On the side, Alek creates his own music. When he’s not doing that, he’s getting students pumped up about playing old multiplayer games in Dead Gamers Society at DigiPen.