Who Put That Cactus There?

A puzzle platformer where you swap places with a ball instead of jumping

Global Game Jam 2018

The download is available on the jam page

A large game jam that takes place annually. The theme for 2018 was “transmission”. With a team of 2, both of which are programmers, we set out to create something small.

“Who Put That Cactus There” features 4 core mechanics around the ball:

  1. Throw
  2. Retract
  3. Swap places
  4. Interact remotely

The current version is more of a mechanical exploration than a game. There are a few scenarios built for each mechanic, showcasing what we think it might play like as a finished product.

For example, this segment is likely the most difficult portion of the game:

3 of 4 mechanics are at play here, in quick succession. The ball cannot be thrown unless it is retracted, and subsequently held by the player. This mandates additional complexity that I am not sure is valuable. Regardless, here is the sequence:

throw -> swap places -> retract -> throw -> swap

The segments proceeding this one are much easier. There isn’t much specifically building up to this idea, and the few playtesters I had struggled immensely on this challenge. If I was to create a commercial product of these mechanics, I suspect this challenge would appear in the later half of the game.

There’s a bit of an ongoing joke between myself and Marty Wong. He and I have worked together at quite a few game jams, and so, whenever we need a name for our games I’ll just ask him and take the first thing he says. “Who Put That Cactus There?” and Super Block Plane Hyper K2 Turbo are both fruits of this joke.