Designing Recycle Bros.

Hello. Developer Shane here with a short article on the design ideas (and changes) behind a game Kaidesu and I recently published. The game took about 4 days (~4-8 hrs/day) to put together. I will talk about our initial idea and how the game developed into what it is today.


Joining a Jam that was only 7 days was a bit intimidating since a lot of work goes into a game including: design, prototyping, assets, audio, music, bug fixing/tracking, etc.. Holding down a full time job, planning is crucial to get everything reasonable in the timeline provided; therefore, I decided to jot down a weeks plan.

  • Day 0 (Saturday): Research
  • Day 1 (Sunday): Prototyping, Getting screens working
  • Day 2 (Monday): More prototyping, putting together something playable
  • Day 3-5 (T-F): Assets, UI, audio, music
  • Day 7 (Saturday): Extra dev day (bug tracking/fixing)
  • Day 8 (Sunday): Publish & Marketing!

Of course, our realized timeline looked nothing like this, because Kaidesu tackled the assets and I the prototyping, and eventually had a playable game on Day 2! Still I feel this is an important step to mentally work out what is realistically possible within the 7 days. And I am happy to say we did!

Original Design

The original idea we had for the game was something resembling Mario Bros. Game & Watch. The general idea being you’d control two different players, assuring boxes snake up the screen to be loaded onto a truck. After 8 packages are readied the level would be over and the game would up the difficulty. You’d earn points along the way, and have 3 misses before an end game state.

Image courtesy of MobyGames

Realized Design

Once the Jam’s limitation was revealed (96x96 resolution) we had to make some changes, while keeping the original idea in mind. Since we were limited to one square screen we had to keep the two player bots within close proximity.

The belts would change direction each level adding variety, and the bots had to escort the items across the conveyer belt holes. Each level would get progressively harder with the speed of the belts increasing.

We later decided to change the belt layout to make the game a bit easier (the bots only needing to cover 3 instead of 4 holes).

One change that occurred with this design update is when an item dropped through a hole on the right it could land on the lower belt and still be in play! We were satisfied with this change and really satisfied with the end result.

Thanks for reading!

Files 5 MB
Version 1 40 days ago 4 MB
Version 1 40 days ago 7 MB
Version 4 40 days ago

Get Recycle Bros.

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