The floor is jelly is a 2D platformer made by Ian Snyder which was released onto steam on the 30th of May, 2014. The game has stunning visuals, beautiful audio and fairly calming gameplay mechanics. The game focuses on the whole world being made of bouncy jello, while you traverse platforms, making your way towards the end of the level.
The game uses certain techniques to make the player feel certain emotions while playing, and this is what inspired the design of certain parts of Uplifter, a game a made for University. The biggest parts of TFIJ's (The Floor Is Jelly) design that make the player feel is the audio and the movement mechanics.
The audio used in TFIJ is not very complex and has a very happy vibe to it. Depending on what kind of terrain you are in the audio feedback can change. For example, in the first few levels as you bounce around, there is an acoustic guitar playing a happy, calm tune. The sound that player makes as he jumps of the jelly is a high pitch plop sound. This makes the player feel happy and calm and lets the player know instantly what kind of experience they are in for. When the level scene changes, the audio also changes. For example, when you enter a cave scene the background music stops, and cave sounds start, and when the player jumps, it echoes. This gives instant feedback to the player.
When designing Uplifter, audio was a big part of portraying feeling to the player. Each level is supposed to make the player feel a certain emotion. That's why each level has a different audio track playing, each of which was chosen because it suited the emotion we were going for in that level.
Movement in TFIJ is very smooth, fluid and bouncy. The feeling this gives the player is free, calm and happy. When you jump, the ground beneath you wobbles like jelly which allows the player, if timed correctly, to trampoline higher than before. This is an extremely fun mechanic and adds to the freedom and bounciness of the game. When designing the movement for Uplifter, I wanted each level to have unique movement attributes. This would in turn hopefully make the player feel certain emotions. For example, the first level was sadness, so the movement was slow, the jump was almost nonexistent and the bounciness was much to be desired. This was done on purpose to make the player feel like they were struggling to make the tiny jumps put in the first level. In level two, which was the anxious level, the music changes to a more fast paced tune, and the movement is a lot faster. The ball rolls quite fast, and jumps high, but doesn't bounce much. In the third level, which was calm, the ball's gravity is reduced and the jump size was increased, so the player feels like that are floating through the level.
When designing a game with emotion, it is important to focus on certain aspects of the game that will affect your player the most. In The Floor Is Jelly's case, the movement and sound track helped get the feeling of emotion across to the player, which what inspired aspects of Uplifter.