January 23, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson
A new gameplay trailer for the co-op platformer ibb and obb, which is expected to land on PSN in Q2 this year and later on Steam, surfaced this week. Developer Sparpweed brought some details to my attention in the video, too. The game has orange boundaries that act like springs, which require a strong force to propel the character standing on it. Characters can also traverse the sky by bouncing up on magnificent moon-like objects that burst on impact. While learning this, I was still puzzled by what the little rolling creatures do.
Researching the game's musician, Kettel, I spotted a gameplay clip on his Facebook page. The little creatures that seem to do nothing in the above trailer actually can take out enemies and pass through boundaries, too. Turns out that the lil' guys are named Fins.
I'm still intrigued by ibb and obb, and I hope it catches on, as does the title's correct spelling. Developer Richard Boeser told me the title indeed has no capitals. ibb and obb are named after characters from "The Well of Lost Plots" by Jasper Fforde. The book's characters start out uncapitalized and need to earn their "I" and "O." However, the quest ibb and obb are on is quite simple and doesn't link to the book, explained Boeser. "They'll want to save the world. Though it isn't really their world, and I don't think they realize this at the start of the game. Let's say they're helping the Fins."
Since I had Boeser in email's reach, I asked him about the game's camera. I wondered how often one of the characters would fall off the screen and not respawn. His explanation is after the jump.
Boeser: In the game there are only a few stages where you can get out of the camera bounds. In 'normal' levels there is no way for the players to leave the field of view. Horizontally they're bound by the edges of the screen and vertically they'll always drop back to the center split. There are some exceptions and they might be a bit over present in the trailer. There are two stages focused on vertical movement. One with gravity bubbles and one where ibb and obb need to find their way downwards towards the bottom of the level.
In both cases the camera always stays focused on the top player. So the player with the highest vertical position. In case of the bubble level it means that if one of the players fails and falls down, the other needs to go and pick him up and try together again. He can't complete the stage without the other player.
In the level that starts with a big drop, both players are free to go where they want, but since the camera sticks with the top player they are better off staying together. The level is designed in such a way that they can't really lose each other. The interesting thing is that this level really feels different than the ones before. It is the first time you can temporarily lose your friend. The level is more focused on exploration and less on puzzle solving though it has vertical puzzles as well.