February 14, 2014 3:00 AM | Lena LeRay
The new teaser trailer for Toto Temple Deluxe doesn't show much, but the small snippet of gameplay it contains brought back fond memories, for me, of Saturdays spent playing Super Mario Bros. 3. On some days, my brother and I would turn on the NES and never leave the start square on the first world because it was just too much fun to pummel each other in the same three mini-games over and over and over again. Juicy Beast (Burrito Bison Revenge, Knightmare Tower) seems to be trying to revive that kind of Saturday-on-the-couch local multiplayer experience with Toto Temple Deluxe, a game in which the goal is to get the goat.
Saying that the game is just a matter of getting the goat is too simple, though, according to Juicy Beast co-founder Yowan Langlais. You also have to try to keep it for as long as you can. "The very second you become the goat carrier by stealing it, all other players start chasing you," Langlais says. "You need to run away with your dash ability temporarily disabled and an additional 'weight' slowing you down as you make points." Accumulating a fixed amount of points is what wins you the round, and although maintaining control of the goat isn't the only way to win points, the other way still requires the goat to change hands.
"The goat lays a bunch of eggs each time it's captured by a new player, you know, as goats usually do," says Langlais. The eggs the goat lays come in different sizes and hatch after a short time period, leaving behind coins the players can pick up. "The fact that it's laying eggs is just because we didn't want players to collect gold coins directly as they come out. We needed a visual way to delay their activation, and that's what we found. We usually get super tired during game jams, thus the weird ideas."
The original version of Toto Temple was created for the Toronto Game Jam (a.k.a. TOJam) in May of 2013. "The theme we were given during TOJam was 'uncooperative'," says Langlais, "and our initial idea was to have 4 players placing deadly traps in some temple to kill their opponents and make points to win. It was also possible to punch other players to make them fall in your traps. Our first prototype wasn't really fun, and we ended up having more fun punching each other than playing the actual game. We then decided to tweak the mechanic by adding the dash ability, as well as something to 'dash around' for. We decided to use the goat for that." It's Toronto Game Jam tradition to include a goat on a pole somewhere in games created for the jam, though it doesn't have to be used as a mechanic.
Toto Temple Deluxe is headed for the OUYA soon and it's going to be a local multiplayer game. "[Toto Temple Deluxe] is fast paced and super frantic as it is, but playing with your friends on the same couch creates a totally different atmosphere," says Langlais. "Everyone screaming and laughing at each other makes the whole thing way more social and definitely more memorable." You can test that theory for yourself by checking out the original game jam version (Windows only) from last May. The new version due out this year doesn't have a price point yet, but Juicy Beast is planning on having 6 different arenas to play in as well as adding randomly spawned power ups to the mix.