Bathe your Frog King by jumping, hopping and tonguing yourself around maps and steal bath items from others in Frog Bath with the goal of beating your friends at giving His Cleanliness a bath!
In this froggy kingdom, it is every young frog's dream to be able to bathe their Frog King. He's... really not sure why, but he has no complaints; he's getting a free bath after all! In fact, the Frog King has encouraged all frogs to compete against one another in giving him the best bath possible. Every single frog in the land has jumped at the opportunity to shower the Frog King, and thus the event has turned into a spectacle and - quite honestly - the only thing the frogs care about now. So get your friends, grab some soap, and prove that you are the best at bathing His Cleanliness!
Frog Bath is a multiplayer action platformer with an emphasis on froggy movement. Players fight over bath items by using their different movement abilities in order to deliver it to the Frog King and give him the bath he deserves. By combining their different types of jumps and their sticky tongue, players can move all over the map in order to gain the edge on their amphibian opponents. But watch out! Players can use their tongue to stun you or even steal the bath item from out of your possession! Fight back with the bath item, spit it out from far away, or even just tactically hop around your competitors to secure points and become the best at bathing the Frog King.
How It All Started
Frog Bath is a student-made project from Champlain College, which started development with a team of 5 people alongside several other game projects made by other groups of students. After a couple of months of development, all of these games within the senior Game Studio program had to go through cuts; the Game Studio faculty had to decide on a select few games that showed the most promise and potential to continue development. Frog Bath was one of 8 games selected by the faculty, allowing us to absorb members from other teams that were cut, increasing our size to 14 people! With this wider team of talented developers, we were able to make Frog Bath as good as it could possibly be.
At the end of the second semester of development, we then got to showcase our game off to recruiters, family, and friends at the Champlain College Game Studio 2020 Senior Show. This was the first time ever that this show was done online; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Show had to pivot to an entirely online medium. The result was a livestream on Twitch.tv, where trailers for every game were shown off along with interviews between the host Julian Huguet and team members from each Senior Game. Below is the full interview for Frog Bath, where team members Leonardo Robles Gonzalez (Product Owner, Lead Systems Designer, and UI/UX Designer) and Rachel Bussone (Producer) give insight into the game's development!
Before development on Frog Bath even began, the original team met to talk about what it is that they wanted to work on. The consensus boiled down to a multiplayer game with room for mastery that focused on movement as a core pillar of the gameplay. Once Frog Bath went underway, we took this sentiment to heart and made sure that the movement was not only as fun as possible, but as froggy as possible. We designed three main movement mechanics that all provide different roles for the player: a simple charged jump that gives more vertical gain, a "perfect frog hop" for bursts of speed that requires player skill, and a tongue-shot to allow players to navigate anywhere they want in the map. When combined, players have multiple options in any scenario that allows for them to develop their own playstyle and use their movement mechanics to navigate around levels in interesting ways to get the edge on their opponents.
The goal of Frog Bath is to get the bath item and bring it to the Frog King while trying to steal it from other players or prevent them from stealing it from you. This sounds pretty simple, but there is one catch: when you have the bath item, you lose your tongue-shot ability since the bath item is in your mouth. The tongue-shot is the strongest ability in the game due to its simple execution resulting in complete freedom of movement, so losing the ability gives players with the bath item (who are closer to winning than others) a definite disadvantage. To contrast this drawback, players with the bath item can spit it out from their mouth, either attached to their tongue or unattached completely. When spitting it attached to their tongue, they can hit other players with the bath item in order to stun them as a self defense tactic, but missing leaves their tongue wide open to have the bath item stolen by other players. Unattached spitting, however, makes the player lose possession of the bath item entirely - but if they spit the bath item at the Frog King, they score a point. This allows players to spit-snipe points from far away, adding another level of depth to the player interactions in the game.
Designing Three Levels
Because of the focus on movement within the game, the design of the levels had to work in perfect harmony with the movement mechanics. As a baseline, the levels were approached with the requirement of making everything accessible via jumping mechanics. Since sometimes players don't have access to their tongue-shot, they need to be given the same potential of navigation as the rest of the players so they can test their skills with those movement mechanics against other players with the tongue-shot. Additionally, the levels generally have more open spaces than they do tight spaces. Throughout development, our Level Designers noticed that players would often go around more intricate spaces as opposed to through them; due the freedom the tongue-shot grants along with the applications of the charged jump and perfect frog hop, it was often not worth it to try to engage with these tighter areas. The design of levels then shifted to be more open to allow for players to use their movement abilities while still having some tighter spots to act as choke-points to control the game's tension.
Art Value Statement
The artistic goal for Frog Bath is to create easily read forms for gameplay while also making fun and whimsical ‘bathroom’ imagery in the process. The choice of a brighter pastel color palette, smooth rounded characters, and a hard edged environment all play into the visual harmony required to make our game.
The colors should be pleasing to look at while staying within a brighter range of shades to maximize the audience that could be interested in our visuals. Bright colors have an energizing effect on people, but prolonged exposure to the the players eyes could be irritating to look at. Additionally, our frogs use rounded, circular shapes to create a friendly and inviting character design that can be interesting yet simple to view. The silhouettes differ from all other shapes within the level so players can see their opponents from across the map. Lastly, our environmental pieces are always frog or bath themed with hard, beveled edges for readability.