In mid-2011, my former classmate David Hart (who had also worked on M.A.Z.E. and had even helped me programming Poésystème) approached me with a prototype he had been working on in his spare time.

It was fairly simple: you had a Spongebob-like square character in a simple brick maze you could rotate with your finger. Upon each rotation, the character fell to the new “down” direction until it reached the exit.

The prototype had a level editor looked something like this:

image editor prototype

One of my first tasks was to design new mechanics to expand upon David’s original idea, sort them by feasibility and test them once a rough version of it was implemented. As usual, the amount of stuff that didn’t make it in the game far exceeds the amount of stuff that did, but luckily we managed to iterate quickly and reach a stable number of different mechanics in under a month.

At that point, I got serious on the level design. Our goal was to do a first release of the game containing a hundred levels, which we decided to split into five packs. These packs later became temples once we settled on the theme. Having the level editor be itself a mobile app was pretty fun, as I could sketch out and test ideas while on the subway or while waiting in line, which kind of turned the level design itself into a game.

After much hacking, the game looked even uglier than when we started, so we decided it was time to get serious about visuals. After some searching, David hired Andreas Inghe to work on visual concepts. Expanding upon the idea of long forgotten temples, he started doing the assets for the different elements and backgrounds, bringing a new dimension to the gameplay.

By now, it had started looking like this:
beta game screenshot

If you have played the game, you’ll recognize some elements that later became World 2 a.k.a. The Earth Temple, and some early versions of Gravi (the player’s cube) and the exit portal.

With new assets being added almost daily, it became clear that David’s initial choice of tech was becoming too constraining. Previously based on UIKit, David ported the game to cocos2D which gave us a lot more of elbow room to expand and polish the game to what it looks now.

To this day I remain really proud of that project! Even though financially it didn’t really make much, David did break event and the game was well received by the players at the time.

While the game stopped running in one of Apple’s many mandatory updates and the website is no more, you can still view the Internet Archive version of the game’s homepage.