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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: No Jumping!

    [04.30.13]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Martin Brochu, AI Programmer, You Have No Legs

    You are an archaeologist. While on a trip to Teotihuacan, Mexico, the ground was ripped open by an earthquake and you fell into what appears to be the ruins of an ancient Aztec Temple. You must escape and find your way back to civilization, but there is one problem: You Have No Legs.


    Gameplay is controlled entirely with the mouse; you rotate the character's arm with the mouse and can grab onto surfaces by clicking. While holding on to a surface, moving the mouse will move the character, effectively allowing you to drag your character along by dragging the mouse. Simply moving forward is a challenge, as could be expected for a legless character; the player must place the mouse cursor on a surface, click on it to grab, pull the mouse back to drag his character forward, release the mouse button to let go of the surface and then repeat.


    These controls are the character's only mode of locomotion and apply to all situations; climbing up a wall is achieved by placing the mouse cursor above the character, dragging downward and then quickly clicking above the character again, inching your way up little by little. This same technique allows you to shimmy across gaps by holding onto the ceiling. The player can also "leap" across gaps by releasing the mouse button while moving forward, using his momentum to propel himself forward.


    The game centers around mastering this control scheme. While it may feel awkward at first, the mapping of mouse movement to character movement quickly becomes second nature. As the player explores the world, he discovers upgrades which enhance his climbing abilities, letting him climb up walls, across ceilings and eventually launch himself through the air. In keeping with the Mesoamerican theme of the game, these upgrades take the form of ancient Aztec artifacts, such as Bracers of Huitzilopochtli and Plumes of Quetzalcoatl.

    You Have No Legs takes inspiration from Metroidvanias for its game structure; the Aztec ruins are full of secrets and hidden paths, which contain various upgrades that the player can collect. The player visits a wide variety of areas throughout the ruins, going through an ancient temple, dangerous caverns, peaceful jungles and more. Such paths may be blocked off at first, but exploring the ruins yields various upgrades that can be used to unlock new paths.

    The game ends when the player finds the exit to the ruins and returns to civilization, covered in priceless Aztec artifacts. He rapidly becomes famous for his discovery and lives happily ever after, although he will no doubt one day return to the ruins to discover more of its secrets and achieve 100% completion.  

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