Saturday, August 10, 2013

Push and Fork: giving myself a pat on the back

Last year, me and a couple of colleagues wrote an online game, Push and Fork, as part of GitHub's "make a game in one month" contest.

One year is not that long, but enough time has passed for me to forget the solutions to some of the more subtle puzzles. This means I had the opportunity to experience it in a way which is slightly closer to that of first-time players; in particular, I finally understand why beta-testers were always surprised to discover that they did not need to use the fork to solve some of the early levels, and I understand why so many people got stuck on level 16, incorrectly trying to use the fork on the green block.

The universal feedback we always get is that the main mechanic of the game is not easy to understand, but that once you finally get it, the puzzles are quite fun. And the endings, oh, the endings! I'm the one who wrote them, but I had never experienced them like I did today. Many of our beta-testers didn't understand the ending at all, so let me put you on the right track: when you pick up the spork, you loop back in time to level 7, immediately after that weird foreshadowing sequence in which the white creature places the spork in its receptacle. There. That's it, now you're ready to enjoy the sadness of the ordinary ending, the cleverness of the first secret ending, and... nah, you'll never find the last secret ending.

Have fun!

Above: the secret menu screen which you will never see in-game,
because even if you could unlock the last ending, you would also need
to solve all the bonus puzzles, and the last one is really tricky.

Still, good luck!