[Comp I] Preschool Paradox

After managing to create a stockpile of notes and scribbles, writing out code in class just to have it fail at home, hours and hours of GameMaker tutorials, two sleepless nights and a lot of miscommunication with the art team me and my friends here at Disarray[Ducks] are proud to present:

Preschool Paradox
As a child there is a constant feeling of uncertainty. The world around you is an adventure waiting to happen. You might not become an astronaut and getting the girl isn't as simple as slaying a dragon but in the mind of a child life becomes very interesting.

In the Preschool Paradox you play as a baby starting out your life. Your search for infinite power has pointed you to the one thing in the world that seems to matter: Growing Up. Every age is a level and in every level you have to play through rooms filled with randomly generated loot or obstacles. The only way to grow up is to overcome the challenges of your age. This means defeating anything from giant toilets in your attempt to conquer potty training or overcoming your fear of the dark. In the Preschool Paradox your ultimate goal is to reach age 5 and discover the mysteries of Preschool.

I've been playing too much Binding of Isaac recently and this game is heavily inspired by it. This is in no way supposed to be a clone. The Preschool Paradox also has a very interesting combat system that resembles what I think Dark Souls combat is.

There are a few things you need to understand before playing:
- There is no manual in life, your only tutorial is trial and error.
- No one told you how to walk, figure it out yourself (or read the spoilers).
- You will notice your HUD doesn't tell you much. You will know you are low on HP when you start hearing your heart beat.
- If you die, you die. No saving.

W - Jump A - Block S - Crouch D - Punch
Arrow Keys - Movement.
When in combat - the red exclamation indicates where to dodge. If the dot is on top, you need to jump. If the dot is in the middle, you need to block. If the dot is showing down, you need to crouch.
You can find HP drops by punching the alphabet blocks around the levels.
End Of Spoilers

The Creators (with fake names until I have their permission)
Okkie - Programmer
Ersatz albatros - Programmer
Emmaconda - Artist
Linntendo - Artist
xp-fairy - Artist
Orange - Artist

Me and the co-programmer are both new to Game Making in general and would both appreciate a lot of constructive criticism.

The game is very much playable and "complete" (Relatively complete, due to time issues we had to cut out some extra nice things like a soundtrack and menu background. The Preschool part of the game itself is pretty much complete.)
If you encounter any problems just let me know I will fix it as soon as possible! We will be continuing this project after the competition has closed and we want to make it up to age 18 and add a proper ending... For now it's a mystery ;)

Some Art:


Thanks for surviving the long post!
- Disarray[Ducks]


  • edited
    Hey, nice first attempt! Being a baby is definitely a vulnerable position to be in. (Especially when everything hates you like in Preschool Paradox)

    Without the spoilers I didn't figure out that there was a block. I thought putting my hands over my eyes would cause the enemies to lose sight of me (like the children's game or peekaboo).

    Of course the enemies did see me even when I was covering my eyes. I guess that's a life lesson you can never learn too late :)

    I couldn't tell what the different floating companions did. There was a balloon that made me move faster (I think), but I couldn't figure out the rest.

    I got to the second boss anyhow :)

    I think Binding of Isaac is a brilliantly designed game. You've got the beginnings here of that. One of the things about Binding of Isaac is the resource system. That you carry bombs and keys and coins.

    Bombs can break through rocky barriers (and can be used against enemies I guess), as well as open some doors and chests but with worse results than keys. Inside those chests are often coins.

    Coins can be used to buy more things like bombs and keys (and upgrades).

    Keys can be used to open things and get random rewards including keys and bombs.

    There's a lot of other good things about Binding of Isaac, but balancing these resources elevates the game from a combat-centric dungeon fighter game to something where you have to and strategize as well as fight. Because these resources are randomly scattered about you have to keep making guesses about what you might need next.

    Sorry if that came off as a lecture. I guess what I'm saying is that you've got a rad start here, and I'd like to see you add to this. And maybe something worth adding are resources that you have to strategize around.
    Thanked by 1Disarray_Ducks
  • Thanks for the feedback. After the competition we will continue working on the "game feel" and actually focus on making the game more enjoyable for the player (We were too focused on actually making the base for the game). You can look forward to a better and more informative stats system, stronger items that will have a more visible effect on the game, possible usable items and other minor tweaks.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Hey Disarray, it might be worth your while if possible to post screenshots as some of us will not be able to play it :)
  • edited
    Added a little bit of art and a pair of screenshots (waayyyy to late sorry). We are also still working on this project (not for the contest though). We have been looking at ways to actually make the game more fun and playable. We will be adding more enemies that are weaker, new attacks, items that grant *visible* unique abilities (along with something that resembles consumables/usable items and more clearly indicated instructions since mystery is no longer a limitation) and also my personal biggest project: random level generation.

    We will be making big changes between now and January 2017 as time allows with the aim of moving away from The Binding Of Isaac and towards something that more closely resembles Nuclear Throne or Enter The Gungeon.

    Here is a preview of my progress on level generation:
    (This is just an example of one of the generations, each one is different)
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