On the 1st of November 2011 Bit By Bit Games released our entry for the 2012 Independent Games Festival competition, Trail, completely free for anyone with a Windows PC to download and enjoy.
It’s only a 22MB download, no login or registration required, is entirely 2D and runs on XNA, so pretty much any pc of the last few years should be able to run it just fine. Trail can be downloaded from http://ge.tt/8ZYpIR9/v/0.
We really enjoyed making Trail; core development time was just over three weeks which makes a change from the multi-year projects we’ve been working on in AAA dev.
We’re trying to bring a bit of the Pixar Shorts methodology to game development. So in addition to larger projects we will make short games which allow us to experiment with new tech, crazy ideas or simply make a game around a concept that would not work when forcibly extended to create a longer game. Trail is the first such game we have done.
The trailer, and download links for Trail can be found at http://bitbybitgames.co.uk/trail.php, and a compressed media pack containing a hi-res version of the trailer and screenshots is available for download at http://ge.tt/8beNlR9. The trailer can also be viewed on YouTube.
More About Trail
“When I was a child, I thought you left a trail through the world that you collected when you die.”
Trail is an experimental, minimalist platformer, which was inspired by a child’s belief about death. Trail explores the idea that you leave a trail in the world as you journey through life and when you eventually die you need to collect this trail to achieve final peace.
In Trail you play through a level forwards and then backwards from the point of your death.
When you are alive, the world is white and you drop a trail of memories behind you in the environment. Each memory you drop increases your score. If you touch a memory when alive it hurts you (sometimes it’s painful to revisit the past).
The level is your life, so there does come a point where you will die – there is no escape, no-one is immortal.
When you die the world turns black and you start from the point of your death, or the last solid bit of ground in the case of falling to your death. In this state your ‘health’ which was reset on death constantly drains. I like to think of your health in this state being your attachment to this plane of existence. In addition to this, everything that could hurt you while you were living can still hurt you.
Collecting memories in this state boosts your health and increases your score. The memories, however, move away from you to make this just a bit harder. Your ultimate goal is to reach the first memory you left in the world.
Reaching this ‘wins’ the game, failure to reach it is judged an unfulfilled/incomplete life. To finish the game displays a short piece of text summing up your life, this is based on the score you achieved and your age (how far through the level you got).
Trail has five levels, presented in a random order after the first, for the player to navigate.