When we started Squishy’s Revenge, we had a loose idea of what the story would be about. Some evil buildings would wreck Squishy’s happy little world and he would fight back using the only weapon Squishy knows, being cute.
The story tied directly to the gameplay but there weren’t the little pieces that filled the gaps between the worlds. Essentially, we had to add a touch more story to create a believable world for Squishy. The bits of story will be displayed between the world transitions and give context for Squishy’s actions as the game progresses and settings change. Like many classic games we all grew up playing, we wanted there to be something or someone that Squishy valued to have our hero take action. In our case, it’s both.
Squishy is a species of monster called “Squishlings.” They are really good at eating and being cute. All the Squishlings live a happy, peaceful life filling up on their favorite food, Squishberries. Everything is like it should be until heavy equipment arrives and starts digging up the Squishberries. This puts the Squishlings lives and appetites in danger. Squishy can’t let this happen, so Squishy takes it upon himself to go after the Evil City that is causing the Squishling world to be turned upside down.
Along the way, Squishy finds out there might be more to the Evil City than meets the eye. As Squishy travels the through all the different levels, it will get Squishy closer to finding out the truth of why the Squishberries and Squishlings are being endangered.
We wanted the focus on the gameplay, first and foremost, so the story isn’t very heavy. Even though the story isn’t the focus, that doesn’t mean it gets pushed aside. We wanted the story to highlight Squishy as a character and drive the player to see what happens next.
By introducing the concept of fellow “Squishlings” and something they hold precious (Squishberries), it creates a tiny bit of drama that hold oceans more interest than if players went from level to level, world to world. Squishy gets to show more even more personality in these transition moments that normally wouldn’t come across during gameplay.
The story elements really help fill in Squishy’s world and create more of a connection between the hero of the game and the player without obscuring the gameplay.