A 2D Portal, without the hassle of laying out portals? Sign me up! ibb and obb by Sparpweed is due to release Q4 2011 on PSN and Steam. The curator at Indiecade’s E3 booth stated that the game will have local co-op only at launch, but will update with online co-op.
It was originally developed as an Unreal Tournament mod as a type of graduate project. He locked the camera to create a 2D sidescroller even though it contained all 3D elements. It worked well enough such that he went back and redid the whole thing in Sony’s Phyre Engine. The curator stated that the developer is projecting roughly 5 hours of gameplay.
The main mechanic is that there are doors/portals along the ground or walls that flip the game’s gravity. Players can jump on objects and each other to navigate through the stage. There were enemies in the demo that could only be killed on one side of the game’s central plane. This sometimes required jumping through door and walking upside down. To further emphasize how much co-op is essential, when one player dies, the other also dies.
The doors themselves add to the co-op experience. While some are white and allow both players to pass, others are color-coded to match the main characters and allow only for character specific passage. This results in challenging and frustrating puzzles, as shown here:
As the Indiecade curator understood it, the graphics in the above video are placeholders and are subject to change. Hopefully the developer will create a mode where both characters are controlled on one controller, like Twisted Pixel’s “Two Girls, One Controller” mode in the upcoming Ms. Splosion Man.
Ibb and Obb was also featured at Indiecade’s booth at E3 in 2008. This game is definitely a long time comin’. Fingers crossed the team makes its release.