This is the story about the ambition with Tytte Bear, why Tytte carries a stick and how it all ties to Solid Snake.
I’m a big fan of Metal Gear Solid. No, not the one for PlayStation. Though it’s pretty good too. I’m talking about Metal Gear Solid for the Game Boy Color, also known as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in some parts of the world. Being on the GBC the graphics were quite limited. The protagonist, Solid Snake, looked like a gray, pixelated rice corn. On the other hand, lacking graphical horsepower it made the game focus more on actual gameplay rather than endless cut scenes and that is a good thing in my opinion.
Now, what does a coarse super-spy have to do with a cuddly, berry collecting, furr ball? Well, I wanted Tytte Bear to have the same general concept as Metal Gear: A two-dimensional stealth game with a bird’s eye-view. Though I also wanted the game to be suitable for children, thus Solid Snake’s habit to punch (or shoot) every problem in the face wasn’t going to cut it. This stealth game was going to be non-violent.
Thinking up a non-violent stealth game isn’t easy. Violence is a common element in the genre. Throw it out and you need to replace it with something else. Preferably something that enhances the “stealth”. Our first decision was to make the protagonist, Tytte, a small animal and the enemies predators. Which provides a reasonable explanation to why you can’t fight them. Though, we still wanted Tytte to interact with the enemies in in some way. Therefor we equipped her with a magic wand that could temporarily freeze enemies. This resulted in two problems. First of, it was too effective! You could freeze enemies over and over and they couldn’t do anything. Secondly, it was kind of boring with this block of frozen beast blocking the way. Then we remembered the old prank were you tap someones shoulder and as they turn around you walk past them on the opposite side. We tried this by turning the wand into a regular stick. Which was easy since it kind of was a stick anyway. By poking an enemy with the stick, the beast will turn towards you, giving you an opportunity to sneak past. But it also introduces a risk factor since you might be spotted if you’re to slow. The screenshots below shows it in action.
The stick also opened up some other possibilities but we’ll take that another day.