Droplet

Droplet is an action platformer game available to play on this site.

Setting:

Eigchtu’oh is a distant planet with two moons and one orange sun.  It is inhabited by a race of people made entirely of water.  The genius Professor Stratus invented a machine that could control the weather, making lives better for the Droplet people.  However, the robot Fireling became jealous of this technology and promptly invaded, destroying the machine and kidnapping much of the Droplet people.  The only chance to stop Fireling is to rebuild the weather machine by collecting atoms.

Characters:

Mr. Droplet – The lab assistant to Professor Stratus, Mr. Droplet is an energetic young man just as enthusiastic about science as his mentor.  Always on the lookout for challenges to conquer, he can occasionally be a bit overconfident.

Professor Stratus – The smartest Droplet of the modern day, he can build anything from wormhole devices to weather machines.  He’s also got bad hair.

Fireling – A robot with a bad attitude that despises Droplets.  She’s a long time rival with Professor Stratus, having known him since grade school.

 

Levels:

Prime Grassland – A quiet pasture that was invaded by Fireling to hinder Mr. Droplet in his search for atoms. Fortunately, the enemies here are not the strongest.

Jungle Ruins – Deep in the exotic jungle are the remains of an ancient civilization renowned for stone carving and metallurgy. Today, Fireling’s minions have invaded.

Evaporated Cove – In the past, this place was a popular resort, but climate change dried up the water. Today, it’s an expansive, dangerous desert filled with ancient ruins.

Crystal Quarry – The mine where all the crystals come from, the Crystal Quarry is a wonderous, yet perilous location. Sodium Bombs were used to carve out the tunnels.

Crystalline Ocean – The planet’s north pole is a frozen ocean. While one can head straight for the exit on the surface, there is a lot to explore on the seafloor. The Crystalline Ocean is also cold enough for ice form to be the default form.

Haunted Bastion – An ancient stronghold built during a war between the Droplet kingdoms. Atoms are hidden within the catacombs and dungeons. The soil of the area is also great for growing pumpkins – killer pumpkins that is.

Unfinished Bridge – Workers were trying to build a bridge to cross a giant chasm. Construction was put on hold after Fireling invaded, making it dangerous to cross in its current state.

Bronze Skyscrapers – A steam powered metropolis built during the industrial revolution. The atoms to collect are found within a construction zone so watch your step.

Lava Temple – One thousand years ago, a volcano erupted covering this ancient city with dust and ash making it uninhabitable to all except a few heat-resistant life forms. It is so hot at the Lava Temple that you are in cloud form by default.

 

Bestiary

Atom Thief – These weaklings are too afraid to fight or defend themselves. A simple stomp on the head is enough to take care of them, though lightning and ice will do just fine.

Ent – Ents are tall humanoid plants that attack by punching enemies up close. They can be difficult to stomp on if there are no high ledges nearby. If you can’t stomp on them, freezing or electrifying will take care of them. And if all else fails, you can always stun them to prevent them from punching you.

Mercury – Mercury is a floating blob that dwells in the water. Any form of attack will kill them, but don’t touch them.

Pitaya – These jumping fruit have spiked heads so stomping will not work. They also cannot be stunned, because they absorb water. If you don’t have access to freezing or electrocution, then hit them from below.

Acorn Spiders – Acorn Spiders are common creatures that will shoot spike balls when you are within range. Any attack should take care of them, but to stomp on them, it requires stunning first.

Bud Serpent – The carnivorous plants known as Bud Serpents are invincible to everything. Get too close to them, and it will take a bite out of you. However, freezing them will put them out of commission, turning them into unbreakable ice platforms.

Spike Block – These creatures disguise themselves as blocks in the background, but will jut out with spikes when you get within range. Any attack will take care of them, save for stomping.

Cancrion – These enemies are spiked so they cannot be defeated through stomping. Electrifying and freezing will defeat them, and stunning will allow you to stop it in its tracks.

Shockode – Commonly found in water, these machines emit electrifying fields. They can’t be defeated so stay out of their way.

Cannon – One of Fireling’s two machines that are causing signal interference at the lab. You’ll need to disrupt the Cannon’s antenna to defeat it by stomping on it according to the emblem that is being displayed. In a pinch, it will fly up into the air and begin firing its cannon in the form of a laser beam.

Sodium Bomb – These machines were used to dig out the tunnels of the Crystal Quarry. Get too close and it will blow up. However, with a single bullet, you can set off its fuse at a safe distance.

Spike Machine – Spike Machines spit out rolling spike balls – originally intended to ward off intruders. They spike balls are fired in a predictable pattern and can be avoided with proper precautions.

Pansy – Pansies are plant humanoids that are immune to water and ice attacks. Stomping serves as the most practical means to taking them out, though electrocute them if you have the luxury.

Sharchangel – Sharchangels are predators that inhabit cold, icy waters. Don’t touch them or they’ll take a bite out of you. They are persistent predators, but any attack will take care of them.

Jack – A jack-in-a-box attached to a spring and a slot machine, the Jack is a toy that should be kept out of reach by children. The emblem on its body indicates what can be used to defeat it, but it changes every time it hits the ground.

Pumpkin Serpent – The Pumpkin Serpent is a close cousin to the Bud Serpent, but it is not invincible. It can be taken out with lightning or ice. Don’t get too close, though.

Dropper – The Dropper is a remote controlled robot operated by a yeti within a safe, glass shield. The Dropper, as its name suggests, attacks by bombarding you with explosives that destroy the ground. The shield is rigged so that only the plasma form can break the antenna, so you’ll have to get up to it in the appropriate form to defeat it.

Buzz – A Buzz is a gear tipped with spikes. Stay away from it.

Watt – Watts emit electrical fields like the Shockode, so take them out while you still can. They are immune to electricity, but a stun-stomp or a freeze will defeat them.

Garro – Garros are floating creatures that can withstand the hot temperatures of the Lava Temple. Like the Bud Serpent, they cannot be defeated, but freezing them will be advantageous.

Shellfire – A firebreathing snail with a shell made of igneous rock. Should you jump, stun or electrocute it, the creature will retreat into its shell. The only way to defeat it is to freeze it.

Fireling – Fireling is a robot that broke the weather machine and abducted the population of the planet. You’ll have to use your wits to figure out how to defeat it, but it is possible to slow her down. Hitting her with a projectile will stop her from firing back at you for a brief moment, and recall that plasma form can walk on lava.

Obstacles

Water – Bodies of water are made of the same substance you are. Cloud form will condensate the moment it touches the surface, although ice form can walk on it. Water form and plasma form can both swim in it.

Toxic – Toxic waste has been left behind due to Fireling’s activities. It is deadly to the touch to all except for ice form which can walk on it.

Pit – Pits are long drops into the abyss. Always look before you leap. Using the down arrow, you can check to see if the area below is safe. If you can’t see the ground, chances are, it’s not safe.

Grating – Only non-solid forms can pass through gratings.

Electric barrier – Different from the barriers in Doctor Stratus’s lab, the electric barrier permits all but water form to pass through.

Cloud – Clouds aren’t solid enough for any form to step on except for cloud form.

Moving platform – Moving platforms are self explanatory. They are platforms and they move.

Rotating platform – Rotating platforms are barriers that require a specific type of bullet to move. Hitting it with the appropriate bullet will cause it to spin 90 degrees.

Steam vent – Steam rises from these vents from underground machinery. Cloud form can ride them upwards.

Raincloud – Rainclouds are dark colored versions of regular, white clouds. Only cloud form can walk on them. Rainclouds disappear the moment you step on them, so you’ll have to be quick.

Conveyor – Conveyor belts were intended to transport goods from one place to another automatically. Watch your step as they may lead off into a pit.

Lava – Lava is much too hot for any form except for plasma which can walk on it. Your best bet is to freeze the Garros to create platforms of ice to walk across.

 

Items

Ammo Crystal – Stand in front of a cyan blue crystal to recharge your ammo quickly. Refill whenever you can so that you don’t run out of ammo when fighting an enemy.

Atom – Atoms are the objects needed to complete the weather machine and lower the barriers in the lab. There are 30 in each level. However, if you leave the level without collecting all of them, you’ll have to collect them all again, although the number you collected the last time is remembered. If you collect all 30 atoms in a level, you’ll earn an extra life. You can also repeat a level over and over to grind for extra lives if it proves necessary.

Water Molecule – These will restore your health. You cannot pick them up if your health is maxed out. Your maximum health can be changed in the options menu via the difficulty setting: Easy is 8 hits, Medium is 5 hits, and Hard is 2 hits.

Red Flame – Red Flames will raise your temperature and transform you into a cloud. If you are in ice form, you will go to water form first.

Blue Flame – Blue Flames will lower your tempreature and transform you into ice. If you are in cloud form, you will go to water form first.

Yellow Flame – Yellow Flames will transform you into the rare plasma form.

Abilities

Water Form – Water Form is usually the default form. In Water Form, you can swim as well as wall jump. Water Form also has the ability to stun opponents.

Cloud Form – Cloud Form can jump twice as high and can also fire electricity.

Ice Form – Ice Form can run fast, freeze enemies and walk on both water and toxic. The water and toxic will stay frozen for some time, allowing other forms to walk on them for a short time.

Plasma Form – A powerful form that is rarely found. Plasma Form can swim, wall jump, jump higher, run faster and walk on lava. The Plasma Form’s bullets can instantly defeat enemies and destroy certain blocks.

Behind the Scenes

The first version of Droplet was originally created in 2009.  While that version was originally going to be put on the site, it proved too strenuous to convert to flash due to the abundant number of compatibility issues so an entirely new, revised version was created from scratch.  The version on the site is actually a remake/sequel.  Planning begun in September of 2012 and development began in November of that year.  In January of 2013, a public beta was released, and the game was finally finished in August 2013.

In January 2015, the old version was put up and converted to flash after many bugs with the export module were fixed.  The conversion is near-perfect, though a few minor things had to be removed such as mode7 effects and a pause menu.

Development

The inspiration was actually very simple.  We were looking to make some kind of game with educational value for a class project, and we chose the different states of matter as a basis: solid, liquid, gas and plasma.  We settled for a sidescroller as we wanted to avoid making this game a blatant infodump.  We used games like Super Mario World as a basis for inspiration in terms of game designs as one of our goals was to allow the player to creatively find solutions for getting across various obstacles.  After months of hardwork, the 2009 version of Droplet eventually became our most popular game among our friends.

Years later in 2012, I wanted to make something big.  A feature-length game with numerous levels and puzzles to solve.  I looked to my old version of Droplet and looked for ways it could be improved.  I ended up creating a highly complex player character movement using the Elementals .mfa file as a basis.

Unfortunately, months had gone by, and the game was becoming very strenuous to create with bugs sneaking about every corner.  Not to mention, the SWF Export Module was new at the time, so it didn’t work that great at first.  Me being the only working on this game, I lacked the resources to make it what I originally intended, and I started to realize I had set an unrealistic goal.  I eventually figured that the best way to get this game out to the public was to settle for just having it playable on a web site in the form of a flash game.  And that’s when Krayfish Entertainment was founded.  Shortly after founding the site, I uploaded a beta version of the game, then spent the next eight months ironing out the flaws.  Remember, working on this game was not my day job.  I could only work on it in my spare time.

By August of 2013, I was satisfied with the game’s length.  It takes me around an hour to collect all the atoms.  (Can you do it faster?)  By far, it was the biggest, longest game I had ever created.  After a year and a half of development, it was finally time to put this project to rest and move on.

After Clickteam fixed a lot of their software bugs with the flash exporter, I was able to convert the original 2009 version into flash.  Though it’s a prequel in a development sense, there’s no continuity between the two games since Droplet 2013 retcons many of the aspects of the original.  However, if you’re a fan of the many-worlds theory, then the two games exist as separate universes within the same multiverse.

Cutting Room Floor

The game actually has a total of twenty-five levels in its coding.  However, only the nine levels accessible from the lab are actually playable while the rest of them are just blank areas with nothing in them.  My decision to scrap the other 16 levels came when I realized I had spent almost a year in development already, and I didn’t want to risk this project interfering with my real-life duties.  Also, I wanted to work on other things just so to have more variety on the site as at the time, Droplet was the only playable game available

In the beta, the music was actually different.  The melodies were the same, but they were just regular MIDI sounding.  That changed when I got a hold of FL Studio’s soundfont editor, and that’s when I decided to incorporate some higher quality soundfonts.

 


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