This game was developed over a semester of uni during 2020 for the 'Games Production' course. We were tasked with creating a 2D platformer game containing three levels, a main menu and a win screen.


Part of the first assignment in the course had us creating an outline of our games in the form of a sort of game design document. This wasn't a complete document but moreso just an exercise to make us think a bit about what we wanted our games to be both in terms of gameplay and setting/aestetics.

In 200 words or less describe a high concept for your own 2-dimensional platformer game, including the main goal of the game.

Title: The Apothecary’s Apprentice

Explore three large relatively linear levels to collect three key ingredients to create a special potion that has been ordered at your potion shop. Navigate the levels using traditional platformer mechanics combined with a unique swinging/grapple ability. Defeat enemies and solve puzzles as you explore to progress.


  • Three large relatively linear levels with hidden areas for those that explore.

  • Unique rope/swinging movement ability

  • Throwable projectile type attack to damage enemies or hit objects from afar

  • Enemies

  • A simple story to motivate the player

  • Cute, Pixel art aesthetic

  • Extra collectables to increase score and challenge the player to explore the levels.

Motivation: To collect the three key ingredients to create a special potion at the shop you work at.

Genre: 2D Platformer, Adventure.

Target Customer: Fans of 2D Platformers and short adventure games.

Unique selling points:

  • Use the main character's scarf as a rope that lets you swing from points in the levels such as branches or hooks. This is the key movement mechanic.

  • Throwable potions to deal damage to enemies or hit switches in the level from afar.

Target Hardware: PCs running any recent Windows operating system.

In 200 words or less describe your game setting.

The game is set in a fantasy world. You play as an apprentice working in a potion shop that creates and sells potions. The levels that must be explored include a primitive village of treehouses built amongst the understorey and canopy of a rainforest, ancient ruins scattered across a collection of deteriorating floating islands, and a sprawling, crystal-lit cave system beneath a mountain.

Concept art for the first level
Left image: Treetop village by Benjamin Giletti Right Image: Fantasy Treehouse City by Lakael

The village of treehouses is situated in the forest to the east of the potion shop. By climbing up the trees and using the platforms, branches and buildings to get higher you can reach the top of the tallest tree to collect a fruit which is the first of three key ingredients.

Concept art for the first level
Left image: Fantasy Islands by Neil Richards Right Image: Fantasy Islands by Neil Richards

From this tallest tree, you can jump to one of the lower floating islands containing ruins of an ancient town. The islands are falling apart so you must watch your step. By exploring these islands you will discover the second ingredient; a feather from a creature that lives here.

Concept art for the first level
Left image: Fantasy Locations by Ireneusz Paszkiewicz Right Image: Cave by Nele-Diel

Dropping down from the sky will take you to the entrance of a cave on the side of a mountain. Inside the cave you will find the third ingredient, a magical crystal.

Describe your main character. Include art if you wish. How does your character move? What abilities do they possess?

Kidd the goat sketch (left) and pixel art (right)

Kidd throwing a potion (left) and swinging using his scarf (right)

The playable character is a young goat character named Kidd. He works for Capri in her potion shop and is tasked with the more mundane jobs around the shop. In the game, he has been asked to collect three rare ingredients needed to create a special potion.

He moves around in 2D side-scrolling perspective both horizontally by walking and vertically by jumping/falling.

His scarf can be used in many ways to aid in movement.

  • It can act as a grappling hook or rope that can be thrown and attached to various points in the world and swung on. Swinging lets you clear gaps or reach floating collectables.

  • He can also hold two points of the scarf and use it as a parachute to fall slowly.

  • He can spin the scarf rapidly in mid-air above his head (like the propeller on a helicopter) to perform a type of double jump.

He carries a magical bag containing potions that can be thrown to deal damage to enemies or hit things (such as switches to open doors) from afar. He can carry a limited amount of these potions at once. They will regenerate over time, essentially making them infinitely useable if used carefully.

Design a creature/non-player character for your game level.

Name: Rush Beetle

Rush Beetle sketch

The rush beetle is an enemy that the player will find in the world. It will sit still and wait for the player. When the player gets too close, the rush beetle will fly directly towards the player in a straight line. It cannot be hit while flying like this so the player must dodge it and wait for it to stop. Once it passes the player it will fall slowly and can be damaged in this state. It will fly quickly towards the player again after a short period if they are still nearby.

Sketch out a simple level, including (at least) start point, end point, and one instance of your creature/NPC.

This is the rainforest level containing a village of treehouses. The trees here are giant to support the treehouses.

The first level of the game

  • The player starts in the bottom left at the green X.

  • The goal is to reach the green objects at the top centre of the sketch, making the endpoint the red X.

  • The small purple objects are enemies. Most of them will be the Rush Beetle described earlier but there may be also other types of enemies.

  • The orange areas are spikes and will damage/kill the player.

  • The small, floating, black dots are points that the player can swing from using their scarf.

  • The blue arrows in the sketch show how to progress through the level. There is a split path towards the centre top. The player will have to take one path then follow it back to where it loops around before taking the other path. Both paths will contain an item which, when both have been collected, will open the path to ascend to the end of the level.


This page is, funny enough, still in development. Everything below here is WIP!

I started by developing the movement and swinging mechanics, since I knew they would be the most challenging aspects. I've worked on 2D character controllers in the past but I've always had issues with sloped surfaces and I wanted to support that in this game. I used the character controller developed by Sebastian Lague as a base and modified it to suit my needs. I added coyote time or ledge assistance to make the platforming feel better when jumping from a ledge. I also had to add the swinging mechanic, called 'grappling' internally.

I let my friends playtest the game and found a few things that could be changed. ESC to navigate backwards up a menu. Kidd should target the thing in front of him, rather than the thing nearest to him, to swing on. When speaking to another character and spamming E to progress the dialogue, when it ended if yu accidentally pressed E again it would initiate the dialogue again. Now you must walk away and return to speak to them again.