Small Bones

Author: Erica Summary: Small Bones is a touch-based runner game for mobile devices. You play as a disembodied spirit who must possess skeletons in order to move. Abstract: Small Bones is a touched-based runner/platformer game developed for Android mobile and tablet devices. You play as the spirit of a dead museum custodian and discover you can move around by possessing other skeletons. You must possess the skeletons and exploit their abilities to escape. Repository: [redacted]


Small Bones is designed to be a touch-based runner/platformer for mobile and tablet devices. You play as a disembodied spirit who can only move around by possessing skeletons. To switch between skeletons, you must draw a path connecting your current skeleton and the new skeleton you want to possess.

Sometimes, switching between skeletons is necessary because not doing so will cause you to hit an obstacle, thereby breaking the skeleton and killing yourself. Other times, you may wish to switch to possess a skeleton of a different type. Each type of skeleton has a unique special ability that can be activated by tapping the screen. However, each skeleton’s special ability has a limited number of uses, thus using the special ability numerous times causing the skeleton to disintegrate and slow down.

Small Bones Demo from Erica Lazrus on Vimeo.

The game was originally developed in Processing, then was converted to full Java using the Android libraries and API.  It currently contains one level, the tutorial level, that teaches the basic mechanics of the game using two skeletons: a runner and a jumper.  This level is set in the basement of a natural history museum, where a museum custodian has died tragically after being trapped until a fallen filing cabinet.  The spirit of the man, however, is still quite alive and it is your goal to help him escape from the basement, and eventually from the rest of the museum, which will be depicted in higher levels.

Small Bones is a collaboration between Kyna McIntosh and Erica Lazrus. The premise of the game was thought up by Kyna, although we collectively refined the idea and designed mechanics and level layout. We began coding together and eventually split the work so that Erica designed the game architecture and built up the rest of the code while Kyna created sprite strips and other artwork, as well as coded and composed the music.  We plan to continue to develop Small Bones in the future and to eventually make it available for download in the Android Store.

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About Erica

Erica Lazrus is currently a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a Bachelor's of Computer Science and Art. She is interested in ways in which computer science and design can (and do) intersect, particularly when there is human interaction, such as in the realms of game and interface design/ implementation. Some of her programming work is currently available at the provided website, but please check back in the near future for that site to be updated with a wordpress blog profiling all of her work.

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