Who What When Where Why?
By Harry Dang
Thursday, April 13, 2023
What is this game? Who are these people? Help, I need an adult. What is going on??
Who are you?
We are Sticky Keys Studios.
We were originally a team of undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University taking the course CS 4152: Advanced Topics in Computer Game Architecture where we create a mobile game from idea to release in a single semester. The project that we developed throughout the semester became this, No Screws Attached.
At the end of the semester, we demoed our game at the 2022 GDIAC Showcase event where we won Most Innovative mobile game.
After we graduated in 2022, some of us decided to continue working on the game as a side project so that we can publicly release No Screws Attached for everyone to play! Currently we consist of four software engineers, two designers, an audio engineer, and a marketing coordinator.
What is this?
No Screws Attached is a competitive multiplayer physics puzzle game where players build as many structures as possible based on specific blueprints that are given to you by eccentric clients. As there's limited time and materials, you must steal blocks from your friends and defend your own building as they try to steal back. Only the fastest builder will win, OSHA be damned.
The concept for the game we wanted to make has gone through many iterations. Initially, we had many different game ideas, from a platform sumo game to a medieval bullet hell game. We slowly narrowed down to a cooperative building game with minigames to collect resources. Finally, through many days of iterations, we landed on a competitive tower building game, the one you see now.
After coming up with the game that we all wanted to make, we must determine whether or not the concept was fun. Would people enjoy building and stealing blocks? Is this enough for a game that people would want to play?
This is where the non-digital prototype comes in. The purpose of this prototype is to test whether or not gameplay mechanics are fun or interesting. It is supposed to be simple and fast, so that you do not waste too much time on an idea that is not fun.
Our non-digital prototype involved a deck of playing cards. Players must build a tower based on numbers and suits. A player could either build their tower, steal a card from another player, or defend their existing building. After a play testing session, people seemed to really enjoy our game. Most notably, people loved being able to steal from their friends and the interactions that came from that.
For the next three months, we worked hard developing the game, smashing milestone after milestone.
In the game development course we were in, we had two week sprints. At the end of each, we had a presentation where we presented what we had accomplished as well as a play testing session where we playtested everyone else's games while also gathering useful feedback on our own game. Through this iterative process, we were able to quickly make revisions and get feedback.
There were many hiccups and catastrophes that we had to fight our way through, but many lessons were learned along the way that we will share with you all through this blog in the coming weeks. Many gallons of boba tea and pounds of chicken wings were consumed and many hours of sleep was lost to get to where we are now.
When can I play?
As we are nearing the end of initial development, soon! When the time is right, we plan to have an open beta! We'll announce more information as we get closer to release.
The game will be available for iOS on the Apple App Store and Android on the Google Play Store.
Where can I learn more?
You've come to the right place! We'll be posting behind the scenes and announcements here on the website. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for our newsletter!
If you're interested in our beta, make sure to join our Discord server where we'll be hosting playtesting sessions in the future. In addition, you'll be able to talk directly to us and ask us as many questions as you like! We'll also be asking you for feedback as well. If you want to be a part of the development process, this is the place for you!
For more up to date information, you can follow our Twitter where we'll be posting funny moments during development, concept art and designs, threads about development, and quick updates!
This is our passion project. We've spent months on this project and we want to share it with you. We hope you like it and have as much fun playing it as we did making it.