Will You Snail, an unconventional platformer about outsmarting a talkative AI, dropped its first official gameplay trailer, announcing its release for 2021.
You play as a snail going up against an evil AI called Squid, who tries to predict your movement and places traps in real-time in order to stop you. According to the developer, you “…uncover the dark secrets of the simulation and jump your way through a short yet unique experience about artificial intelligence and the future of humanity.”
Jonas Tyroller, the developer, previously worked on the city building game ISLANDERS as part of Grizzly Games. Now he’s working solo, documenting the entire development process of Will You Snail on his YouTube channel.
“I see YouTube as a great way of marketing my games while also providing something of value to my audience.”, Jonas states, “The community has been super helpful in the development of the game so far, especially with translations and playtesting. It really goes to show the power of building an audience on social media nowadays.”
The development started in March of 2018. “I wanted to make a small rage game to see if I could make it go viral and have a bunch of content creators scream at it. That’s why I came up with the most annoying mechanic I could possibly think of, where a prediction algorithm predicts your next moves ahead of time and spawns traps right where you are about to go. To my surprise, the interactions with the AI (if you can call it that) were way more fun than I thought, so I kept expanding on the concept, eventually deciding to turn it into a full-on commercial release.”
The development went through lots of ups and downs since then but it finally seems to be on the finishing line now. The trailer closes with a somewhat ironic “Maybe coming 2021” pointing to the many delays the game has already gone through. Turns out that making a full game as a solo developer can be a pretty lengthy process that is easy to underestimate. “I very strongly believe that we can make 2021!”, Jonas insists in the comment section, “The end of the trailer is just a safety precaution.”
The game will be relatively short (~4 hours), but going head to head with a cheeky, talkative AI seems to be something people clearly have some excitement for, as games like Portal have already proven. The comment section under the trailer seems to support that with comments like: “Grab your ‘Been waiting for so long’ Ticket here.”
The developer states that he is quite nervous about the upcoming launch, hoping he can deliver on the seemingly high expectations. So far, only a few selected playtesters have played the game (if you don’t count the fairly popular, free demo on itch), so only time will tell how this one turns out.