Why Did Nobody Play The Floor Is Jelly?

By Nathan Grayson on June 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Hey you! Yeah, you. The one with the facial expression that says, “I think I have a relatively full and complete understanding of my world’s physical properties, including the basic solid nature of the ground beneath my feet.” YOU ARE WRONG. The Floor Is Jelly. Other things are jelly too. Trees, lamps, houses, your sense of morality – all of that. Really though, it’s not so bad once you get used to it. It’s pretty charming, even. The Floor Is Jelly is now on Steam, so I’ve made a quick video to show you why it’s a vibrant, soothing dive off the deep end that didn’t get near enough attention when it first came out earlier this year. Watch me bounce (and bounce and bounce and bounce) below. 

(Apologies for the patchwork editing job. I’m still learning, and it didn’t occur to me until just now to take a single music file and put it on top of the whole thing. Next time, etc.)

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69 Comments »

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  1. james.hancox says:

    Probably because of the terrible name.

  2. xmido says:

    Because it is yet another indie platform puzzle game. They are done to death by now. There is thousands of them in mobile too.

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s such a joyless response. If the game doesn’t seem interesting to you on it’s own merits fine. If the problem is that there are too many [broad genre] games then I don’t understand how you ever play anything at all.

      • dE says:

        To be fair “Jesus Christ, not another goddamn FPS/Moba” is often considered a fair criticism around here.

        • gwathdring says:

          How is that being fair? That’s exactly the same nonsense I’m annoyed about. What do these people play?

          I’m usually less interested in those games though so I just don’t read a lot of those articles and never see the comments. I gave DOTA 2 a fair shake and I just don’t have enough time to really dig into it. I like what it could be later but not what it is now and I don’t like what it could be later enough that it’s worth the opportunity cost all that practice represents to me.

          Which is another thing–if you are utterly uninterested in something … why read the damn article and then comment so you can be aggressively uninterested in a space other people are–whether or not their overall feelings about the topic/game/what-have-you are positive or negative–enjoying discussing it on account of being interested? It’s really rude.

          I understand on a personal level only wanting to play games that are relatively bizarre and novel experiences. But most people will play quite a few redundant games simply because the individual games are so enjoyable for them and they don’t mind replaying the original let alone playing a significant variation. And yet when it comes to games they DON’T like somehow that same variation becomes an intolerable clutter. Even if you only play unique-ish games, surely you would understand why many people don’t and why that’s not a bad thing or a plague on the industry. It’s quite a myopic mindset and it makes reading the comments less pleasant.

          • dE says:

            Sheesh, step of the hate paddle. I’m not your enemy. Not that I know off, at least. If I am, kindly tell me.
            Either way, comments are about discussion. Discussion is a thing that really only works with diverging opinions. Otherwise it’s just an echo chamber of endless praise and ultimately pretty dull and uninteresting.

            But throwing in someone that disagrees, is like adding spice to a shallow meal. It adds flavour, creates a tasty meal. Now maybe you added too much spice, that can happen but that’s hardly the case here. As with all things it’s never a field of binary choices. People enjoy debating. I do. I know others do too. I don’t know how many others do, but here are we all, bickering back and forth day and night. So I guess there’s many of me. Perhaps enough to say we.
            These comments were made for a reason. It’s someones formal challenge to a duel, perhaps even free-for-all word brawl. Instead of assuming it’s mindless internet hate and assuming the worst from others, try to read these as something to flex your word muscles at.

            “Because it is yet another indie platform puzzle game. They are done to death by now. There is thousands of them in mobile too.”

            Translates into:

            “I came here to debate the merit of Indie Platform Puzzle Games (and I kinda answered the open question in the title…). I deem they hold no merit based on the quantity and limited variation herewithin their theme and spiel, does anyone here care to challenge my view? If so, pick up the glove”.

            Instead of moaning about the existence of these comments, challenge them in the context they were made. People post these to discuss. What you did was to pick up the glove, throw it out in a tantrum and declare the duel be over, because you say so. That’s something I’d consider rude, for example.

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            jrodman says:

            There’s something to be said for peeing on a debate opener that’s as insipid as the one above.

            I expect more color and flavor for a comment around here. What about the games seems samey? What about this game seems like that bland flavor?

          • gwathdring says:

            I don’t believe I said a single hateful thing in that entire post. Also I don’t think I ever used a non-general version of “you” in that entire post–apologies if you thought I was referring to you personally but I don’t think I was at any point so no need to defend yourself. You are indeed not my enemy.

            “Instead of moaning about the existence of these comments, challenge them in the context they were made. People post these to discuss. What you did was to pick up the glove, throw it out in a tantrum and declare the duel be over, because you say so. That’s something I’d consider rude, for example.”

            Right. So when someone posts something dull and/or combative I’m supposed to just always assume they merely mis-worded something nicer or more interesting? I do that sometimes. But not always. I don’t think not always doing that makes me rude. Sometimes the obligation of communicating meaning falls on the speaker, after all. It’s a two-way street.

            I don’t think routinely tossing down weirdly disguised gauntlets and expecting sensible (if impassioned) debate is polite. Or sane.

            You’re giving me this image of a gentleman with a cane-sword and a glove stuffed inside his hat who throws is hat at people and then calls foul when they throw the hat back asking “Why would you throw a hat at me? What the heck?” and accusing everyone of having lost sight of true chivalry.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        The title itself smacks of, “why haven’t you heard about this awesome obscure foreign black metal band?” Because not everyone cares about obscure foreign black metal bands. Some people don’t like black metal. Some people don’t like any metal. Still, I think the title is merely rhetorical, so debating it is pointless and, I feel, lacks any substantial context. It’s a poor springboard, IMO.

        That aside, market saturation IS a problem. What’s one of the high-nosed comments you so often hear about Steam nowadays? There’s too much rubbish! Not In My Digital Back Yard, dagnabbit! Look at all this… shovelware!?! It’s cluttering up the front page and now games that I like don’t get the exposure that I feel they deserve!

        Remember how everyone hated how restrictive and arduous it used to be to get games on Steam? Remember Gabe Newell saying that he wished Steam could have, basically, all PC games on Steam?

        RPS: And you expect more old games to show up?

        Gabe: Oh yeah, I expect we’ll go back in time and eventually pretty much every game that’s ever been available will be on there 24/7.

        http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2007/11/21/rps-exclusive-gabe-newell-interview/

        Well, be careful what you ask for.

        With the modern ease of accessibility for game building tools, you’re going to see a lot of games being made in simplistic game genres, especially platformers. It’s much easier to build a Fez clone than it is to build a GTA clone or even something like Banished, and Banished was so well received, partly, because it was in a massively underrepresented genre. It’s a lot easier to get your game noticed in a genre that has a few hundred titles rather than in one that has a few hundred thousand.

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        Gap Gen says:

        Well, the point being that you can’t play them all, even all the good ones. I admit I’ve stopped buying bundles because I’d never play them all anyway.

      • Chuckleluck says:

        I believe a better way to put it would be, “Why should I buy this platformer instead of ALL the other platformers that have been released recently?”

      • MaXimillion says:

        I have over 50 unplayed (mostly puzzle) platformers in my Steam library, I’m not going to buy another one to add to that list unless it’s bundled with something I’m actually likely to play. To say that the genre is oversaturated is an understatement.

  3. ZombieJ says:

    “Why Did Nobody Play The Floor Is Jelly?”

    Because whilst the visual design and wobbly physic look charming they clearly make for irritating gameplay. Fiddly timed jumps are one of the worst aspects of this kind of platformer and the physics in this game exacerbate that tenfold. Several times in your video you spend a moment building up momentum for a jump, or lining up for it perhaps, only to miss horribly. In fact that appears to be a large part of the ‘gameplay’. When this happens user’s may feel that the time spent building up momentum was pointless busy work inflicted upon them by design, not good UX.

  4. Penguin_Factory says:

    I played this. I have to admit that while the game is gorgeous and has a great atmosphere the platforming didn’t really grab me. The jumping controls felt fiddly and a lot of the levels seemed to be based around finding ways to awkwardly exploit the bouncing physics.

  5. bateleur says:

    Love this game! :-)

    I think a lot of the reason it didn’t get played much is because the press is so focussed on novelty and concrete metrics of various kinds. Nobody’s interested in being told that things are just really fun. Props due for giving it some coverage.

    (Actually I do think the design has a lot of innovation to it. In most platformers a jump is either makeable or it isn’t. In this game even once you get really good it keeps you wondering… Could I take that route if I timed it just right?)

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    slerbal says:

    My answer: It didn’t appeal + too many other games in my collection + too many unplayed games in my collection. (You did ask!).

    • Baines says:

      I’m the same as most commenters. It looks pretty. The idea itself is fun. But the execution doesn’t look entertaining. Like others, I’m a bit tired of indie platformers, precision jumpers, and mechanics that end up annoying. Also like others, I’ve a large backlog of unplayed games.

      If it were a free game, I’d give it a go for a few minutes, then quit and move on. It isn’t a free game. It is a $10 game.

      Some would say $10 isn’t much. I’m not one of those people. There are probably at least ten games on my Steam wishlist that are priced $10 or less that I’d rather have, yet have not purchased yet. An even larger number have been on sale for below The Floor Is Jelly’s current $8 sale price, yet I have not bought them yet. (Why? Because I can’t justify buying every game that I might want, even if they are cheap.)

  7. Curratum says:

    Because it’s yet another artsy-fartsy platformer and people have been conditioned by Steam’s non-existent quality sieve to just skip those by default. Also, because it costs as much as an open world game where I can play a dude who stabs slavers in the neck while liberating other dudes, listening to traditional Haitian songs in-between neck-stabs. You must admit this does make for a more compelling experience.

    • FrumiousBandersnatch says:

      Why did everyone assume that the headline was directed to them personally?

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        Harlander says:

        Who is it talking to?

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        slerbal says:

        “Why did everyone assume that the headline was directed to them personally?”

        Because it is? They asked a question, we are replying :)

    • aerozol says:

      Oh yeah, stabbing people, I’m sure that although I’ve stabbed thousands upon thousands of 3D models in my time, it will be thrilling to do it with a slightly different animation, running towards a slightly different checkpoint, with (whoa!) different music in the background. ‘Compelling’ certainly comes to mind!
      People can be just as dismissive of experiences that you like. Also, RPS likes to cover “artsy-fartsy”, you can tell that this game is “artsy-fartsy” from the icon, so what exactly are you doing in the comments here?

      • Curratum says:

        More likely than not voicing my frustration with the endless torrent of two-bit gimmicky 2D games that get boring after spending 10 minutes with them. You will forgive me if I disturbed your inner peace too grievously with my comment.

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          AngelTear says:

          So, it’s not this particular game that you don’t like, it’s 2d indie platformers that you don’t like, because there are too many (I’m assuming you played a lot of them and are now “overdosing” from them?) and most of them too similar to one another, and instead this game should be more like another genre of games of which there are too many, most of them also too similar to one another.

          (It’s fine to not like a genre, no need to be so aggressive about it)

        • aerozol says:

          Here to voice your frustration about a genre that you don’t like. Sounds like a fantastic and constructive thing to write to strangers about. We’re all very grateful.
          What actually does disturb me is the rising number of RPS readers who feel the need to inform everyone that they don’t like *things that RPS writes about*. Plenty of sites write screeds about mechanically similar 3D FPS for you to enjoy to your hearts content, with users that will give you all kinds of bro-fist for that pointless yet aggressively dismissive comment, so perhaps you should share with them instead?

          edit: bet to it by AngelTear, my lack of conciseness be damned ; )

          • baozi says:

            I like how you counter curratum’s dismissal of a genre s/he doesn’t like by dismissing a genre and its fans that you don’t like.

        • derbefrier says:

          man you must have struck a nerve. God forbid you didn’t buy generic indie platformer #123324343 or people around here will act like you personally insulted them.

          • gwathdring says:

            The problem isn’t not liking it or not buying it.

            The problem is when people barge in to take on a sardonic and somewhat unpleasant tone about not liking it in *droves* and most of their fall-back complaint is that there are too many such games.

            I struggle to think of a game-type as broad as “indie platformer” that couldn’t be said to be over-saturated and that joyless folks hereabouts will whinge about for exactly that reason. If there’s so much as a month or two of highly publicized games that share a theme (like space-flight games) the gripers come out of the woodwork.

            What’s the point? What do you accomplish other than overloading the thread with identical, negative responses? Being repetitive and positive is at least … positive. Otherwise, it’s nice if you have something remotely personal to say beyond just copying the same thing everyone else said. Making the same negative comment that has already been made in droves saps the life out of the comments section and makes it unpleasant. Making a simple platformer when there are already many simple platformers? That doesn’t hurt anyone or make their morning less pleasant.

            It’s really exhausting to read so many negative comments. I love this site and I love the commenters a lot of the time, but this is exhausting. Note, it’s not exhausting to read people saying they don’t like a game for particular reasons or that they disagree with this or that. But the “Ugh, THIS again.” attitude. The repetitive, categorical disdain for entire genres. The use of the word “artsy” as a slur (christ, since when did trying to make things artful, interesting, pleasant, or meaningful become something to sneer at?). It’s exhausting.

          • derbefrier says:

            hey look if he didn’t want peoples opinions he wouldn’t have asked and you can write as many convoluted paragraphs as you want but the truth is these type of games are a dime a dozen which means even if your little indie plat-former is good chances are its not good enough to stand out from the rest. This game would be a prime example of that. You are trying to make this more than it is really and its quite ridiculous. quit being such a nerd

          • gwathdring says:

            The rhetorical question isn’t exactly an obscure notion, is it?

  8. SlyDave says:

    I tried to get into this game, but I just bounced off.

  9. NailBombed says:

    Actually no. The Floor is Lava.

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    Lexx87 says:

    I could asleep to Nathan’s soothing jelly voice

  11. Monkeh says:

    So on what service did it release earlier this year? Desura?

  12. Distec says:

    I imagine because all these small cute indie games are getting hard to pick out when they all bleed together in peoples’ perceptions.

    Name probably did no favors either.

    • gwathdring says:

      Awwww, but “The Floor Is Jelly” is a great name! Stands out from the crowd. :)

  13. JD Ogre says:

    Hmm. Music by Disasterpeace. Awesome. ( http://disasterpeace.com/album/the-floor-is-jelly-ost )

    The game has the stench of being an iPort, however, or at least it dreams of heading to iPad ASAP, what with the 4:3 resolution and gameplay which looks very tap-the-screenish. :(

  14. platypusfool says:

    Lovely game, I’m really enjoying it. The atmosphere and music are gorgeous and I enjoy the sense of freeform exploration and how easy is it to feel lost without really minding.

    The platforming is a little inaccurate at times and slightly frustrating because of that, but since deaths set you back no more than a couple of jumps its a minor inconvenience. Definitely deserves more love.

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    AngelTear says:

    I’m a bit saddened by all the hate from the comments directed at this game. It may not be a masterpiece, and it may not be for everyone, but it does look like a cute little thing and the soundtrack is nice, and it definitely doesn’t deserve that kind of reaction.

    • Baines says:

      The title of the article asked why people didn’t play the game. People responded with why they didn’t play the game.

      There isn’t much hatred for the title, other than one person not liking the title and another in a half or even all-joke post calling it “artsy-fartsy”. (And the latter put the blame more on both Steam and certain types of games in general rather than this specific game.)

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m a bit saddened that the Internet has to polarise “reponders to a direct question of why they didn’t show interest in a thing” to “HATERS”.

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        slerbal says:

        Agreed! I don’t think we are hating, we are all merely answering a question posed by the article. Certainly not the definition of hate, so please don’t characterise it as such AngelTear.

      • gwathdring says:

        I don’t see how categorical “BLECH, there’s too many platformers!” comments don’t fall neatly into the camp of being a hater.

        It’s cool not to like the game, and to answer the question. But a lot of people answered it with broad-stroke bitterness that makes it hard to take their responses in good faith and that in some cases was quite belittling to the people who did like it.

        Also your deflection of someone’s comment about these comments *here* into a comment about the *entire Internet* is not very productive and is, similarly, just kind of snide and unhelpful. Perhaps you would care to engage more constructively?

        • LionsPhil says:

          I’m just responding in kind.

          These have rapidly become some of the most tired belittling dismissials on the Internet; a way to stifle discussion while posturing about your own critical superiority.
          If you don’t like something I do, you’re a hater.
          If you like something I don’t, you’re a fanboy.
          If you don’t want change and I do, you’re a grognard.
          If you want change and I don’t, you’re entitled.

          Remember, though: at the end of the day, the important thing is that we’re all whiners.

          • gwathdring says:

            Look, when a bunch of people all respond to something the author of the article clearly enjoys a lot … there’s a burden of relevance and a burden of justification that ought to fall on people who break into that.

            Sure, dismissing someone who says they don’t like something as, out-of-hand, a hater is pretty uncouth. But … expressing genuine disappointment with a general timbre resultant from multiple negative comments attached onto something other people enjoy, comments without much in the way of content beyond “I don’t like things even remotely like this?”

            Well, that’s a different kind of silly but it’s still silly. The word “hate” is meaningless escalation, sure, but there’s an important point of context even in that, too–the argument versus the person.

            Saying “what’s with the hate?” is very different from “Stop being such a hater” Obviously context matters and can eliminate the difference and I doubt I need to explain why that doesn’t change the argument for what I’m saying to make sense. Saying “I don’t really like this kind of game” or “This game doens’t look very interesting to me” is very different from saying “Gosh, another one? There’s too many of them already.” One is personal taste and opinion, one is a dismissal of the target.

            Complaining about a dismissal of such a dismissal is silly.

    • Syniurge says:

      Don’t be saddened by RPS readers.

      Nathan’s video made me insta-buy it, pretty original and ingenious game.

  16. Sigh says:

    Probably because new games aren’t just competing with other titles released in close proximity, but they are competing with my entire collection of hundreds of games across multiple platforms, services, and pieces of hardware. I increasingly play older games from my collection and rarely new games at the point of release. I have found that a sweet spot is playing games released 2-3 years ago works well for me: those games have received multiple patches, usually are offered as a “complete” package for a nice discount, and several mods may have had time to grow and flourish.

    Also looking back retrospectively allows the truly great games to raise in my awareness based on critical reception, comments in forums, and so on rather than based purely on release hype or the the excitement of a recent distraction.

  17. Kein says:

    WHY NO ONE PLAYED FLY’N?

    SAME DAMN QUESTION.

    • vgp says:

      So true. That’s an excellent game.

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      SuddenSight says:

      Isn’t this just the bottomless rabbit hole of disappointment. I just found and tried Ethan Meteor Hunter, thanks to a bundle, and learned it was MY KIND OF THING, but it has gotten a sad lack of coverage in the anywhere, so I never knew about it.

      Really we need a roundup of all the games peoples should have been buying.

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      LTK says:

      I played it! And I totally agree, it’s criminally underappreciated. The trailers for The Floor Is Jelly didn’t leave me feeling as bright and happy as FLY’N, though, so I totally forgot that it was released. I might check it out in the future though.

  18. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I grew up on C64 and Amiga platformers so I am all platformed out for life. ROBOCOD. New Zealand Story. Manic Miner. Awwww :)

  19. kwyjibo says:

    I’m not a fan of RPS videos, the let’s blather ons last too long yet, delivering an article’s worth of content over an hour that you can’t skim.

    But I enjoyed this short piece. Really simple and succinct review of the game.

    Most people just missed it because no one covered it (I saw it on Kotaku, but that’s it). It’s also a 2D physics platformer in a world with too many 2D physics platformers. Without any personal tragedy games as art autobiographical bullshit narrative, it must have been difficult to get coverage.

  20. Frank says:

    Spikes, maybe

    • Shadrach says:

      Yeah, a while ago I decided to avoid games with instakill spikes. Unfortunately It means I will miss out on some really nice platforming games, then again it saves a lot of frustration…

      I admit I did buy this game, but ultimately what stopped me from playing it was the lack of controller support, as I think this would be perfect for one of those couch+TV games.

      EDIT: Appeary it does have controller support, just a bit buggy detecting it…
      http://steamcommunity.com/app/295750/discussions/0/522728813855530957/

    • Berzee says:

      Yep.

      I couldn’t quite place why I never played this, but your comment reminded me of the disappointment I felt when first watching the trailer and seeing that there were jelly spikes. For a split second I was gearing up to be delighted because I thought they would go, “Haha the spikes are jelly too! So they don’t hurt you, on account of being jelly. Isn’t it wonderful? The spikes are no longer your enemy. Jelly is not your enemy.”

      But they just turned out to be spikes. =T

      Maybe if they were a brilliant new take on spikes I would change my mind, but it didn’t appear so from the videos I saw.

      • Berzee says:

        I think that’s why I never finished Thomas Was Alone, too. =[

        • vivlo says:

          That’s also why i never got past the first two screens or so of Prince of Persia (a 2d one, THE 2d one ?), back in my 12’s. :/

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    RobF says:

    I played it. It’s brilliant. Absolutely adorable.

    The opening few screens don’t really do justice to how enjoyable it is when it really starts to open up but mainly, it’s just a beautiful game to sit through and that’s really nice. Moving about in it is nice. The colours are nice. The music is nice.

    More really nice games please.

  22. Tatty says:

    Basically, it got lost in the slew of shovelware.

    I bought it pre-Steam from the dev’s site (lovely to look at but the imprecise nature of the jumping makes for a frustrating experience – I gave up after a few hours) and when I heard it had made it to steam I went off to redeem my key.

    A few hours after release it was already on page 2 of the new releases. That, gentle reader, is why nobody played The Floor Is Jelly…

  23. Nenjin says:

    I didn’t play it for the same reason many people here didn’t: 2d puzzle platformers do not interest me. Games like Spelunky or Terraria, which are 2d and have platforming, but have other things going on, get my attention. But just straight 2d platformers, based on puzzles? Eh.

    FWIW, I don’t play Bejewelled or games like that for the same reason. I don’t buy games simply because they’re “nice.”

    I guess a big reason I don’t do puzzle platformers is….I don’t believe in what’s being presented to me. Give me a character, a motivation, fine. But when their world and their ambition is jumping in clever ways, flipping switches, moving blocks…I’m not seeing a character. I’m seeing a sprite with an arbitrary, though sometimes fun, series of tasks. For someone who likes adventure, mystery, danger….2d puzzle platformers are like valium to me.

  24. LordMidas says:

    Cor, I can’t imagine the developer coming on here and reading most of these comments. “Indie-platformers are a dime a dozen, meh!”. He’d be thinking, I’ve never made an indie-platformer before, and I sunk my heart and soul into this project, of which I’m really proud. And no one wants to play it because there are other indie-platformers out there. Though no of which have a floor made of Jelly, and thus there are no other indie-jelly-floored-platformers, meaning it’s actually unique, and I wish folks would try it.

    I personally think it looks ace (but haven’t played it) . Ahem

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    jrodman says:

    Is this american jelly or british jelly?
    Please clarify.

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    Cantisque says:

    Probably because of my 1000~ game backlog, which this will likely end up being added to when it inevitably gets a huge discount in a months time.