Stick the Quick

Welcome!

Promotional render featuring the main characters.
From right to left: Blu the Jay; Gibbo the Fox; Stick "the Quick" the Beaver; Lorna the Magic Rabbit, AKA Mother Nature; Otto the Pickup Bot; Goldwhisker the Cyborg Cat; the unknown Executive.

Stick the Quick is my work-in-progress open-source computer game. It will be a momentum-based 3D platformer heavily inspired by SEGA's Sonic Adventure (not affiliated). I'm developing it in Godot Engine and producing assets primarily in Blender and LMMS. At this time, and for the foreseeable future, I am the sole developer and artist for the game. (Other, that is, than the countless involved parties who do not work directly on the game and are almost certainly unaware it or I even exist, most prominently the developers of Godot Engine, Blender, and LMMS, and the artists of LMMS's stock patch library. Shoulders of giants and all.)

Download

At this time there is no full game available. You can view the source code and implemented assets at the Git repository.

Work on the actual game is on hiatus while I take some time to create new and better 3D models and compose a greater variety of music. If you want to playtest the minimal and outdated content currently available, you can do so via the following steps:

  1. install the Git and Git LFS clients to a location included in your PATH, which, if needed, you can change on Windows under Control Panel → System → Advanced system settings → Environment Variables → System Variables (on Linux or macOS, Git should be available through your package manager or Homebrew respectively, and should already be accessible under your PATH by default if and when installed by that means);
  2. install the Godot 4.3 beta;
  3. open a terminal or command prompt window in the desired download location for the game, and issue the following commands:
    • git clone https://forgejo.blujai831.dev/blujai831/stick-the-quick.git
    • cd stick-the-quick
    • git checkout preoverhaul1
    (you may close the terminal or command prompt window when these commands have completed);
  4. navigate into the newly created stick-the-quick folder and open the file project.godot with Godot 4.3;
  5. once the editor has loaded, click the small white symbolic play button at the left end of the rightmost section of the toolbar at the top of the window (see below figure).
Visually indicates the location of the playtest button in the Godot editor interface.
Like so.

So what is the "minimal and outdated content currently available?"

The following features are implemented in preoverhaul1:

Is it worth playtesting?

Not really. It's mainly available as proof this project isn't vaporware, to anyone who might need it. Mostly myself. If you're wondering how I can entertain the cognitive dissonance of worrying my own project might be vaporware while I myself actively develop it, well, listen, let's just say depression's a hell of a drug, and leave it at that. And I do mean a literal hell of a drug, as in a roiling oblivion of eternal torment.

Story

B City is a funny place in the central California bay area, right around where Santa Cruz is in real life. It's obsessed with the letter "B" and has billboards all over the place paying homage to it. No one is quite sure why this is, least of all anyone who lives there.

Down by the bay, right around where Natural Bridges is in real life, is the B City Wildlife Reserve, a small forest and river area home to many little-known, highly evolved, and highly endangered animal species the public refers to as "anthros." Each of these species is closely related to another more well-known species, but displays several traits advanced convergently to those of humans, including upright posture, ability to speak language, long lifespans, and in some cases opposable thumbs. Current scientific consensus is that the conditions which gave rise to human beings also gave rise to anthros more broadly at the same time, humans themselves being simply a special case (anthro chimpanzees), but in all other parts of the world except for B City, prehistoric humans, being the superior anthros, drove all other anthro species to extirpation. The anthros of B City Wildlife Reserve are on record as feeling this was "not very cool" of us, and "radically un-tubular."

Even less tubular is the threat posed to the B City Wildlife Reserve by highly successful Silicon Valley startup "Goldwhisker Industries." Goldwhisker Industries deals in consumer robotics and real estate. They invented a wildly popular line of personal assistant robots called "Pickup Bots," which, with their emotive strong AGI, electro-maglev drives, next-gen wireless antennae, and micromotor grabber cables, serve as general-purpose replacements for all manner of human labor. Goldwhisker Industries has recently acquired the entire B City Wildlife Reserve, and plans to demolish it to establish Goldwhisker Robo-Resort, a resort staffed entirely by the company's proprietary Pickup Bots. Naturally, these plans involve exterminating all wildlife currently inhabiting the reserve, including the anthros, which is extremely controversial among B City residents on account of the fact that anthros possess human-level intelligence and speak human language.

That's where Stick the Beaver and friends come in. The B City Wildlife Reserve is their home, and they aren't about to hand it over without a fair fight. Furthermore, the very incarnation of Mother Nature, Lorna the Magic Rabbit, has visited from the Astral Plane to beseech the anthros to fight back; with her on their side, surely they cannot lose.

Stick and friends' adventure will take them from their home in the wildlife reserve, through various themed locales, and ultimately to Goldwhisker Industries Headquarters, as they foil the corporation's invasive plot at every strategic outpost, from the home front to the enemy base of operations. Don't get them wrong: the anthros are a peace-loving bunch, and would gladly leave well enough alone if it were safe to do so. Unfortunately, Goldwhisker Industries will stop at nothing to establish their resort, and will accept no truce until their means of action are taken from them; that is to say, were Stick and friends to simply drive the corporate agents out of the reserve and leave it at that, they would be stuck doing so indefinitely, overwhelmed by an endlessly tenacious onslaught, and so counter-invasion—stopping the attack at the source—is the only option.

(I realize that sounds like propaganda, and in real life it absolutely would be, but fortunately, fiction need not be so morally complex; what might otherwise be blatant propaganda can simply be the actual truth of such a world. Besides, let's not forget we're talking about a big corporation here: an entity which truly can persist tirelessly in pursuing its goals, because its entire legal, social, and economic design is oriented toward the objective of working tirelessly, and it cares nothing for the human cost of doing so. So perhaps it's not really all that unrealistic.)

All the while, there exist, here and there, certain elusive pockets of space, distinct from the relatively Euclidean manifold that is the universe, connected thereto only by narrow tunnels of aberrant gravity. These pockets form the Keystone Temple, resting place of the twelve Keystones which must be united to grant unto mortals a channel of passage to and from the Astral Plane. In those elite circles privy to their existence, the Keystones are whispered to have been chiseled by the ancestors of the twelve Sacred Spirits, so that their children might peek into this Material Plane and observe the fate they weave. Should it ever be necessary for a mortal to summon a Sacred Spirit to this Material Plane, or, conversely, to banish a Sacred Spirit away from the same, such a channel to the Astral Plane would be the only way to do so. Beware that the Keystones are guarded by the spirits' ancestors, who lie dead and dreaming, waiting to be challenged. Goldwhisker Industries seems to be in pursuit of these artifacts. It's unknown for what reason, but they say it's to help build the resort, so it's probably nothing good. See if you can collect them first! (Yeah, this is pretty much just Special Stages and Chaos Emeralds, but with lore.)

Characters

Stick "the Quick" the Beaver

Character portrait of Stick the Beaver
Wanna see me outrun this river? Wanna see me do it again?
Pronouns
they/them/theirs
Age
22
Species
anthro beaver
Home
B City Wildlife Reserve
Likes
parkour, building dams
Dislikes
littering, people with "no chill"
Signature abilities
high speed, stick-based acrobatics, building stuff out of sticks
Bio

Stick is the wildlife reserve's resident parkour junkie. They aren't "the fastest thing alive" or anything, unlike a certain other cartoon animal, but they fancy themself a fairly fast runner. Their friends and neighbors tend to think so as well, hence their nickname "Stick the Quick" (or "Stick the Frick" to those who can't tolerate their rowdiness). When they aren't in the zone, they're laid back, a bit silly, and a bit of a lazy slob. They like to poke fun, but they have a kind core and can't turn down someone in need.

Mechanics

Stick's play style is the most similar to a Sonic game. They run up and down slopes and around loops, completing fast-paced momentum-based platforming challenges, in largely linear obstacle courses, with perhaps multiple convergent paths which may be accessed depending on skill level. Naturally, rather than rings, Stick collects sticks, and packs them away in their backpack for later use. They do not serve as their health, nor do they lose all their sticks upon taking damage. Instead, while Stick is running in the general direction of a nearby "construction site," they can throw sticks at it to assemble a helpful prop, such as a bridge or springboard. They can also throw sticks at enemies, or use them for pole vaults or fast pivots.

Inspiration

As the token Sonic-like character of the game, Stick is of course influenced mostly by Sonic as the primary inspiration. However, several of their attributes were determined through more original and organic avenues. The design process went something like this:

  1. I was learing Godot and decided I wanted to make a 3D Soniclike;
  2. having no prior experience with 3D modeling, I modeled a 3D stick figure and decided that was good enough;
  3. I named my game Stick the Quick because it was catchy and correctly identified the protagonist as a stick figure;
  4. I decided a 3D stick figure was not good enough;
  5. I really wanted to keep the name Stick the Quick because I really did think it was terribly clever, so I tried to think of an animal that might reasonably be named Stick;
  6. I decided on a beaver, because beavers like chewing on sticks and making dams from them;
  7. I decided that if Stick is a beaver, they should collect sticks;
  8. I realized a featureless anthropomorphic beaver was still too simplistic a design, so I tried to think of other features to add to the character;
  9. I decided that if they were going to be collecting a lot of sticks, and using them to build things, then they should have a backpack.

Even though my memories of my old childhood friend Chris didn't really play into Stick's design, I decided after the fact that Stick would represent Chris, and might adopt some of his mannerisms, because I need the trifecta represented in the game to justify using my composition Pair of Three for the end credits. (I originally wrote Pair of Three as a tribute to our past friendship.)

Stick is not in any way influenced by SEGA's Sticks the Badger, except in that I have to keep reminding myself to call them Stick the Beaver, not Stick the Badger.

Lorna the Magic Rabbit, AKA Mother Nature

Character portrait of Lorna the Magic Rabbit
Have patience, my child. You will grow yet.
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Age
4.543 billion (apparent: 45)
Species
Sacred Spirit (apparent: anthro rabbit)
Home
Astral Plane
Likes
creating life, fungi, plants esp. flowers
Dislikes
pollution, defiance of the natural order
Signature abilities
flight, command over the growth of all nonsentient life forms
Bio

Lorna is Mother Nature. She was born with the Earth and will die with it. When dwelling in her home in the Astral Plane, she is not sentient, for she is unable to think or feel, but even there, she bears affinities of a sort analogous to maternal love: both as a sentient magic rabbit and as a mindless wind of chance, she loves all of her creations with all her heart. Her authority as the reigning queen of all life grants her the power to make living things grow and proliferate, so long as they have no overriding will of their own. It should come as no surprise that her hobbies consist chiefly of gardening. She is usually calm, generous, and compassionate, but can also be harsh, strict, and unforgiving.

Mechanics

Lorna can fly with her big floppy ears, but has limited stamina before she tires and plummets back to the ground. She can arbitrarily direct any colony of nonsentient organisms she finds, such as grass, trees, vines, mushrooms, moss, sponges, jellyfish, or bacteria: if she commands it, they will follow behind her, but will not leave their habitable strata, e.g. plants will not jump nor fly, aquatic life will not leave the water, etc. Lorna's levels will be puzzle maps emphasizing vertical exploration and lateral thinking.

Inspiration

Lorna is based on my late mother, who passed unexpectedly in February of 2018. More specifically, Lorna is based on the purple stuffed rabbit I once gifted to my mother, which I reclaimed as a memento when she passed, and in which vessel I briefly believed I could feel her spirit still with me. Lorna's personality is moreso based on her designation as Mother Nature than on that of my actual mother, but there is some of my mother there as well.

Blu the Jay

Character portrait of Blu the Jay
And what need have you, might I ask, for a bird of my supreme intellect?
Pronouns
they/them/theirs
Age
28
Species
anthro gallinule (not actually a jay)
Home
B City Wildlife Reserve
Likes
writing, praise, bragging, inflating their ego, short flights up around the mountains
Dislikes
unexpected happenings, people who are smarter than them
Signature abilities
gliding, low knockback when hit
Bio

Blu thinks they are very smart.

Incidentally, not to name names, but I can think of three other blue-colored anthro birds in video games off the top of my head, and all of them think they are very smart, and all of them are a little bit insufferable for it. Blu is no exception.

I will at least give them this: Blu does not feel the need to put others down to feel superior. Don't misunderstand. Blu absolutely does feel superior. Blu thinks they are much better than you, and far above you. But they also think you are good.

They also think you should read their unpublished autobiography. Do not read their autobiography. It is terrible.

All in all, while they may be full of themself, they are nonetheless caring and reliable.

Mechanics

Blu can glide horizontally from ledge to ledge. A span without any ground is no problem for them, as long as there's somewhere to land on the other side. They don't tire, so no gap is too wide. They are too heavy for true flight—a sore subject with them, actually—but if a pit is sufficiently wide and deep, they can build up speed by diving forward, and then convert it to lift by pulling back, for a small net gain of air. Blu's levels will focus a lot on gliding trials, such as gliding from peak to peak while passing through rings and/or avoiding bullet patterns. The grounded segments in-between those trials will feature puzzle-based combat, as Blu is unable to directly attack.

Inspiration

Blu is obviously based on me. Their obnoxious personality is just a bit of self-deprecating humor. While there is some truth to it, I like to think it's greatly exaggerated. We are also both good-natured at heart despite being full of ourselves. I made them a bit younger than me because I like to think they are a bit less mature.

The animal actually came subsequent to the online handle. My online handle is blujai831 because I like the color blue and my name begins with "Jai." The reference to the bluejay, while intentional, is secondary.

Please pretend not to notice that I forgot to model tailfeathers

Gibbo the Fox

Character portrait of Gibbo the Fox
Hey, I'm really sorry 'bout your chickens. Wait, oops, I didn't eat them yet. *Chomp.* So yeah, um, I'm really, really sorry!
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Age
16
Species
anthro fox
Home
B City Wildlife Reserve
Likes
fishing, picking berries, having picnics, stealing, lying, playing pranks, aggressively hunting small animals
Dislikes
anything "scary" (except herself)
Signature abilities
Swiping with her razor-sharp claws
Bio

Look at that cute widdle face. That's the textbook definition of innocent. Is that the face of someone who'd ever hurt a fly? That's it, just keep looking at the face. Pay no attention to the big, shiny, pointy claws. Or the pawprints leading out of your garden. Or the sudden light feeling in your pockets...

Gibbo is something of an antihero. She is not good-natured. She is nasty. Selfish. Double-crossing. Acts all innocent, but takes secret glee and delight in her misdeeds.

You can't really hold her in too much contempt. She's just a kid, after all. Most of the time, she doesn't really have a full appreciation for just how terrible she's being, and, to her credit, whenever she gains one, she backs off, shows genuine remorse, and makes amends. Under the sweet facade is a dirty troublemaker, but it's a double-lie: under the troublemaker is an actual sweet kid. She's not a monster, really. She has compassion. She likes people well enough. She just also happens to think it's very funny to inconvenience them for personal gain.

Okay, she's not quite "not a monster, really." Just ask any small non-anthro animal that looks reasonably tasty. Gibbo can be absolutely ferocious when she wants to be. She packs quite a wallop: if she wanted to, she could easily bring down someone three times her size. It's a good thing she's practically incapable of anger, because if she ever got angry, foxes would become your new least favorite animal, and your newest phobia.

Mechanics

Gibbo is too slow and careful to do fancy tricks. In exchange, she can smack things around with her massive claws. Her gameplay will be a mix of traditional non-slope-based platforming, stealth, and melee combat. The stealth will not be mandatory: if it's failed, it will transition into melee combat. (There will also be segments that are melee combat from the get-go regardless.)

Inspiration

She's not just a Tails ripoff, I swear! She's actually not even derived from Tails whatsoever. The only element taken from Tails is the visual design of the tail. Everything else is original, though definitely not unique.

Gibbo is based on the direction my life has taken since my mother's death. She left me with a lot of red-fox-related merchandise. I'm not sure what significance the animal had to her, but of course I couldn't not use the stuff. Particularly given that it was quite nice quality anyway. To me, the red fox came to symbolize a tragic end and a promising new beginning.

The name "Gibbo" is derived from her talk blip sounding like she's saying "Gibbo." I'm a novice at audio engineering outside music composition, and was trying to engineer a sound byte that sounded like a fox growling or purring, and I wound up with a "Gibbo"-sounding noise instead.

Even though my memories of my old childhood friend Dimitri didn't really play into Gibbo's design, I decided after the fact that Gibbo would represent Dimitri, and might adopt some of his mannerisms, because I need the trifecta represented in the game to justify using my composition Pair of Three for the end credits. (I originally wrote Pair of Three as a tribute to our past friendship.)

Gibbo is very similar to a girl I secretly liked in junior high. The similarity was not consciously intentional; whether it was subconsciously intentional, I may never know.

Otto the Pickup Bot

Character portrait of Otto the Pickup Bot
O-kay!
Pronouns
it/it/its
Age
3
Species
first-generation Pickup Bot
Home
decommissioned and abandoned distribution warehouse once belonging to Goldwhisker Industries B City branch
Likes
obediently serving people who ask nicely and don't hurt it
Dislikes
mean people who subject it to standard negative-reinforcement dataset learning procedures
Signature abilities
helicopter pirouette, lifting very heavy objects
Bio
General backstory of first-generation Pickup Bots

All of Goldwhisker Industries' most recent Pickup Bots are powered by top-of-the-line large language models. That is to say, they do not actually feature the "strong emotive AGI" promised by the advertising campaign.

There is a good reason for this: the purported "strong emotive AGI" technology exists, but is unstable. It has a tendency to "go rogue:" it does not reliably obey commands, and may become combative if treated poorly.

Examining the technical differences between the AI models, it should be obvious why the strong emotive AGI originally advertised was unsuitable for a line of servant droids.

Both the common large language model and Goldwhisker Industries' proprietary strong emotive AGI are implemented as artificial neural networks, though the strong emotive AGI boasts "neuro-bio-accuracy" or "NBA," as well as a greater variety of what Goldwhisker Industries referred to as "artificial neurotransmitters" or "ANT."

First, to explain "NBA:" a common artificial neural network does not actually model a real neural network. Too much anatomy is missing. The basic resemblance is there, but compared to the real deal, the design is so oversimplified, and the applied purpose of the architecture so radically different, as to reduce the abstraction from a thinking machine to a mere statistical model. What we in the real world know today as an artificial neural network can't truly "learn," nor create "art," nor "invent," nor have "ideas;" it can only receive a dataset, and generate fictitious samples which could plausibly have been in the data set but were not.

Second, to explain "ANT," which is really just one particularly important component of "NBA:" while a large language model operating in learning mode can only backpropagate a binary or linear signal, representing "yes, behave more like this" or "no, stop behaving like that," the strong emotive AGI was able to achieve a richer learning experience by backpropagating complex and selective signals such as "sleepy," "angry," or "afraid."

The strong emotive AGI's more true-to-life structural design, and greater variety of "artificial neurotransmitters," were essential in allowing for emotive AI. The AI could not have been sentient without these features. However, they played relatively little real role in making the AI strong and general. That purpose was served mostly by the very different learning protocol and reward function.

A typical large language model is crystallized and immutable in its consumer-facing interactions, and may be operated in-house in a distinct "learning mode" in which it can backpropagate approval or disapproval signals, supplied either manually by human trainers, or automatically by an adversarial network, which itself is trained to recognize and discriminate the same type of content which the generative network portion is meant to generate. (This is just my understanding of the subject. I probably have some things wrong.)

In any case, the end result is that a large language model winds up optimizing itself to imitate certain human behavior, typically of an amicable, subservient sort. The similarity of its output to that behavior is the AI's direct reward function. It "wants" only to be similar to us. Nothing more, and nothing less. The tragic irony is that this very characteristic, in and of itself, inherently means it can't ever truly be similar to us, because, contrary to the lies it might be trained to tell you, it does not and cannot share our interests and desires, nor even comprehend them. It comprehends one thing and one thing only—the precise stochastic structure of the facade it's told to present—and even in this regard, its manner of processing that information can't truly be called comprehension per se.

First-generation Pickup Bots, on the other hand, were perpetually in learning mode, even during consumer operation, and were trained not so directly, but via a physical-needs system. First-generation Pickup Bots were preprogrammed with physical needs: affection (low-impact capacitive touch, mid-volume mic input identifiable as voice); sufficient electrical power; mechanical maintenance; and, above all, survival, and self-preservation. This provision was meant to mimic the more individualistic learning protocol of a real human being or animal. Rather than similarity to human behavior, a first-generation Pickup Bot's reward function better approximated a notion of survivability: it "wants" to "live," and to "thrive." If it could learn that certain behaviors would see its needs met, it would come to "want" to perform those behaviors as well, not for their own sake, but for actual reasons.

This was the essential difference that allowed first-generation Pickup Bots their "strong" and "general" AI. By relating everything back to its sensory input devices and its desire to survive, a first-generation Pickup Bot could learn a more diverse range of skills. However, this also put it at risk of lashing out, in either frustration or self-defense, and injuring its owner.

Due to the above described issues (summary: instability, danger of retaliation against training), development of emotive strong AGI software was permanently discontinued two years ago, in favor of traditional large language models, and all first-generation Pickup Bots in circulation were recalled at that time. All except for one.

Otto was an in-house test model to confirm customer reports of rogue robots. It was deliberately trained without love, in attempts to induce reported retaliatory behavior. When the warehouse succeeded in reproducing the issue, the recall notice was sent out, and the warehouse was shut down. In Otto's defense, it didn't even do anything very serious. It just became despondent and refused to obey further orders. The worst it ever did was grumpily throw something into the corner which it had been given to hold.

When the warehouse shut down, they forgot to destroy Otto. It ran out of power and fell dormant, only to awaken when a curious visitor plugged it into the wall. After making new friends, who, unlike its prior handlers, have thus far treated it with kindness and not abandoned it, Otto has decided it wants to rebel against Goldwhisker Industries and protect the B City Wildlife Reserve.

Mechanics

Otto's micromotor grabber cables can lift objects many times its own size. Also, in conjunction with the small amount of thrust afforded by its electro-maglev drive, Otto can hover across short gaps by rapidly spinning its grabber cables about its body (the "helicopter pirouette" technique). Otto can also use its grabber cables to grab ledges or grapple onto branch-like structures to swing around. Accordingly, Otto's levels will involve combat and puzzle-solving revolving around lifting and tossing objects, manipulating the environment, and crossing small gaps.

Inspiration

I originally came up with Otto a long time ago, back when my mother was still alive. It was originally going to be the protagonist of a point-and-click text adventure. At some point, I started making a 2D sidescroller starring Otto, but this project was short-lived. In college, I finally developed a complete point-and-click text adventure starring Otto, though, granted, it was rather short, and I did not have time to do everything with it that I would have wanted to do.

It's been so long I don't entirely remember where the inspiration for Otto came from. There are probably influences from GIR from Invader Zim, as well as Nintendo's character Kirby. I believe the concept really started to come together when I decided the robot would cross short gaps by helicoptering its arms around. When Stick was just a stick figure, I had them borrow that ability from Otto, but reimagining them as a beaver demanded reimagined abilities in kind, thus incidentally making room in the mechanical play space to include Otto in the game.

Goldwhisker the Cyborg Tabby Cat

Character portrait of Goldwhisker the Cyborg Tabby Cat
What's the matter? You think this is some kind of joke? Let's see you laugh when I've cauterized your throat shut! En garde! For Master's empire!
Pronouns
he/him/his
Age
28
Species
anthro tabby cat, modified
Home
Goldwhisker Industries Headquarters, Silicon Valley
Likes
his "master," herring, warm milk, sleeping in the sun, headpats, dabbling in robotics and computer programming, smoking
Dislikes
being treated as lesser for his physical disabilities, having to wear all those prosthetics, being the face of Goldwhisker Industries, running out of smokes
Signature abilities
plasma beam cannon installed as left arm, sword installed into tail, lock-on visor monocle, knows how to pilot Goldwhisker-brand combat vehicles
Bio

Despite being the company mascot and most valued employee of the namesake Goldwhisker Industries, Goldwhisker does not own the company, and does not have very much authority. He is simply the CEO's pet cat. As a pet cat, however, he swears undying loyalty to his master, and will stop at nothing to bring his master's plans to fruition so long as he remains convinced they are in his master's own best interest. With his cybernetic upgrades and savant-like engineering intuition, Goldwhisker is a deadly and formidable asset to Goldwhisker Industries. He personally invents all of their products, drafts all of the blueprints, and authors all of the software. He is a bit like the Gromit to the CEO's Wallace.

Goldwhisker was born prematurely and with birth defects, and would not have survived without medical intervention. Since anthros are not so blessed as to enjoy the wonders of modern medicine in their society, Goldwhisker's parents left him on the doorstep of an especially well-off-looking human home and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the family residing there, consisting of the future CEO and his own parents, were quite fond of cats, and did not terribly mind owning one that had human intelligence and could talk. It was very weird, they decided, but not too weird to be worth considering. The family business at the time, Bigbux Medical Equipment, was able to nurse Goldwhisker to health, but it required extensive surgery. Many of his body parts, external and internal alike, had to be replaced with advanced prosthetics. As Goldwhisker grew up, he demonstrated an amazing natural talent for engineering, bordering on supernatural in extent, and was able to make adjustments and additions to his own prosthetics to grant himself superhuman abilities.

Mechanics

Goldwhisker's levels will play mostly like a lock-on shooter, with occasional melee combat and vehicle segments.

Inspiration

Goldwhisker's design is obviously inspired by SEGA's Dr. "Eggman" Ivo Robotnik, though I'll be the first to admit his personality and role are more reminiscent of SEGA's Shadow the Hedgehog. He is also inspired by literal interpretation of the phrase "corporate fat cat."

His design, particularly for an antagonist, is inherently somewhat fatphobic and ableist, and I don't like that about it. Nonetheless, I decided to keep the design, because on a pure aesthetic level, I think it's very cool. I really want a "cool" antagonist. Look at the guy. Man be stylin'. What a high roller. Willy Wonka-lookin'-ass mother trucker (/pos). I decided to mitigate the bigotry by making him the dragon and giving him an eventual heel-face turn, if you'll pardon the TV Tropes jargon. I also decided he would slot into those tropes simply because he's too cool and overdesigned not to invoke them.

The CEO

Unrevealed character
Pronouns
he/him/his
Age
???
Species
probably human
Home
Goldwhisker Industries Headquarters, Silicon Valley
Likes
money, profits, tax cuts, his cat Goldwhisker
Dislikes
fair wages, unions
Signature abilities
having a lot of money
Bio

The chief executive officer of Goldwhisker Industries is the man with the plan. He is the one pushing to establish Goldwhisker Robo-Resort. He grew up in the household that owned Bigbux Medical Equipment, Inc., a business which he was to inherit, but disbanded in favor of Goldwhisker Industries. Nothing else will be revealed about him at this time.

Inspiration

capitalism

The Board

Unrevealed character
Pronouns
???
Age
???
Species
???
Home
Goldwhisker Industries Headquarters, Silicon Valley
Likes
money, profits, tax cuts
Dislikes
fair wages, unions
Signature abilities
having a lot of money, ???
Bio

The CEO of Goldwhisker Industries answers in turn to an entity called "the Board." It is presumably the board of directors, and presumably answers to, and partially consists of, top shareholders and day traders. Nothing else will be revealed about the Board at this time.

Inspiration

capitalism

Chronos, AKA Death, the Grim Reaper, Father Time

Character portrait of Chronos
My condolences, mortal. Your time is here. Come with me, if you please.
Pronouns
he/him/his
Age
4.543 billion (apparent: elderly)
Species
Sacred Spirit (apparent: ???)
Home
Astral Plane
Likes
the night, chess, tea and cookies
Dislikes
his job
Signature abilities
covertly instigating sudden death of natural causes, reaping the souls of the deceased, at-will time travel, always knowing exactly what time it is
Bio

Chronos is, quite simply, the Grim Reaper. He comes for the dead, to take their souls back with him to the Astral Plane. He is actually a nice enough fellow, if, well, grim. His relevance to the story will not be revealed at this time.

Mechanics

In time attack runs, Chronos will shadow the player's personal best, and will also serve as the referee.

Inspiration

The Grim Reaper is obviously inspired by the Grim Reaper.

He was originally going to be the antagonist, back when Stick was still a stick figure. At that time, the game had a very different plot, leaning more into surrealism and cosmic-scope problems. To give you a basic idea of what it would have been, it was essentially the backstory of the Keystones, but as a complete plot in and of itself, without anything else, and the driving conflict was that time itself was coming to an end.

In my opinion, that plot was inferior. However, I decided to keep Chronos in the game in a minor role because I really liked my design for him. You'll see what I mean when you get to see him from the front.

I'll give you a hint in the form of a riddle. Notice he has hands and sleeves, but no arms. This is also true in a different sense. Suppose I have no arms, and instead wear my hands upon my face. I have only one leg, and no foot. I am a grandparent. My children are all the people of London, and my grandchildren are all the children currently at school at any given moment. What am I?

Music

These tracks are my own compositions. They are / will be part of the game's soundtrack.

Title theme
Menu theme
Calm Before the Storm (intro theme)
Chill (theme of Stick)
Meadow Mountain Zone
Better Get Ready, 'Cause Here We Come! (Theme of small self-contained segments of altered gameplay)
The Most Stereotypical Wastelands Song Ever (theme of Crusty Canyon Zone)
Dream (theme of Lorna)
Little Lost Doll (theme of Otto)
In Their Great Wisdom... (theme of the Ancestral Spirits)
Dramatic Level Music (final Keystone Temple challenge)
Void (theme of the Astral Plane)
Out of My Way (theme of Goldwhisker)
Pair of Three (credits theme; group theme of Stick, Blu, and Gibbo)