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Putt-Putt & Pep's Dog on a Stick

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Title Screen

Putt-Putt & Pep's Dog on a Stick

Developer: Humongous Entertainment
Publisher: Humongous Entertainment
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: 1996


DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.


NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

Putt-Putt & Pep's Dog on a Stick is totally-not-Q*bert for kids. Pep gets a bunch of junk from the local "Dump Recycle", as the game calls it, and turns it into a pogo stick. Now he has to bounce across castles and gas stations, dodging life-threatening hugging bears, jetpack pigs, and possessed killer beach balls, all because … look, just roll with it, okay?

This game may rival Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo with the sheer amount of strange unused content it has, especially in relation to the other Junior Arcades.

Unused Text

Subtitles

As with just about all Humongous games, the subtitles for this game are inaccessible unless the line TextOn=1 is added to hegames.ini.

(Source: ScummVM Wiki)

Debug Output

This game has a slew of debug console output. It's most easily viewed by running the game in ScummVM and setting the debug level to 0 or higher.

In-House Level Editor

DogStickEditor.png

Just like in Balloon-O-Rama, a level editor meant for developer use, much more powerful than the regular one, is present but disabled. It can be accessed by adding _TeamMatt=1 to the configuration file, which will replace the regular editor with the full one and allow it to be accessed during gameplay by pressing the E key.

DogStickBackgrnd.png
DogStickTile.png

A brief rundown of the features:

  • Backgrnd: changes the level theme. Note that two of these are unused. Checking any of the empty boxes just uses the Rome theme.
  • tile: also accessible by right-clicking, this brings up a menu for selecting the type of tile to be placed.
    • TOP: cycles through top-half tiles.
    • BOT: cycles through bottom-half tiles.
    • THING: cycles through items on top of the tile. Checking the box beneath it will prevent the selected item from appearing until a button is pressed, with the arrows cycling through BUTT1-BUTT5. A set of special items exist for manipulating moving platforms: a TRAIN sets the platform's starting position, while TRACKs set a path for it to follow. DISAPPEAR creates an invisible platform.
  • Print this level: tries to print the constructed level.
  • eraser: causes clicked tiles to be removed from the level.
  • replot: unknown.
  • New level: wipes out the current level.
  • Print 100 levels: is for people who have way too much paper and want to waste it.
  • Test this level now: starts the level.
  • back to main menu exits the editor.
  • Save and Load prompt for filenames to write and read, respectively, but don't seem to function.

Unused Level Themes

Hmmm...
To do:
Upload ripped graphics and reorganize

Two of the level themes selectable from the developer level editor aren't finished or used.

The "Space" theme is mostly a copy of the Rome theme, but the pillars are purple and have a shimmering effect. Most likely these were placeholders for other graphics that never got finished.

DogStickUnused.png

The "Kitchen" theme seems mostly complete graphically save for some blank food cans, but has no music.

Unused Graphics

Graphic Notes
DogOnAStick-BuildLevels.gif An early version of the "custom levels" menu button. This is oddly stored with the level select graphics instead of the main menu graphics where it belongs. In the final game, this button is split into two, one for making new ones and one for editing saved ones. Given its placement, its original function may have been easy access to the in-house level editor.
DogOnAStick-Unwrap.gif A placeholder animation for the presents in the bonus levels unwrapping.
DogOnAStick-SummerPenguin.png The penguin enemy has a summer outfit that he would have worn in Levels 21-30, also known as the beach levels. The only way to see this in-game is using the in-house level editor; the penguins don't debut until Level 31. The built-in level editor also does not include the option to place penguins nor does it include the beach theme, and as such this costume goes unused.
DogOnAStick-SkunkPep.gif A strange skunk-like iteration of Pep's sprite from Putt-Putt & Pep's Balloon-o-Rama getting painted blue with a hacked-together pogo stick drawn underneath. While one could assume that it was a placeholder for the skunk, it's placed with the frog in the game data.

Unused Enemies

This game has some downright bizarre unused enemies, some of which seem to be leftovers from early development stages.

Graphic Notes
DogOnAStick-Fire.gif Less an enemy and more of a hazard, a crudely-animated flame, internally named "fire". Given this only has one animation, it was probably scrapped early on.
DogOnAStick-BrainSW.gifDogOnAStick-BrainSE.gif

DogOnAStick-BrainNW.gifDogOnAStick-BrainNE.gif

A brain with eyes that does not go well at all with this game's set of enemies. The southwest animation has a strange box around it probably by mistake. Even though it matches the game's final art style closely, it seems rather hastily hacked together...
DogOnAStick-BrainKill.gif ...and indeed it is. This gruesome kill sequence shows earlier on it was supposed to be a ball of spikes, as it is leftover on several of the frames, further evidenced by this graphic's internal name being "spiker". This also shows that the poodle from Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack was a placeholder player character during the early development stages.
DogOnAStick-FlipSW.gifDogOnAStick-FlipSE.gif

DogOnAStick-FlipNW.gifDogOnAStick-FlipNE.gif

A ball with a leg on each end, with a crudely drawn happy and sad face on each side, called "flip" in the metadata.
DogOnAStick-FlipWait1.gifDogOnAStick-FlipWait2.gif

DogOnAStick-FlipWait3.gifDogOnAStick-FlipWait4.gif

DogOnAStick-FlipWait5.gifDogOnAStick-FlipWait6.gif

DogOnAStick-FlipWait7.gifDogOnAStick-FlipWait8.gif

Persumably a stand-still sequence for this enemy, evidenced by being named "wait" for each variation.
DogOnAStick-FlipKill.gif The kill sequence for the flip enemy, nearly identical to the brain/spiker kill sequence that also indicates this is a leftover from early development stages.
DogOnAStick-SlinkySW.gifDogOnAStick-SlinkySE.gif

DogOnAStick-SlinkyNW.gifDogOnAStick-SlinkyNE.gif

A slinky-like tube, appropriately named "Slinky" internally.
DogOnAStick-SlinkyAnimation1.gif A slinky animation named "falling", presumably meant for when it falls off the edge.
DogOnAStick-SlinkyAnimation2.gif A different fall animation for an unknown condition, known simply as "slinky" internally.
DogOnAStick-SlinkyAnimation3.gif A third slinky animation that is a garbled mess of nothingness. Seems like an error, given that its internal name is "untitled".
DogOnAStick-SlinkyKill.gif The slinky's kill sequence using the same pogo poodle, evidencing its use in the early development stages.
DogOnAStick-BootLeft.gifDogOnAStick-BootRight.gif An anthropomorphic boot, appropriately named "boot" in the game data. This one was quite clearly abandoned early on, as it has the least development of all the unused enemies. It's lacking in animations compared to the rest of the enemies, including recycling the same one for hopping forward and back.
DogOnAStick-BootFall.gif A fall animation, internally "fallin". It is unknown what this was supposed to be for -- the animation used for falling off the edge is simply a still image of the boot.
DogOnAStick-BeachBallKill.gif To further prove how little development the boot got before it was scrapped, this is its kill animation, quite obviously a leftover placeholder from early development stages. This is an extremely crudely drawn beach ball "eating" another recolor of Balloon-o-Rama Pep. This one is internally known as "ball kill".

Joke Credits

A set of joke credits meant as a placeholder is buried alongside the regular ones. These provide a few details on a very early development stage of the game where it was named "Pogodog", as it makes a brief mention of the spiked balls and several other sprites from Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack. All the graphics and most of the code for displaying them is present, but the logic for initiating them seems to have been removed and the palette was changed without updating the graphics to compensate.

Luckily, most of the missing material can be recovered or recreated. This xdelta patch restores these credits more or less as they were meant to appear. After applying the patch, beat the game (or access room 4 by any other means) to view them. Once "The End" has displayed for a few seconds, the game will exit.

The scene appears to be a swipe from the devteam at Rhett Mathis, a Humongous designer/programmer/composer who led a separate team that developed several other Junior Arcade games. Apparently there was some rivalry between the two divisions.

Metadata from the graphics files sheds some light on the identities of the photographed individuals:

PuttPuttDog mathead.png

The leftmost photo is named "mathead2", so it's probably of game designer Matt Mahon.

PuttPuttDog tomhead.png

The center photo, "tomhead", is of lead artist Tom Verre.

PuttPuttDog dolohead.png

The right photo is "dolohead", after programmer and level designer Dolores Carney.

Level Select

Any savegame named CHEATER can access all the levels at the start of the game without having to unlock them.

(Source: ScummVM Wiki)