End of Week Three
This week we have been working on level tools and focusing on our target audience.
We have added a fantastic system to build levels that will create a huge variation of game play. We are planning to implement 4 types of cells.
- Normal cells
- Bubble cells that needs be popped
- Block cells that game pieces cannot pass through
- In-active cells that allows the game pieces to jump to the next available cell.
The dynamics of the grid along with setting how large the grid is will provide fresh challenging experiences that will keep the player interested. This process needs a fast iterative development tool to make changes to the level design. This week we have been developing just that.
This GUI Inspector code modifies an array of integers and presents the values as a button. Clicking the button circulates the integers from 1 to 4. Clicking ‘Save LevelData’ will then write to a json file the row, columns and values of the array specific to the level. When the game initiates, the grid controller reads the json file and applies the correct size and values of the cells.
1’s represent bubbles and these need to be popped to complete each level. Having a visual representation of the level will make the level designing much quicker. Writing to a json file means the integer array doesn’t need to exist for each level displayed in the level select scene and will only be initialised once the game scene is loaded.
As we are going through the process of re-designing some of the UI and visual narrative its important that we keep centered who our target audience is so that we can make decisions based on who the game is for. We spent sometime together defining who that person is that will play our game based on research from other similar games.
Its important that that target audience is at the forefront of what we do, so that we have a cohesive experience for the player.
One of our biggest inspirations has been the game TwoDots. The player swipes same coloured dots to complete levels. The game is similar however Tidal requires the player to strategise where to place game pieces for the specific shape to be swiped. Its been interesting to read some of the statistics to understand who their target audience is so we can understand ours better:
- Audience demographics: 68% women, 32% men
- Top countries by installs: US, UK, Japan, Russia, Canada, Brazil, and South Korea
- Installs by platform: iOS: 22m, Android: 6.75m, Amazon: 0.25m, Facebook: 1m
- 18-24 (33%)
- 25 – 34 (33%)
- 35+ (33%)
- 18-24 (34%)
- 25 – 34 (38%)
- 35+ (28%)
- Player Types:
- Diehard (9%)
- Determined (13%)
- Casual (55%)
- Deserters (23%)
Ruya is the type of person that only plays iPhone games on the train or in boring lessons. Tidal’s game play has been specially paced and designed to appeal to the quick, pick up and play gamer. There are no timers, no way that it becomes too stressful to play. She wants to pick the game up and have small bursts of play and when she has time after a long day, to sit back and immerse herself into the levels while the telly is on in the back ground. The rounds system within levels allows Ruya to have resting points, just in case she needs to look up in class and pretend shes listening.
Cute eyes on each of the characters are irresistible to her and her motivation stems from wanting to see more across the unexplored level select screen as well finding out why the small creatures all seem to be asleep and cannot wake up. She’s desperate to beat the level she’s stuck on but might give up if its too difficult. She wants to feel clever again with each tricky level that has a small grid size, and swipes shapes quickly when shes in the flow, gaining high multipliers and variable rewards.
We have a busy week this week. We are working on:
- Finishing the balloon mechanic.
- Adding the logic behind different grid types.
- Adding the characterised game pieces.
- Adding new in-game UI elements and animations.
We’re also working hard to get a stable build for Wednesday and Thursday for the Develop Conference in Brighton that we are looking forward to!