End of Week Five
During our 5th week we focused on refining some of the core elements that we’ve been working on.
Two of these critical elements have been Ruya and her coloured companions. We are now beginning to feel happy about Ruya’s character design. As we carry out tests and show her to people, we start to get the emotional response from our target audience we are looking for. We are beginning to observe their body language and first impression to tell us how they truly feel about what they’re looking at.
Since beginning this process Ruya has changed a lot. It has ultimately led to a game tailored for a specific audience, that we believe will generate a special kind of trust between us as designers and our players.
We’re exploring the idea of anthropomorphisation and non-verbal communication to establish a bond between the player and Ruya. We want players to feel a sense of empathy towards her and this has influenced how she is constructed. She is built to animate in a way that allows us to make simple gestures during gameplay in order conjure up different emotions.
When testing different game pieces, the negative space around the shape has been very important to us, so that it is very clear to the player what can be connected to what as the player swipes. Not just through colour.
We’ve been honing in on our mechanics and exploring how they can be dressed to imply an overall metaphor for the game. We believe it’s important for our games to have meaning. From this we have developed the idea that the coloured game pieces are the seeds of her character, which when awakens, blossoms into a flower. The score is represented by the flower which snap to her horn.
This presented us with a problem, the multiplier was now meaningless because there is no number. So we thought of an idea that instead of a number being multiplied, the flower would become more elaborate, larger and more beautiful to imply the player was doing very well! This would be displayed on her horns so that they can see how well they have done throughout the level.
Along with these tasks we have been refining our UI, removing the points and the bubble information as these can now be communicated in the game world.
We’ve reviewed where we want to be in 5 weeks and we’ve concluded that removing the balloon mechanic would be a sensible option and instead work and refine the mechanics we already have. We are aiming to create 30 refined and engaging levels. It allows us to keep the UI clean and more readable. The 3 cell types that have been added are providing an enormous amount of variation and strategy to each level, making it less priority to add new mechanics.
From lots of art changes comes animation tweaks and this has been very important to keep right as we introduce new things, the game-feel must not be forgotten about. So this has been an ongoing process as everything gets iterated.
The image below is an example of how our artist creates an info-graphic of how the animation states should be hooked up so that everyone understands exactly what to do.
We are continually pushing for more immersion something which other casual games lack. We are trying to create a space that is multi-sensory. We’ve experimented with a handful of weather effects and sounds in order to achieve a sense of awe and wonder in players.
In the coming weeks we will be working on:
- Refining the power ups
- Refining the bouncing pod.
- Level designing.
- Tutorialising the mechanics.
- Game world backgrounds.
- Level selection art assets.
- Game menu and banner UI.