20 January 2015

Digital Games: Week 17

The weekly game challenge has begun. For the first game we were to create a game that goes down to the most basic game mechanic of all: the pleasure of clicking. Together with Olga and half an hour of fun, we created a simple game aimed for quick impulses and rapid clicking.

The premise is simple: Click on the bubbles to pop them. Stop them from touching the ground. Things get quicker and more complicated as the timer runs.

Strangely enough, it's one of the first times I've worked completely procedurally. Olga sketched the idea in a second, I made a prototype in 3 minutes, the rest of the hour was spent refining and adding features to it depending on the playthroughs. It was an incredibly fun process!

A few of the things that changed along the way: At first the bubbles moved upward when you clicked on them. However we found the popping more satisfying in a popping-bubble-wrap sort of way. We added bigger and smaller bubbles along with a health bar that dies from every hit. There are different colour bubbles that have power-ups. For example a yellow bubble swipes the screen clean, an orange one slows the bubbles down and a pink one puts you in super mode. There is also a big boss that takes 20 clicks to kill. We also added in a hardcore mode with more bubbles and insane clicking.

Play the game here.

Theory started with the question "What is play?" an hour lecture and another hour discussion on Huizinga. The class ended with a round of "2 truths and 1 lie" around the room, a game popularised by Game of Thrones. Every player has to state three facts. Two of them are true, one is a lie. Everyone has to guess which one is the lie. I thought a semester into the course, we'd all know each other pretty well but deep stories were revealed about people that day.

Next weekend is the Global Game Jam 2015. For 48 hours, the labs will be filled with students designing and making games and I am one of them. Along with all the fun things happening, I will be tweeting about the event as much as possible and blog about it when it ends. Really looking forward to it!

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