Casual Games – Development

For this assignment, three concepts for casual games were created and one was chosen to be developed further. The three ideas are detailed in the previous post. This post focuses on the further development of the idea that was chosen for me by my classmates.

The idea chosen was the game targeted at 10-14 year olds, Super Squid Guy Advantures: Quest for the golden tentacle.

SSGA

The first thing to change after the initial step was changing the title to: “Octopus Adventures: Quest for the golden tentacle.” This is because of the way squids and octopi move, I decided that octopi fit better for the way the game works in terms of movements and animations.

So with the change in species, i’d have to redesign the character to be an octopus instead of a squid.

octopus

This image shows what would be four frames for the octopusses move cycle. I decided to draw the octopus with one missing tentacle, as the game was titled ‘Quest for the golden tentacle’ that way it would be indicative of a deeper plot, some story,as well as the characters motivations for being in the game. Unofficially, the octopus lost its tentacle in a fight against a giant squid over who would be the main character for a casual game aimed at 10-14 year olds.

The next thing I looked at for developing this game further was level design, originally I intended on making the game  a side scrolling game, and they would have to avoid such things as old naval mines and sharks while collecting treasure chests.

Original Level

However, I thought that making the levels top-down would give the players a greater range of motion than just left or right. I also opted for a sort of multi-level design whereby the octopus could squeeze through a tunnel and arrive at a different area, taking the octopusses (un)natural ability to ooze its entire self through holes no bigger than a penny.

 

Level Design 1

I created this simple model in SketchUp as an example of the kind of level design I would be using, from this angle you can see the two levels with the tunnel (blue) to travel between them, there are also obstacles (brown) hazards (red) some of which would move, while some would also be static, and collectables (green). Initially the player would not be able to see the end goal (purple) and so would be required to explore the map and solve puzzles in order to complete the level.

Level Design 2

This view simply shows the players perspective of the level shown above. This is merely a representation of the levels however. The level design needs further refinement and planning.

 

The scoring system for this game I decided to base around the number of moves the player used in order to finish the level, as well as ‘bonuses’ for collecting treasure. I had several ideas on how to incorporate this into a scoring system:

The first idea I had was to put a cap on the amount of moves a player could make, each move reducing the number of remaining moves by one until the player either runs out, or finishes the level, and have treasure chests serve as a scoring system, and adding another pickup or collectable that would give the player more moves. I decided that this system would be too harsh, especially if the target audience is of a young age.

Another idea, which was just a different way of doing the first way of scoring, was to put a kind of ‘par’ for completion, i.e. finish the level in ten moves or less, and again have treasure chests as a scoring system. Again, I though enforcing an upper limit would be too unkind for a casual game.

The idea I settled with for the scoring system was to give the player unlimited moves, however add in rewards based on how few moves used to complete the level, e.g. 3 moves gets gold, 4-5 gets silver & 6+ gives bronze. I also decided to give players either gold star completion for completing the level with all treasure chests gathered, or platinum for collecting all of the treasure chests and finishing in the number of moves required to get gold.

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