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.


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.


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.


Casual games – Concepts

For one of my Games Design briefs, we were to develop initial concepts for three different casual games which would each be aimed at different target audiences. Once the concepts were created and thumbnail’d, they would be presented to an audience who would choose the one they like best to be developed further.


Game Number One

The first of these designs was designed for an audience aged 10-14 years, with that in mind I wanted to create a simple game with easy mechanics, and some kind of cute main character. The concept I ended up creating was for a game called “Super Squid Guy Adventures (A working title): And the quest for the golden tentacle”

This game I initially envisioned a squid character, shooting around the screen, propelled by its tentacles, gathering treasure and so on. I added “And the quest for the golden tentacle” to make it seem like the game would have some indication of a plot, or end goal. Super Squid Guy Adventures initially would be a tablet game, and the player would control the movement of a cartoon squid by pressing on the screen in the direction you wanted the squid to move in, and the longer you pressed, the more power or tension the squid would build up in his tentacles, and the further it would move.


Game Number Two

The second game concept was to be aimed at an audience aged 35+, and I came up with the idea of Ablockalypse. This game was inspired by several things including the Mad Max films, and the game RoboCraft.


This game is set in a open world with a wasteland aesthetic, deserts, derelict buildings etc. and sees the player take control of a vehicle made up of blocks, these blocks would have different qualities and materials, for example metal would be heavier than wood resulting in a slower vehicle, but it would be able to take a lot more punishment.

The game would have no ‘finite’ progression, you construct your vehicle the way you want to out of the blocks you find, make or salvage from other destroyed vehicles, however should one of the blocks on your own vehicle be destroyed, it’s gone for good. players would be able to complete challenges or take on strong opponents in order to acquire ‘special’ or unique blocks.


Game Number Three

The final game concept I came up with is aimed at girls aged 14+, it’s named Handbag Dog Simulator/Life and is a tablet game with micro-transactions kept in mind.

Handbag Dog Simulator

The idea of this game is that the player takes on the role of an owner of a small handbag dog, that is to say a dog that is kept within a handbag. The player can take care of their dogs, and either take them to dog shows and earn currency, or use micro-transactions to buy different customisation options including different dog breeds, fur styles/colours, handbags and UI skins/styles.