Roles: Designer, Programmer, Artist, Animator
Team Size: 2
Development time: 2 months
Don't Pop! is an Arcade bullet hell where you play as a bubble avoiding being popped by rocket powered fingers! Inspired by early flash games, Don't Pop! is designed to be played in browsers.
Contributions to the project
Solo designed by myself. Research and game mechanics outlined in documentation.
Solo programmed by myself.
All art assets besides the UI and Logo are of my own creation such as the player character.
Bubble Blowing Movement
Don’t Pop differentiates itself from other high score arcade games with its bubble blowing movement.
Players must adapt to an unorthodox moving method using the mouse/touch to push a bubble around the screen.
The game is built around this movement mechanic, so this is the core central pillar of the game.
Surprising, and charming enemy bullet patterns:
Players are exposed to increasingly silly enemy attacks.
Making sure these attacks are surprising and charming is integral to encouraging players to come back to beat their last high score, just to see what else the game has to offer.
High score-based difficulty
The game difficulty will progress based on the player high score.
Players will see more patterns and the difficulty of the scenarios will increase as the players score increases.
Striving for, and achieving high scores is an important motivator for the player as it drives continued engagement, and can provide a social element to the game, with sharing scores with friends.
Research and Documentation
At the time I was developing Don't Pop! I had yet to finish a project. I was adamant to finish my first project as I was in the classic cycle of starting new projects and dropping them weeks later. Using the scope practice from Culinary Coalition I was able to create a game concept I felt I could develop 90% solo.
The biggest takeaway from this project was the programming experience I gained. This project was my lightbulb moment for programming as suddenly everything began to click, this was an empowering moment which excited me as it increased the possibilities of prototypes I can create in the future.
Don't Pop! is a cute little game that was the perfect opportunity to finally finish a project, I'm happy I did It!
What went well
Aesthetically the game is cohesive and supports the flash game feel I desired to achieve. The contrast of the fingers and environment to the player is jarring, and gives the game an absurd feel.
Player control is unorthodox, and has a good learning curve, the dash supports a deeper level of gameplay for players to reach.
Scope management was well suited for the team size, I learnt a lot of programming on this project and produced a finished product at the end of it!
What could be improved
The game could do with more gameplay feedback, specifically in the audio department. Namely sounds for the finger patterns such as the beam would make the game feel more alive
Player control could be better taught to the player instead of being tucked away in images on the main menu, those images in question should communicate the rules of general movement in a clearer way.
I feel I didn't fully deliver on the craziness of the bullet patterns. I could of created more animations and attacks. Even though I'm proud of the animations and art I created, producing more would allow me to further achieve my key design goal of charm through finger attacks.