Interaction Review 2

Juicy game design and interaction-

Game 1: Bounzy

Bounzy is a strategy game for mobile devices. You play as a mage that shoots spells against block-like enemies. After each turn, the enemies will move one unit closer to you, unless your spells hit them and bounce off of them enough times to lower their health to zero. When the game opens, there is upbeat music with a lot of trumpet noise in the background. There are clouds that slowly move and fade behind the big red play button. The mage character is in the center of the screen, floating and bobbing up and down above the ground. I his hand, there is a spell (looks like a colored rock) that quickly spins around. The treasure chest on the left side of the screen is also animated; it jumps and opens slightly.

When tapping on menus, buttons, and other aspects of the game: chests, spells, powerups, there is a small noise that accompanies the new screen that covers the previous one. When you tap the play button, the screen scrolls down and the mage character turns around. The music changes slightly; it is still upbeat and sounds like the same instruments are used, however it is a slightly lower tone.

Touching and holding the screen will bring up a bar that you can use to aim your shot. The arrows on the bar continually move in the direction your shot will go. As soon as you take your finger off the screen, the shot is released. There is a popping sound that comes from the spells as the come into contact with enemies. When an enemy’s health is reduced to zero, there is a faint “thunk” noise as it disappears from the screen in an explosion of white smoke. When the spells hit the enemies, white and yellow sparks can be seen. Each powerup that you can get when leveling up will make its own noise whenever it comes into contact with an enemy as well. As spells are leaving the mage’s hand, yellow and white circles of explosions come from the same hand. As each enemy is hit with a spell, (depending upon how much you have been able to level it up) the number of damage points the enemy is taking will appear over them. The enemy’s faces also change slightly to a look of annoyance when getting hit and quickly return to their normal angry state.

The only user interaction comes from tapping the play button and other menus or tapping the screen to aim and shoot spells. The buttons will get a darker shade and a noise will play to indicate to the user that they have made something happen. The animations and sound that come from the enemies after being hit, or the animations that come from the spells colliding are the result of the user tapping the screen.

Juiciness could be pushed further in this game by creating menus that slide into view instead of just appearing with a noise. Animations could also be made for the collisions of spells when hitting the side walls. Enemies could change color or flicker in opacity when hit, or they could look cracked and damaged when their health gets low. The mage could make noise when the user taps to shoot. The pitch of the popping sound could get higher as the collision count goes up.


Game 2: Bubble Spinner

Bubble Spinner is a 2-dimensional spinning shooter game. When loading the game, players are met first with some soft music and a title screen. User interaction only affects the two buttons on the first page. Scrolling over them with a mouse will change the button to a lighter shade of its color, and clicking it will reward users with a loud clicking noise. The new screen (gameplay) is presented to users and a set of instructions fades in. Clicking on the instructions results in a loud click noise and the first level to come into view, spinning rapidly. When the spinning stops, players can then start the level.

By moving the mouse left and right, users can control an aiming arrow. As soon as the user clicks the mouse, a bubble is shot. If the bubble matches the color of a group of bubbles to form three or more, a popping noise is heard and they burst apart, and all of the bubbles fall to the bottom of the screen and disappear. As they disappear, green text “+1” will appear for each bubble that exploded. If an explosion causes a group to become detached from the mass, players are rewarded with more popping and green +1s added to their overall score. When a bubble is shot, a whooshing sound can be heard. If a bubble is shot and does not connect with its same color in a group, it will stick to the place it first collided. When this happens, a gray bubble in the bottom left corner also disappears; when they all disappear, more bubbles will fly in from the sides of the game and attach to the mass in the center. Whenever that happens, the gray bubbles will reset with one less each time (until the end where it will reset entirely). Any collisions with the mass of bubbles in the center causes the entire thing to spin. If a player loses the game by having a bubble in the center mass touch an outer wall, a sad noise is played along with a yellow explosion where the bubble collides with the wall.

There is no win screen for this game. Players play and continue to clear bubble masses until they lose. The objective is to score the highest amount of points.

This game’s juiciness could be improved in multiple places. For instance, if bigger bubble chains are popped, the pitch of the pops could change; the same could be said if a group of bubbles falls due to a chain popping. There could be an animation of dust or sparkles when the bubbles that are being shot get bounced off the walls. There could be a sound for impacts and colliding whenever the bubbles hit the walls or each other.

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