Designer | Artist | Programmer
Genre | Endless Runner
Software | Unity, Adobe Illustrator
Platform(s) | Android, PC & Mac
Tiny Rockets is a side-scrolling endless runner where players are tasked with dodging an onslaught of incoming asteroids. The catch? Every time you fire your rocket you jump and vice-versa. How long can you last?
ABOUT THIS GAME
This project was made as part of a series of rapid prototyping exercises assigned to the class. The brief stated that we were to create a game, on any digital platform, that fulfilled at least one of the following:
Uses only a single button
Reuses the same verb/action in multiple different ways
Uses the mouse or keyboard in a meaningful way
DESIGN GOALS & CHALLENGES
We were given a week in which to design and test our prototypes before presenting before the class. Building upon previous designs, I decided to combine a single tap/jump button with the ability to shoot in the direction of the tap on the screen, forcing the player to strategically choose between offensive and defensive modes of play.
Create an interactive environment that encourages players to explore.
Build structures that facilitate multiple play styles, with decisions made in one area influencing the options available in another.
As a designer on the project, key challenges for me included:
Directing player's through level design : As a self-contained environment, balancing explicit instructions with players' freedom to explore and figure out the puzzles at their own pace.
Positioning interactable objects: Allowing players to access relevant tools for progression whilst at the same time alluding to ways of gaining newer items. Balancing the distribution of items throughout the world.
Communicating mechanics through UI design: Visually communicating key world information and environmental changes to guide players without overwhelming them.
Jump & Firing: Are both handled by the same button. The direction of the players firing is determined by where they click on the screen, however, the player will always jump regardless of where they are aiming, forcing them to decide between whether to dodge or destroy incoming obstacles.
Refuelling: There are only two ways for the player to recharge their fuel. Press nothing, and let the fuel bar slowly fill up or hit the ground running and recharge instantly.
Ramping Difficulty: As it stands, the difficulty is not incrementing throughout the play sessions, resulting in a plateau in the challenge as the player becomes familiar with the game's controls.
Communicating Fuel Reserves: Further testing is needed in order to effectively communicate the amount of fuel the player has available to them, and what actions this allows.
Responsive Enemy Kills: Feedback on enemy deaths is lacking; the player can kill enemies, but the screen doesn't respond further beyond making the enemy disappear.
"Impactful" Enemy Collisions: A particle animation plays when the player loses a life, but the collisions themselves still somewhat lacking; As the player a simply walked through a flimsy layer of glass as opposed to a formidable foe.