Pez Tapper

I met my supervisor and discussed what I should do for the 2nd semester.

I was enjoying what I was doing last semester and want to continue prototyping games and expand my knowledge on game design.

My supervisor suggested I start prototyping 2 games and get feedback from people to see which of the 2 games is worth making. Since I learned how to prototype and present an idea from a designers perspective last semester, this time i’m going to challenge myself and prototype 2 games. Using the knowledge I acquired from last semester I should be a lot quicker in coming up with ideas and explaining them to other people making them understand my ideas easily.

Next thing i’m going to do is start by coming up with some ideas and start prototyping. I could use some of the other ideas I came with last semester or something new.

 

1st Game idea

Name: Pez tapper

Target audience: Everyone

Platform: Mobile

 

Summary

The player is a pez dispenser, the player must tap the screen to dispense a certain amount of pez candy indicated by the number of rectangular shapes. The player has to be quick because if the player stops for a second then the game’s over. If the player dispenses to much or too little candy then the game is over. The goal is to get the highest score.

I used the game “Infinite stairs” as inspiration

The player taps the climb button to ascend the stairs, they must to it quickly before the time runs out, if the player climbs to far due to over tapping then they fall resulting in a game over.

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Game Features:

  • One tap control

  • Intense adrenaline pumping gameplay

  • Fun pixelated graphics

  • Different skins for Pez Dispenser

  • Land a high score with you reflexes and dexterity

  • View the leaderboard to see your friends scores so you can best them

 

Hooks

  • Setting a record and trying to beat it

  • High speed adrenaline gameplay

  • Addicting gameplay making you want to come back for more

  • Beating your friends high scores

 

Key Gameplay Mechanics

  • One touch controls, each tap shoots out a pez candy

  • When the player shoots out the right amount of pez candy then the player receives a point

  • Get as many points as you can

  • When the player loses they will receive golden candy depending on how many points they got, 10 points = 1 golden candy.

  • Online leaderboards to see other players highscores

  • Earn golden candy which allow you to purchase different skins for the pez dispenser in the shop

 

I want the pez dispenser to look like a simple pez dispenser, the head of the dispenser won’t be anything Iconic just a simple head.

An idea for the head would be to allow the player to purchase skins for the pez dispenser such as different heads, different coloured candy, different colour and texture for the base of the pez dispenser, the player can customize their own pez dispenser.

Moodboard showing Pez dispensers and Pez candy

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Graphics

I want the graphics to be pixelated similar to other mobile games like “Flappy Bird” and “Ironpants” simple pixels and colours, nothing too complex but charming to look at.

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Sketches

This is a quick sketch of the game screen. The left shows out lines of how much pez candy needs to be dispensed from the pez dispenser on the right.

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When the player taps anywhere on the screen the candy will be dispensed from the pez dispenser and move to the top of the outline candy pile filling in the outline.

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The player must keep tapping to get all the outlines filled with candy, if the player dispenses too much candy then the game is over, if the player stops for a second the game is also over.

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Once the player fills up the required amount of candy then they will receive one point, then the next set of outlined candy will appear.

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The candy will range from 1 to 10 which will be random each time the player completes a set of candy.

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Font

I want something retro similar to art style, I used the site “dafont.com” to find some fonts I would like to use for my game

zqoVcDiP8q6hkxDQ2yNUCxVNva5ZEi5FMuI4xs2-HtATydsf97Uhhhz9PxhJGxL6lVpYVbVRzImBbRblllLh15IhMhgnKsVlnaBAZPU_7uyLz2mW4rF4awT3zB4cfQLLs0Gt1lzM

R_ZJqgkqHrrVSYnT8ZC1Z5spqVg-joWXvPdpCFor6utgwqyG8g1-b18tPwZOVkSa9veT86OvINRgerXROgduoMVX1q7QzHgCBUtBqmV2dOWrY7IqqBUAzUVSN9_PM2Dr2fIrqRMz

4DA41cywd9YZBjPsTGi0-r61vpzOWdkmfky_fFf0lt_VOfupb85wOYmarCLlaR7-N5N2CgaDsxNGFx7IcNbPg_Id9r2hOM_OWbPvOORxNOvlPAvU23yMgm8AdgE1hb3sDUP8g1k4

4CeS8UlLswoH41TNF765ctwSVrt6oILakZm5P0Gf0f2cJ-DuToKYw7GZ_8eyPXwnOvUmitIJgVIoaaYVDFO-OkLUk0RPBTLbCyfJGbJCv9_ueOmqYCmAQtrf3AOxi5oiW3qOv3lx

ytg75EZoUA3tKcNZ9bPhYG2gqiFJHrbggXUQ_m_FI4hnp-nSn4xQ6fT9UjWAV5b2SsFeGFdsVL3MpUzXbG7KUHVArFvU3nuPkRkWrZmBzpviHB_DN_Nkha5mb5usytxMyWMT7l4f

6DQPMzhhpbpxle_ovn8G887aBgR80aAolKnD8SB7e4hSkwXmwXxseD0d-G_jDNqX7eOM8ouVcwezHO--XkZNGW3T9UbYVno9Iz6K-XNi6SUeBFQvsGwZ0NQ5BQsrrdwVG_w63tlj

jcEzTG_ic3LcEL9Rm-iB6t5Fu3Gv-M69Zed8YrQoDyMn4dwEZWUdWrOgYhAIkQEAdtzQiIXZwg83oeEZjYMi8gaauCd8Smr9HskgIgo5yF-K0jHl-tRXtxvRneXV-FkJtgffMSEs

I like these 2 fonts the most

The first one is like a bunch of pez candy forming the letters, it looks blocky and can fit with the theme of the game since it’s about Pez and the font fits that pez theme.

zqoVcDiP8q6hkxDQ2yNUCxVNva5ZEi5FMuI4xs2-HtATydsf97Uhhhz9PxhJGxL6lVpYVbVRzImBbRblllLh15IhMhgnKsVlnaBAZPU_7uyLz2mW4rF4awT3zB4cfQLLs0Gt1lzM

This font is more retro with its 8 bit appearance fitting the pixelated art style of the game but doesn’t have that fun PEZ look from the first one.

XDhzPmOnZ0xGXPjtrm3WNRnCAw9RwHdTDn7S1Ma_Q42TeLPV1v2qVEjJMs5LaenA4aHHBDR-wKJTCaWCaLDpotnR6j0RBRwS79_B1G3ozNb7D9QfGM9LFcOeBSHPfUsbSWfEIqxn

I will have to edit these fonts in Photoshop to make to see which looks better and fits the theme of the game.

I wanted the menu to look colourful so I had an idea of having different colored candy falling down in the background.

Since pez has all sorts of coloured candy I think the game should also be colorful

Pez candy

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I wanted the wanted the font to reflect the pez logo which has a blue and white colour. I also made the background yellow to reflect the package the candy comes in.

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Pez logo

PEZ_LOGO.jpg.ead94ae525853b8749f3eb694073fcff.jpg

Pez packaging

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I tried using the same blending options on the other font but it doesn’t look good at all. For now i’m going to use the other font which works just fine.

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Tutorial

The game is simple, it has the player doing one thing, tapping. I want the player to understand how to play the game on their first try.

When the player starts the game a small and short animation will play showing how to play the game.

Once the player taps the screen the game will start

The red bar on the top is the time limit, once that goes all the way down then its game over.

The number 0 is the players score

Sketch

5a634fef724d1_tutorialanimation.jpg.6ced5409376e239f6f25a799281c1e9b.jpg

I don’t think the player needs to be told what the red bar is the time limit because it will be obvious what it is as the game is being played.

How to play – The player must tap the screen to dispense candy, one tap dispenses one candy.

Goal – The player must dispense the right amount for candy indicated by the outlined rectangles, doing so will reward the payer with one point, the player can go for the high score or play for fun.

How to lose – In my summary I said that the game is over if the player stops for a second, I want to get rid of that rule. Theirs 2 ways the player can lose. One being you run out of time. The other way to lose is if the player dispenses too much candy. for example if there are 5 outlined rectangles which means the player has to tap the screen 5 times to dispense 5 candy, if the player taps the screen 6 times then they didn’t dispense the right amount and the game is over. Once the player loses the game over screen will show up displaying the players score and there highest score as well as the amount of gold candy they have earned.

Time limit – The time limit is always moving and cannot be stopped, the only way to regain time is to complete a wave of candy. The time goes down slowly at the start, the further the player progresses, the faster the time limit will go down.

Points – Every 10 points reward the player with a golden candy, Golden candy is received when the player gets a game over. Golden candy is used to buy skins for the pez dispenser from the store.

Store – The store is accessed from the main menu. The player can browse different skins for the pez dispenser like different colours and different heads for the pez dispenser which then can be seen in the game. There will also be different coloured pez candy the player can purchase which can be seen in the game for example the candy can be solely one colour or a bunch of random coloured candy.

Animations

When the player starts the game, a short animation will play giving the player an idea on how to play the game

Tutorial GIF

tutorial.thumb.gif.4c04759a823f4aff2b0d8344e8918348.gif

When the player touches the screen the game starts

This animation makes it clear how I want the game to be played.

I also wanted the pez candy to start at the bottom and build its way up to the top making it feel like a tower is being built giving the player a since of progression and satisfaction.

Main game GIF

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Theirs 2 ways the player can lose one is dispensing too much candy. I want something to show that the player has lost because they dispensed to much so I made the candy’s fall on top of each other letting the player know why they lost.

Too much candy GIF

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The 2nd way the player can lose is letting the timer run down. Once the timer has reached the end the screen will flash for a secound letting the player know that the timer ran out.

Similar to Flappy bird when the player loses the screen will flash for brief second

Flappy bird screen flash

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Time limit end GIF

timeout.thumb.gif.c054f1fb1b1c52a2ccc284b3be534fd9.gif

 

Screens

Main menu

I wanted the game to have bright colours like the variety of pez colours there are.

I tried to make the menu look more like the packaging with the yellow background and tilted text. I filled the screen with small pez candy to make it look more appealing. I lowered the opacity so players know which candy are the buttons and which are for decoration.

I tried to make the buttons look like pez candy, its not perfect but that was the idea, I tried to use complementary colours to make the text pop out form the candy to make it easy for players to read and also giving it some appeal.

I used the Adobe colour wheel to find out about the complimentary colours

Main menu Screen

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Pez packaging

5a6e005aeca8a_10PiecePezCandyRefills1.thumb.jpg.0105be16af2b529f45ed7b11ff91fb47.jpg

 

Adobe colour wheel screenshot

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Link to adobe colour wheel

https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/?base=2&rule=Complementary&selected=4&name=My Color Theme&mode=rgb&rgbvalues=0.7,0.31134760354109403,0,1,0.4447822907729915,0,1,0.4447822907729915,0,0,0.6048364046378992,0.7,0.014460612543227835,0.8660178978837874,1&swatchOrder=0,1,2,3,4

 

Game Screen

The game screen is simple, it has a pez dispenser, candy out lines, timer, score and pause button. I think this is all the player needs to play the game.

The pause button is there just in case the player needs to stop the game but wants to continue it later on without ending the game.

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Game over Screen

The game over screen shows the player there results. It shows there score, there overall high score and how much golden candy they earned.

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Leaderboard Screen

This shows the top 10 players in the game as well as your position

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Shop Menu

The player can spend golden candy to buy different heads and bodies for the pez dispenser so the next time you play the game, your customized pez dispenser will be shown. The player can also purchase different coloured candy that shoots out of the pez dispenser in the game.

I tried to put all this on one screen but it doesn’t look pretty, I had the idea of making different screens for each customizable piece, but that would of taken a while and instead I put it all on one screen.

The arrows browse through the parts of the pez dispenser and the golden candy tells the player how much the selected part is.

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New Techniques

I visited my supervisor to discuss what can I do differently because I feel like I’m repeating myself with the customer journey, the 2 games are both casual addicting time killers, theirs not much else to add.

My supervisor showed different core game design techniques that I should look into and start adding to the 2 prototypes.

My supervisor gave me some techniques to look into.

Core game design techniques such as:

Game design:

  • Loops
  • Retention
  • Arcs
  • Progression
  • Rewards
  • Challenge
  • Mechanics
  • Statistics

User Experience:

  • User Testing
  • Playtesting

User Interface:

  • Variations
  • Screen/trails
  • A/B splits

Monetization:

  • Anything I can find and decide upon which methods to use

 

I’m going to start with some research because I don’t know what half of these methods mean, this way I can learn about each of these techniques and apply them professionally to the prototypes.

After that I will start using methods for game design to create spreadsheets, diagrams and word documents which will help me understand why it’s important to use these methods and how it would help me as a game designer to present my ideas to game industries.

 

Progression, Challenge and Rewards

Progression

Progression can make a player feel like their not wasting their time on the game. It also makes them feel like they are improving and learning about the game. Pez Tapper can give that feeling, even though it’s a small game, progress can still be made. Progress such as beating a previous high score, beating it means that the player learned and got better at the game to achieve a high score. To get better at the game the player has to keep practicing, there isn’t much to learn, just tap the screen the right amount of times to dispense the right amount of candy. The player has to look at see how much candy to dispense and carefully not over tap the screen but they also have to be quick because theirs a time limit that gets faster the further the player progresses, this way the player has to get better to make this all happen. For such a simple game it can be frustrating and difficult which adds challenge to the game.

 

Challenge

Having challenge in the game can make the game more fun for the player but it will also make it more frustrating.

Having the game to easy can make the player bored and wouldn’t feel any progression has been made. Having the game to difficult can get the player stuck and frustrate them so much that they don’t want to play the game. Having a perfect balance of the 2 can make a fun and addicting game.

Difficulty graph

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Pez Tappers can be frustrating because the player has to focus on being careful but also being quick at the same time. The player can’t take their time because of the time limit, but they can’t be too quick because they might over tap and lose the game. The player has to master being careful and quick at the same time. But once the player gets a grip on how the game works then it gets easier and it might get boring. However as the player progresses the game gets harder, such faster times and more pez candies to dispense quickly. So the game is still difficult no matter how far you progress. At some point the player is going to get stuck, this creates a wall that the player has to climb. To get past this wall the player has to figure out how to get better at the game using the mechanics in the game. The only way to progressing is to tap the screen the right amount of times to get points. Maybe the player can count down the time limit for each round, at the start the time limit will be a little lenient so the player doesn’t have to go all out and waste their energy at the start. Perhaps in the later rounds when the time limit goes pretty fast, then its time to go crazy on the screen. That’s one way the player can get better. The more you play the game, the more you notice little things like the speed of the time limit, the more you play the more you improve.

All this effort doesn’t go unnoticed, the player is also rewarded for all that hard work they put into the game.

 

Rewards

Having rewards in the game makes the player feel that there hard work wasn’t for nothing and gives a satisfying feeling proving that it wasn’t a waste of time.

As the player progresses and gets a bunch of points, those points reward the player with golden candy. Golden candy is used to buy different looks for your pez dispenser and pez candy that it shoots out. It’s nothing big it’s just a little something the player can some fun with while they play the game. Maybe the player will have some joy out of the game if there pez dispenser was a different colour or shaped differently. Perhaps the player can make their own reward such as getting 100 points or beating a friends high score and just doing that is satisfying enough.

 

References:

http://game-wisdom.com/critical/progression-gameplay

 

Statistics

I made a spread sheet showing what changes within each round such as time and the amount of pez candy that needs to be dispensed.

Statistics may change because they haven’t been tested.

Spreadsheet screenshot:

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Link to spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VptjqZyp7079NOZ4FU3KXdvoqqPcNVHEzWwKM-hYiBE/edit#gid=0

The game starts off easy giving the player 4 seconds to complete the first round. The amount of pez the player needs to dispense is randomized between 1 and 5. Every 5 rounds the time goes 0.2 seconds quicker and adds 1 candy to the randomizer, the max candy being 10. So the game gets more difficult every 5 rounds with less time and more pez candy to dispense. When the player gets to round 56 all the rest of the rounds will be 2 seconds on the timer and 1 to 10 pez candy can be spawn at random for the rest of the game. The reason for this is because theirs only so far the timer can go before it becomes impossible for a person to tap all the pez candy within the time limit for example tapping the screen 10 times in 1 second can be near impossible so I kept the timer at 2 seconds to give the player a fighting chance.

You may think if the player gets the one candy then it makes the round easy because they just have to tap the screen once saving time, I think it should be kept their because the player can be caught off guard, they could get 2 to 10 candies for a while giving them the itchy tappy finger then all of a sudden one candy appears and it may cause them to over tap and lose.

Screenshots of statistics ingame

This is to show a quick visual comparison between the data.

On the first five rounds, 1 to 5 pez candies will appear at random

Round 0 – 4 candies

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On round 36 and over, there will be 1 to 10 candies at random for the rest of the game

Round 26 – 10 candies

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One thing I noticed is that it’s difficult knowing how much time you have when it’s just a red bar going down at different speeds.

I added a numeric timer on the side of time limit to make it easier to show how much time they have left.

Screenshot of numeric timer

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Maybe the numbers can go in the read bar so they both count down.

Perhaps just not have a red bar at all and just have a numeric timer. I prefer having the red bar because theirs less numbers on the screen making it less distracting. I would like to know what other people think in the feedback process. This issue applies with Bubble Wrapper Tapper because the time limit behaves the same way.

Screenshot of timer in the red bar

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Customer Journey Map

The game is small so it should be quick to download from the store.

Once the player starts the game they should most likely start by hitting the play button which will take them to the game which is what the player came for.

The controls are simple to learn and the goal is straightforward. The player should learn how to play the game on there first try. Before the player taps the screen to begin the game there is an quick animation showing the player how to play. It’s one touch controls and it has the player doing one thing which is tapping the screen. The player will figure how the rest of the game works without the game telling them, the time limit and points are self explanatory. The goal is to get as many points as you can, but it won’t be easy. Even though the controls are simple it’s also difficult to master, the game will test there speed and precision, the further the player progresses the faster the game time limit will go down so they have to quicker as the game goes on. They also need to be careful not to over tap the screen because to many taps will dispense too much candy and then the player will lose, so not only do they have to be quick but they need to precise in tapping the screen a certain amount of times depending on how much candy needs to be dispensed.

The player is going to lose a lot which will frustrate the player but not frustrate them too much that they want to uninstall the game, it will frustrate them just enough that they want to keep playing.

The reason to play the game is either to kill time or get a high score to show off to friends. The is a quick pick up and play so it makes it a nice time killer.

Some players will get annoyed and uninstall the game but other players will keep the game installed and come back to it every now and then, the games not for everybody.

The game will suit any audience that doesn’t  ind a challenge but for people who get frustrated easily and dont like challenge then I don’t think this game is for them.

This game would either be one time play or kept installed on peoples phones and played either casually or heavily. Since it’s a small game and doesn’t take up too much space maybe people wouldn’t bother uninstalling the game on there phones.

I’m going to use the same template I used for the first prototype.

Customer Journey map spreadsheet

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Link to spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GsA5uGX9VdiBXIACsQg-0ElZSnowHZJGWJM07yPdixk/edit#gid=0

Core game loop

The main activities the player will be doing is:

  • Dispensing candy

  • Losing

  • Getting points

  • Using golden candy to buy skins

 

The goal of the game is to tap the screen to dispense a certain amount of candy indicated by the number of rectangular outlines on the screen, once the player has dispensed the right amount of candy they will earn a point. The objective is to get the highest score the player can possibly get. To get to this goal the player will lose many times due to the difficulty of the game. The higher the players scores the harder it will be to beat it because they have to do even better than what they did before.

When the player loses they will earn golden candy. The player earns one golden candy every 10  points they get. The player can use golden canady to buy skins from the in game store to customise the appearance of the pez dispenser and the colour of the candy.

Then the player starts over again and repeats the process.

 

Core loop diagram

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Simple goal, get the highest score as possible, the player can make their own goal like beat their friends scores or Buy everything in the store.

The controls basic and easy to learn on your first try, just tap the screen to dispense candy.

The replay value is high, players can quickly start the game and get right on to playing. The player can either make there own high score, beat their friends high scores or just kill time with quick, fast paced gameplay.

The higher the players scores the harder the challenge it would be to beat it. If a player gets a score of 100 then they have to beat that score, if getting to 100 was hard then getting past that would be even more difficult and would keep getting even more difficult with each highscore.

Player won’t play the game all day, they have to put it down due to frustration and feel like they want to uninstall the game, but once they calmed down they can return to the game and try again.

The player will be able to see their progress on the scoreboard on the menu showing their highest score and what position they are in. It also shows the top 10 scores in the world so other players can beat their scores.

Mechanics

Game mechanics are all the aspects that make up the game play.

Pez Tappers mechanics are:

  • Dispensing candy
  • Points
  • Timer
  • Game over
  • Leaderboard
  • Golden candy
  • Shop
  • Mute
  • Menu buttons
  • Pause button

Dispensing candy is done by tapping anywhere on the screen expect for the pause button, then a small animation plays where candy shoots out of the pez dispenser and travels to the bottom of the pez candy outlines. This is what the player is going to be doing mostly in the game. However tapping the screen to play the game can also make you lose the game, if the player dispenses too much candy then the game is over adding challenge to game. The player has to be precise on how many times they tap the screen and on top of that theirs a time limit so they also have to be quick increasing the challenge to the player.

Points are something to reward the player, for their effort. When the player dispenses the right amount of candy on all of the candy outlines then they are rewarded with a point and the next wave begins. At the game over screen, every 10 points are converted into gold candy which is used to buy different skins from the shop. The points are also their to show how far you got in a single game which is also displayed in the leader boards for other people to see. The more points the player has the more difficult the game gets with less time and more candy to dispense, so the points can also indicate when the game is about to get harder.

The timer is one way the player can lose, once it drops down all the way, the game is over. Without the time limit there will be no challenge because the player can just take their time and have no reason to rush. So just by having the timer it creates a challenge for the player making consequence for going slow so they need to go fast and as the game goes on the timer will go even faster increasing the challenge so players have to up their up game if they want to achieve higher points.

The game over screen is to show how far the player has got to displaying their points in the current game, their overall high score and the golden candy they have earned. From here the player can retry the game to quickly have another go. The player can also return back to the main menu to either head to the shop, mute the sound, check the leaderboards or quit the game.

The leaderboards are their to show other players high scores as well your own. Players can use this too see how far someone could get in this game or check to see if they want o beat any high scores.

Golden candy is used to buy different skins for the pez dispenser and candy form the shop. Every 10 points the player earns rewards then with 1 golden candy.

The shop is where the player can buy skins. The player can buy skins for the pez body, head and candy. None of these add anything to the game play, it’s just to something mess round with.

The mute button is to mute the sound in the game, if the player doesn’t want to hear it then they just have to tap the sound button once. The sound button can also be accessed on the pause menu encase the player wants to mute the sound mid game.

Menu buttons are their to take the player to different screens, the buttons tell them which screen their going to be taken to because of the text on the buttons such as Play or Shop.

The pause button is so the player can stop the game but continue later on. It’s placed int he corner of the game screen so it doesn’t get tin the way off the game.

 

Mechanic screenshots

Game screen 

This is where the player taps the screen to dispense a certain amount of candy depending on how many candy outlines there are on the left side.

5a7dc3e460d23_pezoutlines.thumb.png.aa76b6bae59b5d6f82666b9eb30ae2e8.png

 

Points

The player earns points when stacking the right amount of candy each time without failing

points.thumb.png.1530256f1c7a8f88680d9bf9f5e8ebaf.png

 

Too much candy

One mechanic I forgot to mention is when the player dispenses one candy more than the required amount then the game is over. This is so the players have to be carful how many times they tap the screen.

5a7dc4c5ceaba_tomuchcanfy.thumb.png.b3931aa975ff9d18e45862c4442230c1.png

 

Timer

Once the timer reaches the bottom the game is over. Gets faster the further the player progresses.

timer.thumb.png.6947bf3c1bfd112daa9608aee5bcb575.png

 

Game over 

When he player loses the game over screen appears displaying their scores and golden candy. Player earns 1 golden candy every 10 points they get.

5a7dc4238ca37_gameover.thumb.png.79fc0034f595901f818c211d972759eb.png

 

Leaderboard

Shows top 10 scores as well as your own

leaderboards.thumb.png.fbf9fc59b125cc83b502677f8e73e894.png

 

Shop

Player can buy different skins for the pez head, body and candy using golden candy.

shop.thumb.png.bad44dcbb68bb5584a5f0b728a5095b1.png

 

Main menu

Takes the player to different screens in the game.

5a7dc3cc2f539_mainmenu.thumb.png.6412c1c4b70657e498086574ae2a764c.png

 

Mute sound on main menu

Encase the player wants to mute the sound before they start the game.

5a7dc4006a20b_puasebuttononmainmenu.thumb.png.00a01cd1adcc8c47665513fffdf4a431.png

 

Pause button 

Pauses the game encase the player needs to stop and wants to come back later.

5a7dc3d9ba026_pausebutton.thumb.png.cc29237f9c9b3e00e669209536e4ae80.png

 

Pause screen

Player can resume game, quit and mute sound.

5a7dc40880020_puasescreen.thumb.png.96c2b751828d8484c99f21db85c4aeba.png

Retention

Players need a reason to continue the game, if they leave too fast and too often then something is wrong, players might be getting bored or the game is too frustrating. I’m going to make a list of reasons why players will continue to play Pez Tapper and also why they would leave.

A reason why players would leave the game is because theirs not much else to do other than the one game mode where the player has to dispense candy, theirs no other game play. Players can get bored doing the same thing over and over again so they can just decide to leave and play something that’s better and has more game modes to offer.

Another reason why players would leave is because the game might be too hard for players, the could get stuck and can’t progress any further which gets the player frustrated which causes them to shut off the game and not come back to it. The game is meant to be hard, simple controls and game play but hard to master, but it could still cause players to leave despite the simplicity.

The game could be buggy which can ruin the experience of the game and immediately cause the player uninstall the game and never come back to it. To fix this the game needs to be tested and if there are any bugs then they need to be fixed or else players wouldn’t even play the game for few minutes before they decide the games broken and never play it again.

When the player starts the game they need a reason to stay at all times. Things that could get the player to stay are:

  • Quick start up
  • Short loading times
  • Appealing menus and buttons
  • Simple controls
  • Fun game play
  • Hooked the first time playing
  • Rewarded for their efforts

Players would return to the game mostly to kill time rather than going for high scores or beating a friend. If the player wants to kill time then this game is a quick pick up and play.

The controls are easy to learn and can be grasped the first time then player plays the game.

The goal is simple get the high score, nothing complex.

The game is challenging and that’s a big reason why players will come back to the game, it’s not challenging enough that you get frustrated and want to shut the game off, it’s just frustrating enough that you want to give it another shot. With each run of the game the player improves and gives the feeling of progression, this can make the player want to continue the game and see how far they can get.

Reference:

http://www.gamedonia.com/blog/16-things-game-developers-should-do-to-improve-player-retention

 

Expectations

The first thing that happens is the screen fades in then the player can select one of the options.

I expect the player to select the play button first because it takes them straight to the game where all the fun is. If they don’t select play at first then they most likely will go to the shop to see what the game is selling. Once the player selects play the game will fade out then fade into the game screen.

Main Menu

5a7dcc10cb540_statscreenGIF.thumb.gif.6cacbe160c88803b5cdd0fd96983fe9c.gif

Game Screen

When the game starts there’s a small animation giving an idea on how to play the game.

Also when the player taps the screen the game will start, this way the player can start the game when they feel ready.

It’s better to have a small animation than telling the player how to play with words.

Let’s say the game is made and put onto the play store, the description for the game will mostly likely be how simple the game and how it plays. There can even be videos and images to help enforce this as well.

 

For example:

  • One touch controls

  • Dispense the right amount of candy

  • Watch out for the time limit

  • Don’t dispense too much candy!

 

So the player gets an idea on how to play the game before they even download it.

 

The player might get a few points early on but once the game starts to pick up speed they most likely will lose due to over tapping. I expect players to lose from over tapping rather than running out the time limit.

If the player goes slow then the time limit will run out. If the player goes to quick then they will make a mistake and dispense too, much candy causing them to lose.

5a7dcbbe0310b_maingame.thumb.png.20bd2bfee6ac2b8963fa3fa8e197d474.png

Game over Screen

When the player loses, the game over screen will show their results, I expect the player to lose early on and they want to try again to see what they did wrong and get better at the game.

They might also check out the store to see what they can buy with the golden candy.

5a7dcc6b920aa_gameoverscreen.thumb.png.7383967db52fa6f8361facdc5b045e7d.png

Shop Screen

The shop screen allows the player to purchase different appearances for the pez dispenser and candy that shoots out of it. The player will browse around to see if there’s anything worth earning all that golden candy to buy something. The store doesn’t change the gameplay so it won’t be used that much.

5a7dcc890eaf8_shopmenu.thumb.jpg.8944bb3b934dfe57b066fab30b370433.jpg

Second shop screen

If the player does want to buy something then they have to earn the golden candy motivating them to play the game and get better to earn golden candy more quicker.

5a7dcbd7024cf_shopscreen.thumb.png.0cfe2a4429c7ab969fd57b85900d4638.png

Leaderboard screen

The leaderboard screen I think will be the least visited screen, it only shows high score, if the player doesn’t care about leaderboards then they might check it out to see what’s there, then they never come back it, they might not even go to it at all.

5a7dccb09b5f3_leaderbaordscreen.thumb.jpg.3c1cd08c96c75146effaa6917341fd3c.jpg

Invision Testing

I created all the screens and moved them to invision to piece it all together and start getting feedback

Main menu on invision

The screens fit well on the phone and I added the hotpots on the buttons so when testers click on them, they will be taken to a different screen

5a7dcded4dc11_menuonphone.png.a3683ea6874fa0921ee4ff010aba5296.png

 

I also created a feedback form that asks the testers:

  • What they liked?
  • What they didn’t like?
  • What needs fixing?
  • What they would like to see in the game?
  • Is it worth making and why they think that?
  • Rate the game from 1 to 10, 10 being good 1 being bad.
  • Most importantly, which of the 2 prototypes is worth making?

Link to feedback form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yJkRIuLemF1NOW1snxa0OpQfzjbv3zMNyXBKHGvsglY/edit

 

I made a video showing off all the screens in the game

Pez Tapper invision video

 

Link to invision prototype:

https://invis.io/62FS5IOQSV4

 

A/B Splits & Variations

Main Menu

I changed the buttons from text to icons to see if that is more appealing than the text.

I prefer the text because its a lot more clearer and fills up all most the space on the candy whereas the icons leaves big spaces on the candy making it look empty.

5a7f368b8e1ca_mainmenu.thumb.png.55ef051eae6b37c6c20763ae98e54cca.png5a7f35e272d8d_mainmenuixcons.thumb.png.2312f87f3025feff2833c9ab1177d675.png

 

I made the buttons smaller and moved them closer together, this makes the buttons looks less empty but then the buttons will be square which isn’t what pez candy looks like. I made the play button bigger than the rest because it’s the button that players should notice the most out of all the buttons, if I made the button smaller then the leaderboard button will be the biggest which will draw the players attention to it which is not what I want.

5a7f35d80c523_mainmenu3.thumb.png.be4d81cd98b233c93d4523619acf4b52.png

 

Leaderboard

i changed the leaderboard background colour to the same yellow colour as the main menu because just because its the only purple screen in the game and just because the button to go to the leaderboard screen is purple doesn’t mean the background has to be purple. However having a purple background on a green colour makes the green leaderboard pop out since these colours complement each other. The green leaderboard didn’t work for the yellow background so I changed the colour to blue since its yellows complement colour. I prefer the new variation because the background is consistent with the main menu background so theirs no awkward purple colour popping in when the player selects the leaderboard.

5a7f38f0c3458_leaderbaordscreen.thumb.jpg.f0d20803ca45b420863e6eadb6c22f01.jpgleaderborasd.thumb.png.ec46be93918489be4e8a37c9a1e8eb6e.png

 

Game Screen

I moved the pause button to the right corner to see if it doesn’t get in the way or distracts the player. It creates this space in the left corner which feels empty like something should be there. I think its best to keep the pause button where it is, it doesn’t get in the way of the game and theirs no awkward spaces on the screen.

5a7f3bf690b71_gamesceen.thumb.jpg.f64266828370372c7fb84dc847d901a4.jpg5a7f35f9692db_gaescreeen.thumb.png.e16aea0270c23fb4556118446485710f.png

Timer

Also i’ve been thinking if people wanted to see a numeric timer then I think its best if the timer was in middle of bar rather than the side because it looks awkward on the side and it can get distracting. I think they can both gets confusing since the points are just under the timer and could confuse the player because theirs these numbers so close together. I think it’s best not to have a numeric timer, the red bar does the job.

5a7f366556cd4_pez3.thumb.png.6c6cc6132597634bea27c3187bc14dcf.png5a7f366d63336_pez4.thumb.png.1b48e2ceaa74d7d5847f5bedc01d2144.png

 

Game Over Screen

I changed the retry text into an icon. I prefer the text rather than the icon because with the icon, it creates this gap between the back button and the retry button. I think the gap from the text retry button leaves just the right amount of space.

5a7f3c04661f0_gameoverscreen.thumb.png.43b795827fba41bb2f07f5f29319448a.png5a7f36014000a_gameover.thumb.png.bce108573ae95c5d1981ab8cc667f931.png

 

Shop 

The shop menu is to cramped, I think it’s best to add screens for each part of the pez dispenser.

5a7f40172db60_shopmenu.thumb.jpg.b51ff23e3aa8e087963d1ccb8e0eac1d.jpgshiop.thumb.png.fbc2577a7a5b20d923cfed5f336180d4.png

 

For example when the player selects the pez head then they get taken to the pez head screen where the player can just buy pez heads. The player can scroll the screen horizontally to browse for more pez heads, the slider at the bottom can be used to scroll the screen or the player can just swipe the screen, it shows them how far they have scrolls like beginning, middle or end, and it shows how far the screen goes. The down side to this is that more screens have to be created for each part but I think its all worth it because the old screen is to cramped to navigate, this way theirs a lot more space.

5a7f35f2e4e8c_shop2.thumb.png.4d8c9178d0d850edcfc90e49768fde10.png

 

Monetization loop

Players can get frustrated with the game and want something that can help them get through the game more easily.

The mobile game “Candy Crush Saga has something similar to this. During the game the player can use a booster to get past a certain obstacle, for example the player can use “Lollipop Hammer” to crush any candy the want, this is handy because it can cause a the certain candy the player needs to match 3 in a row or a column.

Candy Crush Saga

unnamed.thumb.jpg.7bbd8b046c6a961cd768662f4e6513f2.jpg

Lollipop Hammer

Lollipop_Hammer_unlocked_on_Facebook.png.a1d9a3ef844f7d5068a337f6b46ea3a2.png

 

Another example is the “Extra Time” booster which can be used on a timed level, if the player is about to run out time and they almost beat the level, they can use this booster too add 15 seconds to the timer then beat the level.

Extra time

Extra_time_booster_unlocked_on_Facebook.png.ff36db99e4cdc1303e07ad20e1688a15.png

 

Their are some ways to obtain these boosters, the obvious way is to spend real money on the game which is the quickest way. There are ways to get boosters for free but a certain requirement needs to be fulfilled before the player can obtain it.

Requirements such as:

  • Connecting to Facebook which and playing the game from the Facebook platform gifts the player with some free boosters.
  • The daily booster wheel which means once per day the player can spin the wheel to get one random booster
  • Boosters can be gifted to players
  • Face book friends can send 2 boosters while you play.

 

If Pez Tapper can get very frustrating to the point where players are willing to purchase boosts then perhaps the game can have some boosters to help them get to higher scores.

Boosts such as:

  • Time Reset – When the player is about to run out of they can use this booster to reset back to full.
  • Freeze Time – The player can freeze the timer for a few seconds to help them get passed a round without the timer being a problem.
  • Infinite candy – The player can tap as many times as they want without worrying about the amount of candy their is for a few seconds.

These boosters can be obtained either by:

  • Using golden candy to pay for it – The player can use golden candy they earn to buy boosters.
  • Daily random booster – Once per day the player can obtain a random booster
  • Paying with real money – Quickest way to obtain boosters

Price

The price for boosters is different for both golden candy and real money, for example 1 time reset could cost 100 golden candy but real money cost 50p

Time Reset is the least useful booster but can still come in handy so it’s going to be the cheapest booster.

Time Freeze is useful because it stops the time complete so the player can take as much time as they need to before the booster runs out of time.

Infinite Candy is the best booster because the player can keep tapping the screen without worrying about how much candy they need to dispense so this can cause the player to get past a few rounds easily before the time for the booster runs out. So this is the best booster out of all the boosters so its the most expensive.

Monetization loop

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The player plays the game, gets frustrated so they use a booster to overcome whatever frustrated them.

To get past the pay wall the player will need to either:

  • Pay with real money
  • Grind for gold candy
  • Play the game every day to obtain daily random boosters

 

Reference:

http://thecandycrush.com/candy-crush-boosters/

http://www.tomsguide.com/faq/id-2346690/boosters-candy-crush-saga.html

Feedback

This is some of the feedback I got so far.

The positive was that the game has simple colours as in the graphics are fine, the colours are bright and colorful and doesn’t get in the way of UI or game play.

The negatives was that it’s difficult to understand what’s going on and some of the taps don’t register, I assume it’s because they were invision to play test the prototype and using images to show how the game is played rather than animation or telling the player how to play the game, perhaps I can add a how to play screen showing the player all the mechanics and how they work in a brief sentence. Also invision can be a bit finicky and the taps don’t register at times so it’s hard to tell if the prototype is working or not.

The game was given a 4 out 10 and its not worth making because it wouldn’t do well in today’s market, maybe because theirs similar games that have more variety and better game play.

 

 

Presentation of the final Project

Created a presentation to showcase my project to my 2nd supervisor detailing an overview of my project, plans for 1st and 2nd semester, issues, fixes, future and a final conclusion.

Presentation link:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14IE40CXQ–F8n5zfVFy6al6tz0WsPkAme3ceUpJQYOs/edit#slide=id.p

I also made some notes for what I plan to say during the presentation

Notes link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oEAUkyzV0gGRGmm-HUdUnQS_PHtLi2t4XINaEZ9pQVQ/edit

 

The last thing I’m going to do is a final conclusion of the whole experience.

Project Conclusion

This project turned out to be a success, I learned many methods, techniques and created many documents on these prototypes.

Methods and techniques such as:

  • Animation
  • Sketches
  • Customer journey maps
  • Game loops
  • Monetization loops
  • Variations
  • A/B splits
  • “Invision” to share and get feedback
  • Creating different screens
  • Designing UI
  • Moodboards
  • Screenshots
  • References

Design Documents such as:

  • Mechanics
  • Hooks
  • Retention
  • Progress
  • Challenge
  • Rewards
  • Statistics
  • Control schemes
  • Fonts
  • Tutorials
  • Expectations

There were times where I had some trouble but with some hardwork and determination as well as some aid from my supervisor it all turned out well. Whenever there’s a problem I talk to my supervisor about it, I could use the internet to help me out but it’s more effective for me to get help in person rather than searching it up o the web. If it’s a small problem like not knowing the definition of something then a quick google search will clear that up, but if it’s a big problem like not knowing what to do next then I would speak to my supervisor about it.

There was a time when I felt like I was repeating myself when designing the 2 prototypes during 2nd semester because I was designing it the same way I designed the first prototype, so I wanted to learn something new. I asked my supervisor if there’s some other way I can design the prototypes and he shared other methods and techniques that I can apply to my project which benefited greatly, now I know other ways to design video games.

I’m happy with the end result, I have 3 prototypes to shows off which all have great detail on all the methods I used to design them. This project has been a great experience and I wish to apply and expand my knowledge in future job opportunities.

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