Last time, we talked about some of the changes we made to the prototype version of Chime to make it ready for release. Hopefully, we’ll give you an insight into some of the design processes we go through in the life-cycle of a game. Or maybe you were just reading something to pass the time while sitting on the toilet, and you’re mobile phone’s taking forever to update and you’re stuck on this darn page. Either way, a hearty welcome to you.
I’m going to dive straight in…
Chime rewards players for creating lots of quads by building up a multiplier for each new quad. It does this to encourage players to explore different parts of the grid, and therefore different sounds. It also provides Chime with extra strategies and depth. The player can:
- Score big points by building up a multiplier
- Get big coverage to extend the time
Often the player has to choose one or the other, and that’s where the strategy comes in – the best Chime players are the ones who can balance the two strategies.
Another layer of depth – and complexity – occurs as the player loses their multiplier. The player loses a multiplier by letting shape fragments (pieces of shapes left over when a player builds a quad) die. These fragments lose life over time until they disappear. If one fragment disappears, they all do, and the multiplier is lost.
So the multiplier gives us a deeper game, but also a more complex one, which could potentially mean a confused player. This was the most unclear gameplay mechanic in the prototype, and the one we spent most time trying to give clarity in the final game.
We wanted to keep the extra depth and the encouragement to explore, so essentially what we ended up doing was to make it as visually in-your-face as we could when you were building up your multiplier, and again when you lost it. We introduced a multiplier stack that built up every time a new quad was created. We also increased the glow of the background, getting brighter and brighter as the multiplier grew. Both of these things were very obvious and visual.
On losing the multiplier, the multiplier stack and the glow suddenly disappear – visually this is very dramatic, and drama helps to connect a particular gameplay moment with feedback. Well that’s the biggie’s out the way.
Next time, we’ll wrap up the gameplay tweaks.
Next time on Designer Blog…
- We finish off the gameplay tweaks in detail
Mike Movel – Lead Designer