Mobile Technology: Week 1

Today marks the beginning of another weekly blog series by yours truly, this time about my work on the assignment for the Mobile Technologies in Computer Games module.

During this week, we were introduced to the module’s assessment criteria. As part of our assignment, we have to create a 2D hypercasual mobile game with a scaling difficulty level. We were told to focus on coming up with three game ideas that match these criteria by next week.

The Traits of a Hypercasual Game

While I’m not settled on any one idea yet, there are certain things I would like to implement based on my research into hypercasual games:

  • The transition into gameplay from the main menu should be as simple as tapping on the screen; the game level should already be present in the main menu.
  • The controls need to be intuitive and very easy to pick up. That way, a person can return to the game after not playing it and immediately get back into it.
  • The game should integrate a monetisation technique. The vast majority of hypercasual games on the market are free and are monetised either by selling a premium currency, showing adverts, having a subscription service, or a combination of the three.
  • The gameplay should be broken into bite-sized levels. This will give the players a sense of progression and allow for the integration of advertisements between levels.
  • Ideally, the game should be easily re-skinnable - the player should be able to swap out certain graphical elements with alternatives. These skins should be unlockable by reaching a certain level, buyable with an in-game currency, or by watching an ad.

The game above, Picker 3D, is the perfect embodiment of all of these elements. It’s unlikely that the game I make will implement all of these, but these are things I’d like to keep in mind at least.

My Initial Ideas

As for some more concrete ideas, here are the three that I have so far:

Babel Tower / Angel Attack!

  • Concept: The Tower meets the Old Testament. Take control of sinners building the Tower of Babel… Beware, for the higher you get, the more you will fill the “God’s Wrath” meter. Once full, gameplay is interrupted by an angel attack that you have to fend off until the meter is fully depleted.
  • Controls: Tapping. For the building portion of the game, the player has to tap at the right time so that the tower block is placed correctly. For the angel attack, the player would have to tap on angels as they come on screen to repel them.
  • Format: The game could be infinite or broken down into levels. Each level would end after filling the Wrath meter and successfully repelling an angel attack. Otherwise, the game could continue after each attack letting you build higher and higher.
  • Difficulty Scaling: The game’s difficulty would scale by increasing the speed of the tower blocks while placing them and making the angels more robust requiring more taps to repel them each time.
  • Customisability: Given the specific theme, I’m not sure if the game would be re-skinnable without the theme getting lost.

Princess Rescue / Castle Climber

  • Concept: A game where you scale a castle and bounce from wall to wall to avoid dragon fire and other hazards on the way to rescue your princess!
  • Controls: The player character scales the walls automatically. Tap the screen to jump to the other wall.
  • Collectables: The player can collect gold coins while scaling.
  • Format: Possibility for both infinite or bite-sized levels modes. In infinite mode, you will keep climbing until you die. With levels, you will reach the princess’ window and:
    • Rescue her, then move on to another princess.
    • Find out she is not there.
  • Difficulty Scaling: Difficulty increases by the player climbing faster and faster. More hazards also appear the further you get.
  • Customisability: Could be re-skinnable - player character, castle and princess could have several skins.

Hungry Duck

  • Concept: You are one hungry duck. Fortunately people are throwing food at you. Unfortunately, some people are throwing trash at you instead. Eat the good stuff and let the bad stuff sink… if you want to survive.
  • Controls: Tap or drag and hold where you want the duck to go.
  • Format: The game would work better in chunks, so that different food/trash options could be slowly introduced into the game level by level.
  • Difficulty Scaling: Higher frequency of trash being thrown into the level. Higher selection of things thrown at you to make things more confusing.
  • Customisability: Different skins for the duck.

Anyway, that’s everything from me for this week. Let me know what you think. By next week I’ll have hopefully settled into an idea which I can begin developing into something more. See you then!

Written on January 25, 2020 | Tagged: Mobile Technology in Computer Games