Details

Project Length:

2 Months

What I did:

Game Design, Development, and Art.

Lessons Learned:

Satisfying interactions can make a rather short experience repeatable and enjoyable.

Design

Skills and Pillars

Talk about the factors that governed the design of th final game.

 

difficulty spike

To make the whole experience exciting despite it’s repetition, the difficulty curve was adjusted to be exponential instead of a linear increase. This way, the game increases in difficulty in it’s last 10 seconds almost 3 times what it increased between seconds 60 and 30.

This slope in difficulty makes players feel the beginning easier while the end tail is nerve racking even for experienced players.

 

Short loops

This game was designed to be brief, therefore every part of the game loop had to feel satisfying to avoid repetition fatigue.

To solve this, each step in the main game loop turned into a game of itself. Dodging enemies requires a fundamentally different way of thinking than chasing them with bullets, and choosing where to stay while shooting can make the difference between success and failure.

 

Surprise ending

One of the biggest problems designing a short game is ending it. If the end is abrupt, the experience feels empty. If it drags on too long, it defeats the purpose of brevity.

For this reason, I decided to end the game with a boss fight, which is a bit easier than the rest of the game. This closes the experience with a “bang“ and the surprise of having a fight at the end with new and different patterns adds depth the experience.