My primary goal for this project was to learn how to design and develop a casual mobile game for Apple's iOS operating system on iPad and iPhone devices. I also wanted to explore game design from a high level perspective by studying research literature, technical books, as well as industry publications.
It was important for this project to consider game design principles as they relate to a casual user, presenting them with an engaging experience in a short time frame. Often, mobile game players have a short period of time to play, such as when they are riding the bus to school. Over the span of the project, I received loads of direction and input on game design principles from Bill Erdly, who teaches a game design course here at UWB.
I started off doing some initial rough sketches and mockups of different game ideas and landed on this puzzle game idea using a game board consisting of hexagonal tiles. When the player drops a chip into the game board, if the number on a chip equals the number of chips in a column or row, the chip disappears (which scores points) and nearby chips that are "locked" are unlocked. Each level has a certain number of turns, after which new chips push in from the bottom. The game is over if any chips flow out of the top of the board.
For the aesthetics of the game, I collaborated with designer Andrew Salituri, a master's student in the IXD program at the UW Seattle campus. We spent several months going over various design and branding ideas and narrowed down to the "bee-like" theme that weaves through the look of the game. We decided on the name HiveDrop to go along with the theme.
After the initial prototype came together, I started building out more of the features and including the high-res art assets. Many, many development hours later, the final game incorporates some sounds I made with the Reason software synthesizer program, as well as animation and high score sharing using Apple's development frameworks. Hopefully the game will be available soon in Apple's app store.
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