Post-Mortem – Splop


Splop’s development was largely successful. After the creation and selection of the prototype, the game largely stayed the same as it was. Splop has one simple interaction, jump jellies over other jellies, in order to score points. The more points you earn the more stars you earn. You use stars in order to unlock more level packs, and it becomes progressively harder to earn stars, and therefore unlock level packs. To make this easier, we offer power-ups, which can be purchased with in-game currency, which you can get by either watching ads or purchase with real money. The goal of Splop was too make a mobile game, with financial goals in mind. The game has a very cheery styling, with happy, colorful jellies, colorful visuals, SFX, and music.

What went well?

  • Theme

We determined our theme based off of our market research. We learned that for the most part, successful games in the puzzle genre often had cute characters and a bright art style, along with happy sound and music. I believe that with splop, we hit this particular point very well. In the future, I will be sure to follow this same process in the future, as I believe it’s something that will guide my game design process very well.

  • Simple Interaction

From our market research, we also learned that most successful games were very simple to play, with one simple interaction from the player. In the case of splop, we originally had it that you would just tap on a jelly, then tap a valid space for it to move to, and it would happen. However now we have simplified it even further by making it just a simple swipe across a jelly to a valid move space. If in the future I create another mobile game with the same goal of commercial success, I should follow this guideline.

  • Teamwork

I believe that for the most part, we worked well together as a team. We all did the tasks we were given and communicated very well. However, we did have a problem here where work division wasn’t split evenly, due to members of the team having less idea of how certain systems worked, therefore being unable to work with those particular systems. In the future, I will always try to keep this up, as its integral to game development.

  • Documentation

We always kept our documentation up to date, until almost the end of the project where we had to start rushing out things, that weren’t exactly to the design. However, I believe that for the most part, especially early in the project, we did keep up well with the documentation.

What went poorly?

  • Scheduling

In the early stages, we create a TODO list that we used to keep track of what needed to be done and who was doing it. It worked ok, but if we created a proper schedule by this point, I think it would have gone wat better. Later in the project, we did create a schedule and mostly kept to the milestones and tasks we had set up on it. However, we did not keep this updated properly as we went. This is because we had to start rushing things to get things in, and we quickly defaulted back to making quick to do lists, of the most important tasks. In the future, I will rather than create a to-do list, create a task list, complete with when they needed to be done by, so that could easily be formatted into a proper schedule. I believe that, were we to do this, our game would have been in a much better state much earlier.

  • Cross-Discipline Collaboration

From the start of the project, we worked with an audio collaborator on the sound of Splop, our communication broke down in the middle of production. Our audio collaborator got snowed down with a lot of work of his own, however we also failed in keeping up good communication with them. In the end, we did get all of the audio we needed, however, if we kept up good communication, it could have been better. We also got animation collaborators very late in the project, which led again too rushed art and animations, along with issues with implementing the animation, due to using a system that was broken, but we did not know beforehand. In the future, I will try to keep better communication with collaborators, and I will better seek out collaborators, and try to bring them on much earlier in the project.

  • Game Testing

This is something that definitely went poorly. We formulated a game testing plan, and sent out questionnaires with the beta build, however, this is something that might never be filled out. In future, I think I will need to be harder on people to get them to the questionnaire, even tho we still got good feedback, it could have been improved by this system.


In conclusion, Splop’s development went well, I believe we hit our target market, and our goal of making a mobile game with financial goals in mind. While I believe for the most part, development went well, we certainly had issues, mainly in the areas of Project Management, and Collaboration.








Ethical, Social, and Economic Implications – Splop

Previous, in another blog (, I talked about how we, unfortunately, couldn’t create a system for discovering player habits in the game, however, here is the list of things we would be looking to discover with analytics if we had them.

  • Average Player Session
  • How long they spent in the menus
  • How long they spent on each level
  • How long it took them to complete a level with 3 stars
  • How long it took them to complete a level pack
  • How often, and which powers ups they were using

The reason we would collect this type of data is to look at how our game is being played and identify ways in which we can improve the experience for the players. If we were collecting this type of data, we would give the players with terms of service to which they had to agree, so they knew what data we were collecting, who was collecting it, and why we were collecting it. We would be collecting the data using Bulk Processing method. So we collect larger amounts of data from players when they booted the app. We would potentially use a secure system such as Google Clouds BigQuery in order to store this information.

We were originally going to supply the player with Facebook leaderboards, which they would be able to sign into and compare with their friends. We believed this would’ve added a more competitive element to the game, and drove the players to earn more score in a level. We would’ve been using Facebooks API to do this. We were trying to add a much more social element to the game, to have groups of friends talking about it, and potentially draw more people to the game. Unfortunately, due to cost reasons, we could not create a leaderboard like this.

When creating the monetization system, I did research into why people purchase things and research into what other games were doing in their monetization systems. However, I have recently come across this article by Greg Costikyan on Gamasutra; Ethical Free-to-Play Game Design (And Why it Matters). Most mobile games rely on players they call “Whales”. They basically swoop in, and just buy a lot of stuff, and sometimes the really expensive stuff. They target these types of players by offering discounts, bonuses, etc. But this can drive other players, who maybe can’t afford it, to impulse buy it. This can be bad ethically because you have essentially just lured someone to spend money that they might need to cover living costs. The article suggests a way solve this, let you players set a limit on their spending, or alert them to how much they are spending. A “Don’t show this again” can always be added for a player who finds this annoying. This is not something we have in Splop in its current state, however, I think it is something that should be put in, were the game to take off and start drawing in these types of players. Some mobile games use hard pay walls to stop the player from advancing through the content without paying, however in Splop, we allow the players to advance by going back and complete the previous content to a higher level. We offer ways that they can make this easier, by providing them with the option to buy power ups. The players start the game with 3 of each power up, so they know the value they are getting when they purchase them. They also know what the levels entail, and have a good idea that they are going to get harder as the move forward, so they know the content they are getting if they choose to purchase power-ups, to help them unlock the next level pack. By showing them the value of what they are getting, I believe that the monetization in Splop is ethical. The ethical questions we had to ask ourselves during the production of Splop were “Is the value of what we are offering reasonable for what the players are getting?” and “Are we demonstrating this value to players?”. Personally, I did consider these, especially when we designing the bonuses they would be getting when they made a higher purchase, however, I feel we didn’t consider it enough. There was a lot more we could have offered the player for their money, unfourtunetly, we did not relise this during production.

Marketing – Splop

For the marketing of Splop, we created 2 personas which we used to determine various parts about our game, and where and who we would market it too.  Our personas were: IGG-Buyer-Persona-Template (5).png


Based off these personas, we chose the locations for forms of advertisement.




However, due to issues during development, we only ended up posting in one location, which was Facebook. Mostly, I posted links to dev blogs, and information about when, and where we were releasing.

If we had found more time, we would have created a trailer, which we could’ve shared around on every social media site we were using. We could have also created specific advertisement art, that we could have shared around on the social media sites as well. Following are the assets we had created for social media and the app store front: Purple-Jelly (1).pngWe used this as the original social media profile picture. PurpleChristmas (1).pngWe used this as the Christmas jelly icon. App_Icon (1).pngWe used this image as the app icon.

15235755_912851598845248_617886760267442285_o.jpgWe used this image as a banner photo on Facebook.

We looked at multiple games, and what they had used for their descriptions, to determine what we should use for ours.eample

After we decided on these descriptions and images we would be using, we created the store page. Screenshot_2016-12-14-14-46-43.pngI believe that our game appears neatly in the store, and the character descriptions accurately describe the games experience. But if I were to do this again, I would  like to have a video trailer in the store, for people to watch when they go to the store page.

Analytics- Splop

Unfourtuently, Splop did not have a system that collected analytics for us, based on player habits. The only data we have collected for the analytics is the number of installs, uninstalls, and their locations, which we cannot draw a large amount of info to make changes on in our game. About all we can draw from this is perhaps in the future, where we should maybe localize the game. example`.PNGWe did not collect this data, simply because we did not know how to do it. During production, we were not aware of how the analytics system worked and we were never aware of the system we needed to create get the player based information, that we could have used to make various improvements to the game.

However, if we did have this system, we would be looking for the following information:

  • Average Player Session
  • How long they spent in the menus
  • How long they spent on each level
  • How long it took them to complete a level with 3 stars
  • How long it took them to complete a level pack
  • How often, and which powers ups they were using

We would have used each of these in very different ways. We would use the average player session to determine if our player were having short sessions, or long sessions, so we could try and lean our game to cater to the more popular play style. We can then break that down into more specific as to where the players were spending their time. If we found that the majority of players were spending far too much time in the menus, and not enough in the game, we would work towards making the menus faster, and more streamlined, giving them less menu time, and much more game time. However, if we found that levels took far too long to complete, we would towards making them faster, or making the actions players had to do more simplified so it was faster for them. If we found that players were getting 3 stars on levels way too fast, or too slow (depending on the level pack), we would work to decrease/increase the difficulty of those particular levels. Again, the same parameters (taking too long, or not long enough), we would judge the length of the level packs and adjust them based on that. Finally, we would use information about which powerups were being used more, or less, to determine if they needed to be buffed, nerfed, or cost adjusted.



Player Choice (Monetization) – Splop

We designed Splop to progressively get harder as the players advance through the level packs. In the original design, we allowed players to purchase stars with money, which let them advance faster through the levels, and gave them a secondary option other than trying to perfect levels. However, later in development, we decided to remove this, in favor of making the players perfect levels, and solely charging them for Power-Ups.

Amount of Sugar Real Money Cost Bonus Percentage Value
☺100 $1 0% Budget
☺200 $2 0% Lowball
☺420 $4 5% Double
☺1100 $10 10% Triple
☺2500 $20 25% Most desired
☺14000 $100 40% Ridiculous

Previously, I have shown this table. We are presenting the player with multiple options to purchase the in-game currency. Our new method of giving the players choice is making it harder for the players to unlock the next level pack, but, presenting them with options to earn far more score by using power-ups, in turn making it faster and easier for them to unlock more levels. Originally, we were going to be using facebook linked leaderboard to give players a more social, competitive feeling to the game. Unfortunately, we could get this feature in, due to costs. However, we also intended to give players the choice to use power-ups, in order to give them the edge in defeating their friends high scores.

To give the players higher incentive to choose to purchase higher amounts of premium currency, we are offering them progressively higher bonus currency, to influence their choice in the amount of currency they buy. We are presenting the players with the opportunity to gain more currency, by spending more on our game.

In conclusion, we offer a lot in the way of player choice for making purchases within our game. But we are not forcing the players to make purchases



Splop – Game Testing

Previously, in another project, I have explored game testing procedures used in the industry ( In that particular project, we were trying to invoke emotion using level design, and atmosphere, so the only testing procedure we could really use was Vertical Slice Testing. In the case of “Splop!”, we decided to send out closed beta codes, some with the questionnaire we created, as part of our Game Testing plan.

The purpose of the testing plan was to identify the things we would be looking for during game testing, here are the following things were looking for:

  • Menu Navigation (How easy is it to navigate?)
  • Art, does our theme appeal to our target market?
  • Music and SFX, does it fit our theme?
  • Game Flow, does the game play smoothly?
  • Difficulty, does our game difficulty progress correctly?
  • Do the levels feel unique and interesting?
  • Is the level pack progression working as intended?
  • Do the powerups all feel useful?
  • Do the controls feel good?
  • Any bugs we have not found?

It was our belief that these were the most import parts of our game, to help us appeal to our target market. Our market research indicated that the theming, Difficulty, and controls were the most import things to them. We knew that the theme had to all fit, and be appealing to be target market, the difficulty had to feel smooth, so it was getting harder as it went, but not spiking to dramatically, and it had to be extremely easy to navigate and play the game. We used this list of things we were looking for to create a questionnaire ( Example.JPG

Unfortunately, even though I sent this out to multiple people, and specifically requested they filled this out, they did not. However, we did get a lot of feedback in other words, primarily vocally. Before beta, we had a lot of feedback about the game being a little difficult to understand, so we made some improvement by giving the players an example screen, and showing the player which jelly they have selected. However, feedback suggested it was still not obvious enough to the play what was happening. So to try and fix this major issue, we decided to implement 2 other major things. We implemented animations, to show the player where and how the jellies are moving, and added visualizations of the score the player is getting. Based off talking to one player, who played both before and after, she has said that the game has improved greatly based on these changes. Other problems included missing features, bugs. Which we have implemented, fixed/in the process of fixing.

All in all, we created a plan for testing, and a questionnaire, which was distributed to players, but, not completed by any of them. However, we did get valuable verbal feedback from, indicated that certain aspects of our game that we thought were impotent, were not good enough, or we had missing features and bugs. I think that so far, we have responded well to feedback received, and are continuing to respond as we find out more, with a few bug fixes lined up.


Splop – Project Management and Planning

Throughout the early stages of development of Splop, we were not using any form of major project management. This is due to being such a small team, we always knew who was doing what, and we had a TODO list always ready with things we had to do. Even in these early stages, we were using the Agile methodology, doing what needed to be done. Example.JPG(example of our TODO list)

About two-thirds of the way through production we made a formal Schedule, with a Gantt chart, using a Tool Created by Daniel Jochem ( Example.JPG(example of the scheduling tool)

Within this tool, we also planned various milestones throughout the project. Here are the milestones we set for our project:

  • 10/11/16: Mostly Functioning Level Generator.
  • 17/11/16: Level Generator 100% Complete
  • 18/11/16: Playtest generated Levels (So we could refine generator), Beta.
  • 22/11/16 Gold release.

Due to the way the project development went, we did not exactly hit the date with all of these milestones, and task on the schedule itself, and there were other things we discovered during development, that should have been added to the schedule while we were doing them, however, we just did them before adding them to the schedule. However, for the most part, we followed the schedule in who was doing what, and when it had to be done by.

We also created another schedule, exclusively for marketing, and what type of posts we were going to make. This, however, did not follow the schedule at all. We only really made posts on Facebook about what we were doing, and other release information, and did not find the time, nor have the resources (Art assets, and smooth gameplay) to create a trailer, that we could use as proper advertisement. Example.JPG

A marketing plan was also created. In it, we come up with what we would use for the 80 and 4000 character display on the Android app store, (Within the following slashes will be both of those descriptions). To come up with the descriptions, we looked at multiple games, primarily ones of the same genre, and found what they all had in common, to make sure our games description included the same things. We also determined what our images (header and display picture) sizes must be for social media sites, and the post limits that we would need to abide by for these sites. We had our artists created images for these. Here is the current look of our facebook page: Example.JPG

Along with these, we also created revised personas, that we used to specifically target which social media we would be focusing, along with multiple other aspects, such as theming, micro-transactions etc, that we would be designing for the game. Here is the persona I created: IGG-Buyer-Persona-Template (4).pngWhen we were designing this game, we took the approach to make it as bright and colorful as possible, ideally making the players feel “happier” while playing it, and to make it extremely socially engaging, to allow friends to compete with each other, and share their scores and experiences. Ethically, being that we are targeting a market that can get easily addicted to these types of games, i.e Candy Crush, someone could really enjoy and then get addicted to our game, which would negatively impact their lives. However, in the case of a small mobile game like this, we have made it easy for the player to put down and come back at any time.  These types of puzzle games can be extremely successful economically, so if we did succeed in making it into the top ranks of the Google Play Store, we could be in for making a lot of money. The game has been designed to influence the player choice heavily, by giving them more for free, as they spend more. Previously I showed this table within another blog:

Amount of Sugar Real Money Cost Bonus Percentage Value
☺100 $1 0% Budget
☺200 $2 0% Lowball
☺420 $4 5% Double
☺1100 $10 10% Triple
☺2500 $20 25% Most desired
☺14000 $100 40% Ridiculous

The bonus percentage is how we are calculating how much extra sugar they earn for free. So in conclusion of this economical segment, we had various ways of money, including this microtransaction chart, as well as advertisement withing game. Were we to get a large amount of recognition because of our marketing plan (and the game being good enough), we could have a large economic impact on the market.

In conclusion of this blog, we used a project management methodology throughout the length of the entire project, however only about two-thirds of the way through the actual project we created a formal document. Which we could have added to more as we came up with things in the later end of the project, but for the most part, we stuck to. We also created a plan for how we would market the game, where we would, who too, and what we needed to do it. The only thing that didn’t go to plan here was the type of posts we’d be making because of various discussed issues. I also discussed the potential Ethical, Social, and Economical implications the game could have.