Splop Dev Blog 3 – Art and Audio Collaberation

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Since the beginning of Splop, we have been closely working with an Audio Collaborator, Adam Upton, since the beginning of production. We straight away created a small Audio bible, which included all the music and sound we needed for the game. In terms of sound what was delivered was perfect. We received 50 sounds, that sounded perfect for the Jelly movement.   Here is a short example. We also had Adam work on a large amount of different music track, which change a lot throughout the course of the game, originally, we had an oriental, “zen” sounding track, but now we have gone for the more traditional style music you’d find in games of similar type (i.e Candy Crush).

We have also been working closely with multiple animators to create visual assets. Unfortunately, the animators come until later in the project, however, by this point, we had a very good  idea of what our game should look like, and we very quickly created an asset list for them, to get creating as fast as possible.  Here are some examples of art we have for splop:

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Our artist collaborations are:


Hayden Graham

Jadzia Venour

Nathaniel Howard

Moving forward we are going to be working with both Adam, and the Animators in order to improve the Art, and audio of the game in future updates.



Dev Blog 2 – Splop Monetization Model.

Gareth and I undertook a project to research the market, in order to develop a marketing plan, including our monetization model, for our game Splop. We created the report to study the current market trends of the mobile market, in order to discern what we should do, and how we should do it in order to potentially make us a profit on the mobile market.

We analyzed 3 successful games on the mobile market, “Six!”, Candy Crush Soda, and Geometry Dash. These games all had the following in common:


Each game has a simplistic art style, with bright colors, typically with a light and bouncy music theme. This indicates that the common mobile game player wants to play something that is playful and not gloomy.


Each game has only one interaction, and in the case of all of these games it just a tap or swipe. This indicates that players want something very simplistic to play. They do not have buttons and having to do gestures and such to play the game.


These games are most diverse when it comes to Monetization. Both Six! and Geometry Dash have ad-free versions, however, Geometry Dash’s ad free version is actually the full version of the game. In the case of Candy Crush Soda, they do not have ads, rather they only have micro-transactions for in-game currency, implying that they have a high enough player base to sustain their game off of just this monetization method. The biggest thing all of these games have in common is they try to hook the player as fast as possible in order to coax them into purchasing from them as fast as possible.

Based off these findings from these games, we based multiple aspects of Splop from this, including theming, colors, audio, and monetization. We decided on having 2 types of currency in Splop, one which you use to buy Power Ups (Sugar) and one you use to buy Level Packs (Stars).

Sugar is used to buy power-ups, and to purchase additional stars if the player does not wish to revisit levels to earn them, this will be further explained in the following section.  The following table shows the purchase points for sugar on the in-game store.

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 game will be split into 5 packs of 10 levels each, and will cost stars according to this table: 

Pack # Stars Required
Pack 1 (0-9) 0
Pack 2 (10-19) 20
Pack 3 (20-29) 24
Pack 4 (30-39) 28
Pack 5 (40-49) 32

The stars can be earned by completing a level, from 1-3 stars, based on how well the player does. The increasing amount forces players to either work harder at perfecting levels, or use the in-game currency to purchase stars. The price in sugar goes as follows:

Number of stars Amount of Sugar
5 Stars ☺200
10 Stars ☺390
20 Stars ☺750

Power-ups are priced according to how much of an effect we are designing them to have in gameplay. The following is a table displaying price, and function they have in game:

Power Up Name Function Sugar Cost
Sugar Bomb Destroy one jelly and earn its score ☺35
Oopsie Undo your last move and lose the points you gained from it. ☺40
Telesploper Move one jelly from anywhere on the board to anywhere else on the board. ☺60

We will also be running advertisements in game. There will be banner advertisements running the menu screen, and during the entire game experience. At the moment, we decided that rewarded ads are probably a worse way to go, due to all in-game items being bought with our in-game currency. We believe that it is better for profit if we keep it so that the only way to earn the in-game currency, is through daily rewards, and micro transactions.

Splop! Dev Blog 1.

SplopCoverPhoto (1).pngThis blog is the first in a series of personal dev blogs on the conception and creation of Splop.

When Gareth first showed me the original prototype for Splop, I immediately knew that it was tons of fun, and could easily work on our targeted platform (mobile devices, primarily phones). We also knew it was something that was very scope-able, and gave way into multiple different themes we could easily apply in order to reach directly at our target market.

After the decision was made to pursue this prototype into a complete product, we immediately began working on theming, based on market research. We decided to go with a Jelly theme and base everything else in the game around the same idea. We have also been working with an audio collaborator, who has been able to produce a huge amount of sound effects, and some early background music, we are continually working with them to create more music for our game.

Splop is very simple to play, the player simply jumps colored jellies over each other to gain score, each color grants a different score, and jumping a jelly over one of the same color grants a double bonus score.

Splop! Features:

  • 50 levels!
  • 3 different power-up types:
    • Sugar Bomb! Destroy 1 Jelly and earn its score value.
    • Oopsie! Revert back 1 move.
    • Telesploper! Move 1 Jelly anywhere on the board you’d like.
  • Multiple colored Jellies! Use them together to maximize your score.
  • Leaderboards are available for players who Facebook connect. Use them to compare your Sugarlicious.  
  • Easy to progress through, but challenging to perfect!1scr.JPG

We decided that for monetization, we would include ads and an in-game currency that allowed them to buy the power ups in game. We also decided on a second form of currency, called stars, which players would use to buy the levels packs in order to progress through the game. I will go into specifics in a later blog purely about research, and from the research, how our monetization system has changed through the development cycle of this game.

The following is a persona we are targeting: 

Splop will be released on the week of 22/11/16. Thank you for reading and playing!icon.png

Doggo Post Mortem


Doggo Changed a lot throughout the design phase of the game. With originally awesome feedback on the original idea, “Doggo’s Cribz”, in which you played as a dog collecting items to pimp out his crib, too improve his street cred with other dogs. A concerned was raised as too whether or not we were hitting our required theme well enough, and we tended to agree. The home in the game was simply a point scoring object.

So we changed our design a  few times, and ended up settling on the idea of having an open dog park, in which you could play fetch with your owner, and explore and talk too/play with other dogs. Our Idea with this was to create a park which gave the feeling of home through a community of dogs. To keep the theme of home cohesive throughout the entire experience, we were shop to make each dog as if they knew each other, and all had a common thing to talk about, however, we definitely could have explored this further. Capture.JPG

Another thing we could have done better, was the tutorial system. We designed it so that the fetching mechanic would teach the player to pick up objects, and interact with the dogs by the ball passing by them and triggering conversations. While this is what happened, the fetching could’ve maybe been a bit less intrusive, and the conversations could have been more clearly marked.

Another large problem we had with the game, was the lack of assets. I feel we had fairly good project management, constant checking up, a good list with sources, however we perhaps were asking far too much of our animators. Ways we could go about improving with this is maybe having more meetings in person rather then on a platform like slack, that way we can talk to all of our animators rather then just whichever ones are online and talking at the time.

Our best success when making this game was defiantly the control scheme, and the way we worked in our feedback. Originally, people had a lot of trouble controlling the dog, and wanted a complete rework of almost the whole control scheme. So we made everything much more fluid, and made the player actually able to pan the camera around the dog. This gave us much better feedback from the players.

Another thing I learned from this game was people really like playing as dogs. The general reaction to players when they first started playing was just being happy they were a dog playing fetch. If the players had read the artist statement, the could easily get what we were going for.

In conclusion, this project had a lot of issue, for example the confusing dog conversations, leading to players not particularly knowing what they were doing. We also had problems with lack of assets. However, our team work was good, and the overall game had good game feel in the controls, and people understood where we were going with the game.



Who are the characters in Doggos World? What is their story? Why does the player care about them?

Doggos world has a bunch of characters, the primary characters however will be the player character, and the players owner. These character aren’t particularly built up in the game. The owner simply appears in 2 cut scenes. Doggos World isn’t intended to make players feel emotions towards the characters, but rather towards the world itself, and to do this, we are using characters placed throughout the world, with diolouge specifically orientated to assist the players in generating the feeling that this world is home to the dog.

The dogs scattered around the map will deliver simple one liners, some will have predefined lines they will say the first time the player meets them. For example, one character will welcome the player into the world/areas, then follow up lines will be randomly shuffled one liner’s related to dogs, home, or both.

The story of these dogs is simple, they all have their home life’s when they are with their owners, however, when their owners are gone, this is where they come too to hang out and have fun. Its their true home is the feeling and character story we are going for. Using dogs as a the characters inherently makes them the feel more caring towards them. Players will hopefully care about the dogs in the world because they are cute or charming, which is the feeling we are going for with their jokes.

Postmortem -in my head…

in my head… was designed to be a game that gave the players strong emotions, through nothing but level design and atmosphere. We had 4 main areas, Calm, Sad, Happy, and Anxious. Each area steamed off from the calm area, this was so that the players would have the calm area almost as a palette cleanser in-between the bigger emotions.

As I do not want to spoil the areas, you can play the game here.

Issue: Huge amount of assets.
Circumstance: We needed lots of different assets, due to the areas being so diverse. The Animators on the project did not think they could get it all done in time.
Cause: Each area was designed very differently in order to give the players the emotions we wanted to, purely through the methods we wanted too. This meant that we could only reuse a few assets from each level, and, there would be an incredibly high workload on the animators.
Recommendation: Design the levels in such a way that we can easily reuse assets across all of them. Source more of our assets from the start rather then having the animators stress about how much work they will need to do.

Issue: Some areas too long some too short.
Circumstance: Some areas, like the Anxious area were said to be too long by the play testers. While other areas, like the sad area, were said to be far too short.
Cause: While all areas designs were very similar in length, equal work could not be given to all the areas. This is due to being a team member down for a good portion of the project, meaning that less wok could be put into each level.
Recommendation: Make sure that if a team member is down, all the levels be adjusted to make sure that they all might not be as long as we wanted, but they are still just long enough.

Issue: The areas did not feel linked in anyway.
Circumstance: A suggestion to us was to have something fundamental that linked each are together.
Cause: We did not think like this however, this was due to our original thinking that was area would be a separate experience, with no ties to each other. We decided that we should peruse this, but never did in great detail. Each area had flowers, which was our tying together method, it just never got fully explored.
Recommendation: Next time I make a game like this, I should draw from this and have something linking everything together, to give the player the feeling that they are actually achieving something.




Tutorial Design in Games

The best way to learn in a game in my opinion, is learning through doing, rather then learning through blocks of text the game shows you before you do anything. For example, a few game tutorials that really stuck with me.

In Aliens Vs. Predator (2010), player could play Marines, Aliens, or Predators in their own seperate campaign modes. The marines tutorial section was fairly standard FPS tutorials, but the alien and predator ones were fairly unique. In the alien tutorial, you start out as a cheats burster, and go through the life cycle of a Xenonorph in captivity. With scientists telling you what to do so they can observe how you do it. This teaches the player using a story point, as well as a fun/interesting gameplay situation. In the predator tutorial, you play as a predator getting put through its paces in an arena agaisnt aliens. This shows the player all the modes of vision, the predators weapons, movement and gadgets how to charge them etc. This was also a fun and interesting situation. image

Another tutorial that has really stuck out to me is Half-Life 1’s hazard course for the HEV suit. This had the player running around a obstacle course, while a friendly holigram was telling the player the ablities and capabilities of their suit, and then, promptly giving them a demonstration by letting the player do the action itself, like for example, sprinting and jumping. image.jpeg

Finally, the last tutorial I’d like to touch on is the earlier Gran Turismo games. Racing games now do not often have a tutorial unless they have a mechanic which needs it, such as Crash Tag Team racing for example. But the earlier Gran Turismo games had liscensing, where you had to earn different racing class liscense/, by improving upon your driving skill and taking tests. You needed a liscense for each class of vehicle before you could compete in them. You could do them all from the start, or just as you needed to. image.jpeg

How how can I apply this to making my own games? For this project just gone, making a tutorial was not overly applicable, due to the nature of the game. However with past projects, I have for the most part done learn via playing. For example in a past board game project, the how to play took the players through the starting area of the game, giving them a good amount of time to learn the game. In future projects, I’ll be sure to keep up this trend of having these types of tutorials in my games.