Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stick Man Trampoline : A Juicy Experience

A year ago I watched an incredible talk about making games "Juicy".  The entire concept of the talk was how much value you can add to a game by adding simple, often visual additions and details.  I've linked it below, since I think it's something everyone should watch.

So as I started working on Stick Man Trampoline, this talk popped into my mind.  The art I was making (with my very simple paint skills) was minimal at best.  I started thinking about how I could make the most of the simplicity in both gameplay and art of the game.  So, I decided to take that very simple art, and make it as "Juicy" as possible.

First off, I added a simple animation to the stick man.  Bouncing upwards, his arms and legs are tight, almost as if he's pencil-diving into the air.  As he reaches the apex of the jump he starts kicking his feet and flailing his arms until he hits the trampoline and goes into a 'pencil dive' again.  This simple addition added a new level of fun.  (I'm sadistic, and found watching the stick man flail his arms constantly to be very entertaining).

Next, I wanted to do something with the trampoline.  Originally, it was a simple black line.  Now it jiggles!  Every time you hit it, it'll wiggle up and down a little bit before settling back in.

Lastly, I wanted to create at least some level of narrative for the incessant jumping, so I made a few different random backgrounds to each level.  To emphasize on the "juiciness", I made sure to animate at least one thing for each background.  Bubbles float up underwater, the sun pulses in the desert, etc.

All in all, I really enjoyed this project.  The multi-platform architecture seems to be working well (I have, however run into some issues with Windows Phone that I'm looking into).  I also enjoyed the experiment in making a game "Juicy" and am planning on working this concept into my next project.