Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Evolution of a fairy!

When we started development of “Harry The Fairy”, the game was called “You Got Snail” - yeah what a title, right.

The first ideas of the game was to make rather complicated puzzle game with a snail.
The idea was that the snail could swallow objects and take on the objects abilities, or spit the object out and make them stick together.

What we hadn't figured out, when designing the game, was the controls. We were pretty new at designing games for handheld devices, we had only done one title before Angry Viking, which was a joystick and button game.

Our controls were way to complicated to implement on iPhone, and when we had a working prototype, no one could figure out how to play the game.

So we went back, way back, and started with the basic design. Move controls, making the snail fly gave us a lot of freedom. We could use the phones accelerometer to control the snail, so when you tilt the device the snail moves in the direction you tilt.  

This proved to work great. We still wanted the snail to be able to pick up objects and interact with the environment.
But after playing the game with only the move control touching the screen to pickup objects seamed some how unnatural. It was more fun to push things around.

So we kept what worked and killed what didn't, the snail.
The reason for having a snail as protagonist were gone, so we changed setting and hero.

Introducing Harry The Fairy.
Harry is a small forrest fairy, his friends gets kidnapped by some evil machines and dragged under ground.

Harry went through several passes, from a simple ball with wings, through a real hero with a hat, till the final Harry, a happy slightly scared green fairy with butterfly wings.
It was important for us to keep Harry a bit nervous - he is travelling the some pretty scary caves.
First we removed the small wings to give him more room to move. But it was weird to see a green "ball" fly around, and the character didn't really make any sense, so we gave him big butterfly wings. The butterfly wings help Harry stand out from the surrounding environment, and give him a nice silhouette you can recognize even when he is scaled way down.

Harry uses his wand to free his friends from the cages they are trapped in at the end of each level
So how does Harry interact with the environment?
The first element we added was the Barrel and the Breakable Door.

The hero can push the barrel around, if the barrel hits a breakable door the weight of the barrel forces the door open.
This gives way to the first few puzzles, really simple once.
Find barrel push on to door, escape and save friends.

To add even more complexity to the puzzles we added the Hatch.

The hatch works like a door, you can push it from underneath. This way we close off certain parts of the level.
The hatch can also be used to guide the barrels towards a breakable door.

We now added the first real enemy, the Drill. The drill can destroy barrels.

That's all for now, the next post will go even deeper into these game elements and tell how we used them to create puzzles. 
And show more elements of the game.

Thanks for reading.


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