Designer / Producer

PiCoBu

 
 

PiCoBu

 
 
 
 

PiCoBu

PiCoBu was a student project completed during my time at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. The purpose of the project was to create a vertical slice or prototype of a game in only 4 weeks. It was a project that challenged us to think about the scope of projects, and how, with simple and easily implemented mechanics, a developer can still make a unique and enjoyable experience. 

PipesColoursBubbles is all about speed and colour association. Made for the casual mobile market in mind, PiCoBu involves a player dragging different coloured and sized bubbles into their corresponding coloured pipe. Every correct bubble placed increases their score. Every bubble that falls into a pipe of the wrong colour though, causes that pipe to grow another section. If any pipe reaches the opposite side of the screen, the game is over, and your score is recorded.

The longer your game lasts for the faster bubbles will spawn, continually increasing the level of difficulty and skill required.


My Contributions

  • Created and maintained a Project Analysis, Game Design Document and Market Analysis

  • Used Stencyl's in-built code creator to create mechanics and systems

  • Conducted in depth testing and iterative process

  • Sourced art and sound assets appropriate for PiCoBu
  • Built out PiCoBu for Android devices

 

Project Information

Project Length
4 weeks

Engine Used
Stencyl

Team Composition
Solo Project


The Challenge

Prior to this project, coming up with an idea, trimming it down, and implementing the vision had never presented a problem for me. But faced with only 4 weeks (10 days of in-college time) I suddenly became daunted by the idea of creating something that was fun and enjoyable, with decent replayablilty within such a small timeframe.

Thinking Small

During the formation of PiCoBu it was decided that there would be 3 main focuses. Firstly, anything made had to be kept simple. Secondly, I wanted to focus on colours, bubbles and pipes. Finally, that the core mechanic, dragging and dropping, be simple to implement and simple to use.

Initially PiCoBu was a puzzle game in which the player had to place colour bubbles into their respective pipes in order to GROW the pipes. Each colour had a dedicated route it would grow along. Getting each pipe to reach its maximum length was the objective.

New levels would introduce pipes that would curve with the potential to cut off routes required for bubbles to reach other pipes, causing the player to assess which bubble was added to which pipe when.This idea was soon thrown out as the amount of levels required, along with the additional assets was entirely to much work for the short time span.

The idea then transformed into an endless game, where the objective was to continually place the coloured bubbles into their corresponding coloured pipes. For each correct placement the player's score increased, while incorrect placements lost the player a life. The player started with a total of 5 lives and losing all lives caused the game to end and highscore be saved.

This idea was completed very quickly and was found to be a bit boring and repetitive.

To change up the repetitiveness of the second version it was decided that instead of losing lives on an incorrect bubble placement, the pipe that received the incorrect placement would grow another section. The colour of the newly created pipe would be the same colour as the prior piece of pipe. If any pipe grew to reach the other side of the screen, the game would be over.

This introduced an ever changing landscape and added variety to each game session.

With this change I decided to add an additional level of complexity by having the newly created pipes reflect the colour of the bubble that caused it to be created as a separate game mode.

Additionally a new game type was added that had the bubbles falling instead of rising, and the pipes growing up to reach the top of the screen, instead of growing down to the bottom of the screen.


Outcome

At the end of this project I had not just created a game that I was happy with, but a game that I could actually carry around on my phone and show to people. Watching someone enjoy an experience I had created was a new and extremely rewarding experience for me.