Game Level

 

This is a "Boss Fighting" level. In this level, the player's goal is to collect specific blocks (yellow and purple ones) and defeat the bad guy.

The obstacles are hard boundaries and the bubbles which can prevent the player from switching the ones in a bubble.

Here is a level that I designed for match three games. All the assets are screenshots from Candy Mania.

Level Design

6/8 kinds of FUN

 

//According to Marc LeBlanc's Eight Kinds of Fun:

 

  • Sensation: Diagonal symmetrical, visual interest

 

  • Fantasy: I like how the mechanics and level design are being varied according to the skin of a match three.

 

  • Expression: I like the theme of having customers ordering juice in the game Juicy Jam, especially when the expressions and actions of the customers’ affect how I make choices. So I designed the level which the outline of the main board is the shape of the sword, in order to imply the player that they need to work hard to defeat this bad guy. In this way, the player could feel like they are expressing their emotions through play.

 

  • Challenge: By framing this level in a diagonal symmetrical board, I created some challenges for the player. Because of the gravity mechanic (tiles falling down if the ones under are destroyed), starting with matching four horizontal purples is different than matching four vertically. Another meaningful choice of this level is whether to use the blue tiles' power to clear a whole line and how.

 

  • Narrative: After matching several tiles, how many combos can I get? How is the experience curve being changed based on the chain effects and random events after each move? I didn’t get too far from this level without an efficient tool to test out and I am interested in seeing the result. (Move restrain is not tested either.)

 

  • Submitting: Match three games are no longer all about taking your time and winning at ease. So I designed a level that requires some strategies. On the other hand, I love that in Candy Crush Soda Saga that in some levels, there are very few choices and you just follow the tutorials/hints to learn the mechanics and enjoy the satisfaction by watching tiles being cleared.

Thoughts on Candy Mania and other Match Three Games

 

  • Juiciness/satisfaction vs. challenge/frustration seem to be two factors of match three games. How can we address the juicy and satisfying experience but still keep the levels challenging? Liked the juiciness created by special mechanics such as the match four scenario (2x2, not 4 in a line). Because it is easy to tune the difficulty but not that easy to make the experience more satisfying.

 

  • Loved the mechanic of showing numbers on each needed tiles as bonus to keep track of times of chain effects.

 

  • Hoped to have sound feedback when the player triggers many times of chain effects. Big plus to the sensation. Liked the sole music notes SFX when removing tiles a lot.

 

  • Didn’t like                  since it requires several matches to remove. Simply making the different states/layers more distinguish than each other can

 

       help the player feel the progression more clearly. To compare with that, I liked                 , because it is a soft obstacle and the player can utilize it to        solve the puzzle.

© 2020 by Haley (Haiyin) Yang