Galaxy Birb
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Galaxy Birb

  • Author(s): Lee, Christopher
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Abstract

My game is called Galaxy Birb. As a player, you are playing as Galaxy Birb, a crying bird that is in dire need of help. There are angry faces chasing after Galaxy Birb and will not stop until they've captured Galaxy Birb. The gameplay consists of controlling Galaxy Birb, maneuvering around and dodging the angry faces while also collecting the smiley faces. The smiley faces continuously spawn after you've collected them and will not stop until you've reached the necessary amount needed to call for help. Players are alotted as much time as needed, however, time is not on their side. Angry faces will spawn every 20 seconds and it gets increasingly more difficult the more time passes. Even if the Angry faces miss Galaxy Birb, they always double back and are determined to capture Galaxy Birb.  The goal wasn't to create a mechanically challenging game, but an emotionally challenging game. Having the standard arrow controls and also having the 8-direction behavior makes mechanics fairly simple. The only challenging mechanic is dodging the angry faces and making sure they do not capture you.  Aesthetically, I wanted the game to be as easy as possible for the players mechanically. The learning process should be fairly easy and learning the game should be the least of their worries. I hope that as the player gets more invested into the game, the game becomes more challenging emotionally.  After gaining a certain amount of points, the game speeds up altogether and although it is much harder, it doesn't take much more time to complete the game. Frustration should be a normal emotion and hopefully, accomplishment is also an emotion that players feel when finishing my game. It should feel satisfying to dodge the angry faces, but players are offered very little downtime after dodging and are required to be focused while playing the game to avoid getting caught by the faces. Anxieties may spike when the players reach the speed-up point, especially if players haven't been efficient during their run and there are more than 5 angry faces chasing after Galaxy Birb.  With more time and more resources to use, I believe that my game could become one of those "free-to-play" games with micro-transactions that could powerup Galaxy Birb as levels progressed or perhaps you could skip levels, earn double points, gain extra lives, etc. Making this game have endless levels, having high scores to beat, maybe add a story mode and the market idea of making Galaxy Birb into a micro-transaction workhorse. Frustration and investment into the game would hopefully add to the desire to complete the game easier and faster, especially if the player wants to beat their score or a friend's. Of course, there would be people that see how dumb the game is or how pointless it would be, but that temptation of that powerup or that extra life could be enough for certain players. However, this is all hypothetical and my game is still at its simplest stage.  Rather than have a power that could destroy the monsters, the player must play as a crying bird that's only actions are to evade the angry faces and collect smiley faces to be saved. Compared to the shooter games, you, Galaxy Birb, are powerless to fight and must hurry to collect the smiley faces because the more time has passed, the more angry faces that appear. There are no powerups that you can gain and because of that, time is not on your side. Eventually, the player will lose if they are not swift with their movements. It may still be possible to win, but it is astronomically harder to win as the game progresses past a certain time point.  Unfortunately, I was unable to create an Alpha version of my game for playtesters to play during the time allotted in class. In a sense, the final project that I am submitting is my Alpha version of my game with minimal playtesting. I had a friend playtest my game and they broke the game a couple of times with my failed attempts to introduce a gravity mechanic into the game. There were times where hey said that the monsters were too fast, but it turns out that it was just the acceleration on Galaxy Birb was too slow to be considered a "scared" bird. I wanted this game to last longer, however, my friend and I realized that it was near impossible to complete the game with the number of points necessary to win. 

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