Center for Games & Playable Media
Down the Rabbit Hole BETA
- Author(s): Kim, Sang Woo
- Lee, Juan
- et al.
The main gameplay goal is a game with high replayability and simple controls, somewhat similar to the classic arcade games. This game has similar classic air combat games. That is, the player has to evade every bullet (for this case, every teacup) and survive as much as you can. With several innovative difference, which will be described in a later paragraph, this is a typical arcade game, so high replay-ability of replay is quite achieved in considerable degree. And there are only two kinds of keys, which are using items and moving horizontally. And there can be only 3 positions that players can place. So simple control is also achieved.The main aesthetic goal is to achieve strong cohesion between theme and gameplay. Our theme is ‘Alice in the Wonderland’, more specifically the falling scene when Alice enters the rabbit hole. This falling theme is not only closely related to the gameplay mechanics but also the theme word we provided from the lecture. Artworks are carefully chosen to represent the ‘Alice in the wonderland’ theme. Rabbit’s clock, the ‘Drinkme’ potion, Ace of Heart and the teacups are all directly related to the important imageries of the story. Even the game music, which is not composed by ourselves, is sharing the same theme of us. Except for Alice’s explosion at the end, all of the details are closely linked to the theme. So we think our aesthetic goal is achieved.As we learned from the lecture, the decision is what makes a game interesting. If there are too many decisions to make at one time, it makes players confused. But if there are too few options for the decision, it will make a game boring. At first sight, it seems that our game is a simple no-brainer dexterity game. That is not true. The Ace of Heart cards, which can eliminate upcoming teacups, are the most common items in the game. You can use this item right away, or keep it till the stage becomes much harder. This makes the players make a choice and strategy. Also, there is another kind of decision there. If players collide to the rabbit’s clock, it will grant 50 points, which is five times of normal teacup breaking points. However, the rabbit’s clock reverses the direction of teacup for 2 seconds and reverse again. During this time, the movement pattern of teacups is confusing. So it is likely to kill player because of it. A player can choose between to raise a score by going through a risky way or to choose a safe way by giving extra points away. This choice happens periodically. This is why this game is really addictive. I guess this is also related to the operant conditioning, which was covered in the lecture.We tried to design a fresh game with some innovative features. Actually, we are not deep into the air combat game, which is perhaps the most similar kind of game to ours. Our ignorance liberated us from the genre’s cliche and encouraged us to make peculiar features. For example, there is no enemy to fight against here. Instead of making an enemy to conquer, we just throw players in infinite teacup rain. Furthermore, we give users a limited power for active shooting. This decision is mainly due to the theme we implemented and the limitation of a number of total events. And we don’t think that kind of enemy is really necessary here. Big differences to relatives but a satisfying one. The time-traveling rabbit’s clock and 'Drinkme' potion, which temporarily reduces the size of Alice, is also unique items in this game. One of the most important innovations in our game is a strongly convincing theme of items. In combat games, items look like military supplies which are quite general and boring. In our game, we used game items from the original story so that we can understand what will happen if we use those items even before we really play it. We reflected several feedbacks from playtesters in our final beta version. One of the most important change is the UI. Before the beta version, we try to explain every important rule using plain texts. But after we got the feedback, we realize an image base description will improve UI and the player’s understanding of the game. Some feedbacks are really critical to the gameplay. Every velocity in the game, including falling of Alice, speed of cups and items, and even speed of background is half as slow when we first built the alpha version. This version can easily lose tension and even harder for it has non-intuitive timing. This problem was also discussed feedback so we fixed it.'