Harvesting Mini-Game Concepts and Design

After looking back through my research, I began creating ideas for potential mini-games for the Harvesting. The aim of the harvesting system is for it to play a role in the quality of ingredient the player’s gets which affects the quality of potion you give your client. The point of the game is that how you play in the mini-game will affect your quality of ingredients harvested for crafting, for instance, if you do poorly, your quality of ingredient decreases and if you do well, the quality of ingredient harvested is increased. One of the easiest ways that we will be able to monitor this and award quality of ingredients is to have some sort of points system. By doing this, we can accurately work out what score is good and what is bad. 

I did some designs and development in my sketchbook which you can find in Sketchbook 4, green tab labelled Mini-Game Harvesting, pages 39-52. From these, I went to my team for feedback as I needed some confirmation as to what were good ideas and what didn’t work so much.
The main aim I was going for with this mini-game is that it would be fun, relatively simple in terms of the mechanic and could be challenging if needed to be. This being so that the game was replayable and players wouldn’t mind playing the game when they needed to harvest their plots. I also wanted to make sure that our entire target audience would be able to play it and find it fun and challenging.

The favourite outcome ended up being an idea that involved colour combinations.
2017-01-13-22-08-23

The idea being:

  • You have four sides on the plot. On each side, you have a colour combination displayed.
  • At the bottom of the screen, the player would have a box with a selection of colours in it. The player must click on the colours that match the combination above it in the correct order as quickly as they can.
  • Every correct colour equals points
  • Every error minuses points
  • The faster the time you complete it in, the higher number of bonus points you get at the end.
  • Once you have completed one side, the plot animates so that it swivels to the right showing a new side, you must complete this one and so on until you have done all four sides. 
  • Each side you complete, the plant uproots itself a little until you’ve completed the puzzle. It will then rise up and off of the screen into your inventory.

By having a points system like this, it will make it easier to make boundaries for the quality of ingredient. In general, it will mean we can easily measure what quality the player will be awarded.

I mocked up this to show what I mean:

2017-01-14 00.09.42.jpg This was a really simple idea for the points system. But essentially there would be levels which would be labelled perfect, great etc. This way, when the player completes the game and if they got something like 690 points, the code would acknowledge this, match the point boundary with the label needed and would then create a pop up with the ingredient in it and it’s quality which in this case would be ‘great’.
This shows the player the outcome of the harvesting game and how this will affect their potion creation in the Dream lab later on in the crafting mini-game. 

Below is some designs I did to show a top-down view, an easy level and hard level. (Top-down is the image on the left followed by the easy level with the harder level below.) Once I know what the ingredients look like, they will go in the place of the green plant below. This will be what I work on next.

Next steps for the mini-game will be:

  • Next semester, make a prototype of this. 
  • Test it and get feedback
  • Make amendments

In order to make sure everything works and it hits all the aims I want to achieve, we will test this at the beginning to get it nailed and clean. This meaning it will work well and will need illustrating before being completed.

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