The Game

Beginning near the end of March, I had a new idea for a video game. I always thought that the mobile games I played were simplistic yet still so addictive to play. I wanted to replicate that. Since the idea of the top games are simplistic, the main challenge is devising an idea that the user cannot put down. One of my main inspirations was Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird is probably one of the easiest games to understand: you play as a bird that attempts to pass as many Mario pipes as possible. It’s addictive despite its extremely simple nature. I realized its “hooks” on the player mainly relies on the player’s frustration. Its simplicity is actually advantageous because it tricks the player into thinking the game should be easy, and so the player continues to play to attempt this relieve this sense of underperforming to their own set expectation.

The fact that the game utilizes its own simple nature to create an even more compelling game piqued my interest in both the human psychology and in game design. Design in any field ultimately comes down to how something appeals to the human psyche.

With these thoughts in mind, I was set on making a game to follow this design philosophy, even though, I admit, is a bit of scummy thing to do to the customer. However, this principle isn’t just found in casual mobile games, it’s found in almost every successful free-to-play game. Notable ones that come to mind are League of Legends and Fortnite, which hooks players with its free-to-play and then encourages them to make microtransactions perpetually afterwards. So understanding the principle through making my own of this kind of game is also helping me understand a big part of the current video game industry as well.

To have an idea, I needed some inspiration. I looked at things in my everyday life, from bottle flipping to paper airplane throwing to chair spinning. The idea of the SpiderSquare, however, unsurprisingly came to me when I was watching the new Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. Its stunningly beautiful cartoon animation and the sense of exhiliration of Miles Morales swinging from building from building made me want to make it into a game. Swinging from place to place would also make for a similar experience to Flappy Bird, perfect for what I was looking for.

__Things I learned:__

This game was my first new orignal idea. Sure, the inspiration is clear, but I made it my own with unique dynamics and sound design.

This project also showed me how easy it is to consult others for help. When I worked on my previous project of remaking Tetris, I felt like every time I searched something up I was “cheating.” I felt like I would just be building an already built game with already built code. However, with executing my own idea, I didn’t have that mental limitation of not using my resources to their fullest potential because I knew I was synthesizing all of them into a new product, and so I got a lot more done in a lot less time because of that.

I also learned to build UI in Unity with TextMeshPro, which makes stunning text images and overall will help me greatly in making my future game projects look even cleaner.

I would consider this project a success, and it’s only going to progress from here. I’m planning on put this app on mobile app stores for both Android and Apple. I also plan to publish it to browser hosting games as well other game publishing companies like Steam because I truly believe it has potential as a fun game for people to enjoy.