Paper Menus

Tearable is a working title. Maybe.

After arriving at an art style I really like, and seems popular with people that I show it to, I had to get back to making parts of the game, and polishing up some stuff.

Initially getting a gift of stars just gave them right to you, if you didn’t stare at the number you might not even notice you got them. So now stars spawn from the button and fly to the counter. Initially kind of just in a big clump, but now I define a max and minimum radius to create a ring which I think looks nice. I also sped it up quite a bit. It’s easy to get in the head-space of “well I want them to see it!” when doing animations and transitions, but then you sit through it so many times it gets annoying, and the players will have even less tolerance for it than you.

I also wanted to add something to receiving the daily gift. Before it just slid on screen which was fine but I thought I could embrace the aesthetic I had going and decided to have a paper ball unravel containing it.

The gift sprite is another Spine animated sprite by the way, let’s me do that nice squeeze when it pops open by turning it into a mesh that can be manipulated.

I then took this paper ball idea and ran with it for unlocking new character skins. The character unlocks will be random when unlocked with the collectable currency. Lots of games visualise this kind of thing with slot machines or loot boxes or those things where a ball falls down and hits a bunch of pins on the way to a prize. I thought a gumball machine full of these paper balls was a cute idea, so set about rigging and animating that. In another unnecessary detail the paper coming out can be one of the three colours, and the animation for the balls moving inside the machine will be different for each colour.

Stars will be the main collectable in the game, available throughout gameplay to pick up and given for daily gifts etc. But I wanted characters to be available for direct purchase as well. Having each character as a unique in app-purchase would make the store listing a mess, and is a bunch of unnecessary information to keep track of, so a purchasable token or currency seemed like the way to go. The only problem was what should that token be? I mocked up a few examples and eventually decided that a moon was a nice counterpart to the stars. Hearts imply something to do with health or something that effects gameplay, the rainbow stars while looking very special, don’t fit with the rest of the art in my opinion.

Another bit of the interface I haven’t mentioned is the level timer. It’s a fairly subtle line towards the bottom of the screen in most of the previous videos of gameplay. I added a number to help make it clear, and when the timer gets close to running out it changes colour. First to orange and then to red when you have very little time. The timer number also increases in size when the colours change, to try and help draw your attention to it if you are not aware. I got this idea from Apex Legends which increases their timer size to quite an extreme amount when their battle royale circle is about to start moving in. Hopefully it helps people notice!

Thank you for reading! The next part will take a look at some enemy designs and behaviours, and some thoughts about difficulty and how it is currently implemented.