Blunk: A case study
Blunk was a game I built for iOS and Android a couple years ago. It was a simple enough game, a clone of the then famous Piano Tiles. At the time, I was just curious to know how hard it would be to make a game like that, an endless scroller that gets faster over time. The graphics, game mechanics and sounds were simple enough. So I began by creating the iOS version using the SpriteKit framework. It’s a framework by Apple to build 2D games on devices like the iPhone, iPad and the Mac. With a lot of demand from friends to port the game to Android as well, the game was rewritten in Cocos 2d, a cross platform 2D game engine.
Now a couple years later, the app having received no love from me in a long time, I decided to revisit the app again, this time with new knowledge on creating apps that look and work better. The first thing I wanted was an idea. I was still deeply passionate about the endless game genre where the difficulty is brought on by the increasing speed of the game. My friend Ashiq showed me a couple games where the game relies on telling you commands to satisfy before the time runs out to move on to the next round. This fascinated me and I thought about how this would be implemented.
I knew the game had to be simple, with basic game mechanics that you can learn in seconds yet interesting enough that you keep coming back for more. I settled with an idea of a grid of 16 dots, each being one of 4 colors — green, red, yellow and purple. The game gives you an instruction to tap a number of dots of specific colors that you must tap before the time runs out. The instructions are given to be basic commands, written in informal language, ocassionaly with a funny british swear word added for comedic relief. Some commands are also false, asking you to tap yellow dots when there aren’t any displayed on screen to throw the player off. There are a total of 30 commands built into the app with a random one being chosen for each round. More commands will be added in a future update.
The iOS app was rewritten from scratch in Swift 4.0. That makes the app clean, fast and up to date with the current iOS app standards. The sounds for the app were taken from Facbook’s excellent sound pack, giving a playful and tactile feel to the dots. The menus were also designed to be playful, with fun animations that give the sense that the app is alive and pulling you into playing the game.
The colors of the app were selected to be clean, flat, pastel shades and to be as distinct as possible. Just 4 accent colors were used on the app with the exception of white and black. Also keeping with the tradition of adding a dark mode to every app I make in the future going forward, Blunk will have a dark mode as well, though I personally prefer the light mode in this case.
The app is out on iOS and the android version releases soon. I hope you all check it out and rate it on both the platforms. Cheers!