Silly Little Lamb

The game I created for Design Challenge was a racing game programmed on Gamemaker named RunLittleLamb. I was unable to find a game tester but I have spoken to many people about my plans with the game through online means.

The general consensus on the game, or at least a common criticism on my game, is the lack of obstacles throughout the game. The obstacle is the player unto themselves, and while that could be an interesting game design perspective to flesh out in the future I feel the execution, in this case, is poor due to the player being punished without much decision on their part or efficient and fun ways to deal with the progressing difficulty. Also, the game does appear to be buggy when it comes to the rotating pillar’s hitbox and the player will get hit when they are a set distance away from it, I couldn’t figure out as to why this was the case. However, the people I spoke to did seem to appreciate my intent with the game design, to have an adrenaline-pumping game that gets faster the further you go into it.

On my part, not much explanation was required, the game had basic controls and I feel like it was pretty obvious what you were not meant to collide with, and it was obviously apparent once the player passed the blue checkpoint that they would become faster.

One person did suggest however that the player could in theory pass over the blue line, back and forth, in order to quickly rack up points and speed if they were far ahead enough in front of the pillar. I did not decide to remove this feature as I felt, while accidental, it was a fun way to exploit the game and was a decision that had its inherent risk due to the player letting the pillar get closer and getting the chance of having an unexpected amount of speed.

I feel like the players, including myself, could have fun for the first couple of minutes but after the game is found out and the player is not forced to make any substantial decisions, since the players can in theory become fast enough to avoid any danger, the game becomes quite boring.

Bugs and such really were memorable to me, as well as myself becoming so fast eventually that it was essentially impossible to continue with the game. It seems that what is most memorable from this game were design flaws such as these, perhaps that is something I should design around in the future. I feel like the sense of danger later in the game definitely worked, since it would soon become very difficult to maneuver yourself, but I also feel that this inhibits the player's sense of control which makes it frustrating for them to play since their decisions are unreasonably difficult. I feel like the game definitely fails when it comes to the player’s sense of control.

Speaking to people about my game made me realize flaws in my game design, seeing what they thought on a purely conceptual level would be interesting and fun to play and especially what wouldn’t be. They made me realize how unfun losing control of your car for progressing in the game is.

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A collection of game reviews and reflections on design challenges from the students of IMM 270–02: Game Studies and Design, part of the Interactive Multimedia program at The College of New Jersey (Fall 2020 semester)

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Matthew Stokes

Matthew Stokes

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