Game a Week Five: Bubble

Game a Week Five: Bubble




(play it online)

Idea: This game is a sequel of sorts to Balance, and part of a series of games I want to explore that use words as weapons, game objects, and mechanics. The concept of this one was very simple: I wanted to turn the type of words that get flung at a woman’s body into projectiles that need to be stopped before they wear down her internal defenses. The word list is all drawn from commonly-applied negative labels.

What went right: Construct 2 was a great fit for this type of play and I already knew generally how I wanted things to work, so it was a great project for a week when I was presenting at the Foundations of Digital Games conference. The theme of the game is certainly tied to the paper Bridget Blodgett and I wrote about women’s voices and harassment within the games industry, so it also seemed timely. I continued the simple color palette and aesthetic from Balance, and used a generic woman’s restroom symbol for the body in the middle–a problematic icon, but useful in this context. The game is really intended for touch screens, so the mechanics and scale are implemented with that in mind.

What went wrong: Nothing really. I’d like to do more refinement on the timing, particularly as the difficulty scales with more words survived.

What I learned: I really like this as a series concept, I think mini-games can make powerful quick procedural statements. I think I’ll be continuing along these lines for the next few weeks but with more complex mechanisms.

Other Games from Week Five

Mark Danger Chen released the downloadable card files for his co-op Space Card Game. The alien cards look particularly cool, I’m definitely going to print out a set and give it a try.

Greg Koeser also continued with another physical game, this time designed around using dice and cards to create a dungeon crawl experience. I like the physicality of using regular playing cards to generate the maze.

Melissa Peterson released a new ruleset for her environmentally-conscious card game Weather Worker, where players working to save their town from incoming storms.

Dennis Ramirez created a Unity game called A-Maze-Ing that uses a lighting mechanic to make the player rely on memory to navigate an impressive number of levels in a 2D maze.