Juice It or Lose It

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How to make a game feel better by only altering its surface.

To summarize the video, here are their ideas for “juicing” up a game, in this case a breakout clone:

  • Color 1 – Distinct objects get distinct colors
  • Tweening 1 (easing) – Drop down the level from the top of the screen into its final position:
    • Linearly – Drops from off-screen to final state at constant rate)
    • Asymptotically 1 – Drops quickly at first, then slows down
    • Asymptotically 2 – As (1), but drops slightly off the screen bottom, then pulls back up into final position
    • “Bouncily” – Quickly bounces down from top, too far, pulls back up, and repeats, with bounces getting smaller and quicker, resting in final position
  • Squeezing/stretching – Motion blur on moving objects
  • Scaling – Ball gets bigger when it hits something, then shrinks to normalize size
  • Rotation – Ball rotates as it moves, in the direction it’s moving
  • Stretching – Ball stretches as a function of its velocity
  • Stretching, animated – Ball “wobbles” when it hits something
  • Color 2 – Ball temporarily changes color when it hits something
  • Tweening 2 – All bricks are temporarily scaled when the ball hits something
  • Bouncy borders – When ball hits the edge lines of the screen, the lines bounce elastically
  • Sound – Sound effects for actions/events
  • Music – Background music
  • Particles – Puff of smoke when the ball hits something
  • Additional block destruction effects:
    • Scaling – Block scales down a few times before disappearing
    • Falling – Block drops down a few pixels and before disappearing
    • Bumping – Block is pushed up slightly by the ball before falling
    • Spinning – Block spins a bit before falling
    • Fading – Block color darkens in a step-wise fashion before disappearing
    • Shattering – Block shatters before disappearing
    • Slow-mo – Just before the ball hits a block, the game speed slows significantly to emphasize the effect of the block being destroyed
  • Additional particles – More confetti-like particles exploding outward added upon block/paddle collision with ball
  • Trails – Long “tail” added to the ball’s path that tracks where it’s been. Trail width shrinks and color fades as the ball gets farther away. Trail color is the same as the ball, such that when the ball changes color, so does its trail.
  • Screen-shaking – Entire screen shakes violently when the ball hits something
  • Face – Anthropomorphize game objects:
    • Eyes 1 – Add blinking eyes to paddle
    • Eyes 2 – Eyes track the ball
    • Mouth – Add mouth to the paddle. It smiles when ball is near, opens when ball is hit, frowns when ball is far away
    • Eyes 3 – Increase size of the eyes
  • Flash background – When a brick is destroyed, the background color quickly cycles through several colors before returning to normal

 

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