“Splop” was a typical mobile inspired game designed to include a very “cute” Aesthetic. The idea of gameplay revolved around the creating a puzzle base where the player had to jump over another in a leapfrog fashion. The stationary jelly would then be eliminated. The player had to do this in a consecutive amount of moves until the there was only one remaining, this would prompt the player’s victory. There is of course a challenge to this that increases for every level completed. This challenge also included chances in which the player may “Misplay” resulting in leaving only one jelly impossible.
My contribution to the project consisted of animating the bases provided by another animator. These included idol and death animations for the four different variations of jellies that the player interacts with. However there is a lot about the jellies that I would have liked to change. For example the Blue Jelly Idol animation and the Green Jelly death animation.
In order to evaluate what went wrong in the games design I will first cover what went well. Firstly a lot of the animations were fairly fluent with the exception of a couple. A lot of the principles of animation went into consideration during the construction of these animations. “Squash and stretch”, “Timing”, Slow in and slow out” and “Follow through and overlapping action” were some of the major principles that was leaned on. The appearance of the jellies and wallpapers were also aesthetically pleasing. Another point to bring up is the gameplay ran exactly how the game programmers pitched. Finally the game creators of Spolp were very nice and like minded people to work with. This made for a very stress free work process.
Although there was a lot that went right a project always has it’s flaws. With Splop some of the ingame aesthetics didn’t quite click. This made the visual a little awkward to play on. Another element that needs improvement is the feedback the game gives players, a lot of the time players that I’ve interviewed seemed to be disorientated and had to be told how to play and where to go. Team communication was also a very large problem in the group. One of the team members I didn’t met until one of the final weeks of the project. This communication also played in with the schedule slippage. One of the biggest examples of this can be relayed back the start of the project. A lot of the animators were expecting an asset list however it was later found that the asset list was implemented into the art bible instead of an external document. Time was already short with the initial pitch set only two weeks to complete the assets for the teams game. Another setback that both game developers and animators didn’t oversee was problems implementing the animation inside unity itself. The problem resided in the fact that unity doesn’t support importing gifs and instead the developer has to place it in an image sequence.
Aside from Unit these are little things that can easily be fixed and make the game function and feel so much more fluent to play. The first change that could be introduced is more consistent meetups. This would have established a better basis of understanding between the two parties in the project. The outcome of this could be improved through initiative alone even by my account. Another problem that I feel personally reflected on me as a party was not being able to see the progress via Android software. This could have been resolved by designating a friend or family member to be an assigned guinea pig. What this would have allowed is for me to oversee how the animations linked up with the appropriate aesthetics to match the rest of the game. This may have also helped the developers to communicate the game’s objectives to the players. With the use of a guinea pig I could have also relayed their input into the team’s pipeline.
Overall it was a pleasure to work with splop, however there is a lot of improvements that could have been made on my part. Damage was done to this process through schedule slippage and team communication. These problems could have been easily resolved with communication .