Blörk

Blörk is a one-year student project. Designed for iPhone and iPod Touch, Blörk is a 2D platform game in which the player does not control the character but the world around it. The character is a sleepwalker that advances straight ahead and the player must handle the level without waking him up.

The game was available for free on the App Store..

This involved :

– Creating and designing game mechanics that use the full potential of the concept

– Designing all the controls to make them simple and intuitive

– Designing gameplay progression to create an enjoyable experience throughout the gameplay

– Designing and building several levels, including tutorials

With this project, our goal is to create a game that will be released on the App Store. This objective required a more professional approach because we are targeting a real platform, rather than just making a prototype like other student’s projects.

Create a new approach to the platform game genre

We wanted to create a real new platform game, not just another game in which the main character has a special power. This is the reason why, in our game, the player does not control the main character but must try to guide him by controlling the level.

Moreover, the character is a sleepwalker: the player must avoid waking him up. Contrary to games like Rolando, the player must manage its skills and its reactions: it is a character and not just a ball.

With this game, we wanted to be innovative in the platform genre while keeping the strength of previous games.

New device = New way of playing

We designed Blörk specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch to create a new manner of playing platform game. We designed controls to be very intuitive and to avoid tactile controls. Moreover, we wanted to use the full potential of this device, but always in an objective of quality over quantity. So we only kept what the player could truly master.

We worked hard on controls, iterating and tuning the core gameplay to make it as fun and simple as possible.

Designing Gameplay Progression

While renewing the gameplay experience, we must avoid overwhelming the player with game mechanics. That is why I spent a lot of time on the gameplay progression: difficulty curve, experience duration, game mechanics progression and all the rewards. This is a very important step in order to provide the player with a truly compelling and enjoyable experience throughout the gameplay.

To test this progression, we did playtests as soon as possible, at least once a week, and we tried to bring new players as much as possible.

Learning

This project is a great opportunity because I had to design and build all the levels of the game. It enables me to understand what needs to be done in order to keep a global coherence.

Then, I learnt to design a gameplay progression. This is very important because we need to keep the player motivated throughout the entire game.

Finally, the best part was shipping the game ourselves : as a student project, we aimed for 5 000 downloads so we were very surprised when we had 25 000 downloads in less than a week !