As an amateur programmer I figured making a match-3 video game would be a good and easy learning experience. I likewise fell for an idea of creating a generic, run-of-the-mill, match “puzzler”; which would all of a sudden begin breaking the fourth wall, glitching, “restarting the phone”, deconstructing itself, and similar fun stuff. With some form of a brief story too (dialog driven).

2-3 months is what it was supposed to take, so naturally I’m now on month 16 (of on and off) establishing this thing. Throughout this time the core idea kept altering, the scope kept shifting up and down, and a lots of time entered into finding out the unknowns. When I say “novice programmer”, think: “hasn’t utilized selections until 9 months into the job … for a grid based game”.

The Video game

Solomeow’s Magic Blast has you join Solomeow – a cat wizard-familiar-thing, who’s keen on becoming your good friend, your buddy, your finest pal. Together you’ll grow in magical powers through generous quantity of match-2 levels. All the while establishing your relationship (or not).

The core of the game is solving match-2 levels, acquiring numerous upgrades to make the levels easier/funner, and sometimes engaging into easy dialog with Solomeow between levels.

I opted for Match2 due to the fact that I find them funner and faster to play than the timeless match3 (bejeweled, candy crush) I also didn’t wish to sustain the routine of seeing random matches fire off by accident while testing.

Goals

I discover these types of video games to be all about juice and fireworks, while “fixing puzzles” is just a Skinner box facade which develops a very strong compulsion loop. Among the main inspirations for Solomeow’s magic blast has been enjoying my partner play video games like Sweet Crush and Toon Blast nearly daily for many years. Likewise me getting stuck in them far past the point of novelty or fun.

I’m creating a limited video game, and intend to escalate the obsession loop into a crescendo of dopamine rewards. Up until it peaks and all comes crashing down in an ideally satisfying finale, launching the player from the loop and desire to play even more. No concept if I’ll be successful with this, however that’s the driving force.

At the least I’ll create a limited matching video game with some twists on, and small departures from the popular mechanics of comparable games. For much better or even worse.

What has been done so far

The core and additional mechanics to play levels are mostly complete, so I’m proceeding to level creation soon. Currently getting a hold on organizing scenes in Unity, understanding some more plugins, doing UI work, preparing out monetization …

A lot of the art and UI work has actually been done, however I have yet to tackle the story bits in information.

Invest a reasonable amount of time on spells, as these “explodey bits” are the funnest to communicate with in these kinds of games. Nevertheless, they’re frequently come down to merely line clean-up, location clean-up, some combination of the two, color cleanup and whole board cleanup. (RPG matching video games aside).

I decided early on I wished to make use of a magical theme. The initial idea was to have the player explore integrating various elements into various spellcasting impacts (think Magicka, Invoker from Dota or the wizard from Onslaught). Ultimately I dropped that in favor of an easier spells-and-mana system. Matches of 5 or more pebbles can net you 1-3 stars (mana), which are used to spend for spell casting.

Spells vary in their efficiency from randomly targeting to precise, from weak to ravaging. Periodically they have other effects too (like swapping, shuffling, approving extra turns, etc). Presently there are around 20 various spells of which the player can pick to hold up to 5 (selected in between levels).

I’m polishing as I go mainly since I can’t assist myself and seeing pretty stuff on screen encourages me.

Tech utilized: Unity 2018.3.12 with some plugins mainly for polish. Illustrator for graphics.

Efficiency smart I’m going for 30FPS on my old lower-end android gadget (samsung galaxy grand prime) which I’m just about managing so far.

Devlog

I find myself sometimes running out of steam, and truly wish to get going with some other tasks. Hope blogging about Solomeow’s advancement assists me preserve efficiency and finish it in the following months.