Concentric is a mobile defense game in which players defend planets from the threat of incoming alien ships by rotating two sets of shields around the planet. Designed to be easy to learn, but challenging to master. As players progress, new enemies are introduced and the protection that each shield provides is reduced.
Production: March 2015 - May 2015
Lead / QA Lead: Jeremy Root
Enemies were designed to have unique movement patterns that forced players to move their shields differently in order to block them. From the drill ship that requires the player to block the ship twice to the stealth ship that moves in an out of steal requiring the player to keep track of the ship’s position. By having these different types of ships introduced in certain levels, I could easily adjust the difficulty, to challenge the player and keep them playing.
Each level features shields with spaces allowing for enemy ships to pass through. As player’s progress the number of spaces in each shield increases forcing players to be more precise with their movements. I also purposefully chose which enemy ships appear in each level to prevent the game from becoming unfair to the player.
Player feedback was a major tool that I used throughout development. Each week I would put our latest build in front of testers to get feedback on the changes that we had made over the course of the week, I would then take the feedback and get it to the proper individuals on my team so that we could make any necessary changes.
What I Learned:
My main takeaway from this project was the importance of including different disciplines in my design. I worked with one of our programmers as I designed the different types of enemies to insure that they would be able to implement them in a timely manner so that they could be tested. This resulted in less stress on their end as well a giving us more time to polish each enemy type.
Concentric was definetely one of my favorite projects that I had the opportunity to work on at Champlain College, but looking back at the project a couple of years later with everything I've learned since then, I believe that I would have done a few things differently. If I had the opportunity to go back and make a change to the design it would be the way in which enemies were spawned. Rather than selecting a random position, I would use fixed positions, though it would make certain enemy types easier to predict, designing levels around fixed spawns would have been much easier as I would be able to adjust the placement of the shields to create more of a challenge for players.