Hey all! I haven’t posted before, but I’m a Move38 collaborator working on some Blinks game designs along with design partner Mary McKenzie ( @marymck ). Thought I’d share our design motivations and progress here for all to see.
Our core design goal is to develop simple gameplay that requires very little instruction. We’re aiming to identify the ways that people might naturally try to interact with Blinks, and create an interesting/beautiful game experience that requires minimal instruction, and could even easily be discovered through experimentation. Below are outlines of the two game concepts we’ve come up with to try to address some of these goals!
- 6+ blinks
- The blinks start out all blank, except for two fully-colored “paintbrush” blinks. (The number of players can expand well beyond two, but we figured we’d start small for prototyping!)
- When the sides of those “paintbrush” blinks touch a blank or partially-colored blink, it paints that edge the color of the “paintbrush” blink
- Once a blink is fully painted one single color, it becomes a “paintbrush” and can now be used to paint partially-painted or blank blinks.
- Winning: Once all the blinks have been converted to paintbrushes, the game is over and whichever color has the most blinks takes over all the colors, indicating the winning color. If it’s a tie, the blinks all show up half & half colors.
- 6+ blinks (must be configured into a ring shape; all blinks must be touching ONLY two blinks, or else the game resets)
- The blinks display a meditative cyclical animation, starting on red. We envision this as each blink shining bright and fading to dim in a cycle. This animation plays for a random length of time, between 5-20 seconds.
- At some point between 5-20 seconds, two non-touching blinks change to the next color in the rainbow spectrum (for example, during the first level—red—the pair would display orange), and they must be moved to touch each other within the ring within 3 seconds (set to change pending playtests!). If done in time, the entire ring begins an orange cycle animation. If not, the ring remains red and the cycle restarts.
- This goes through 6 colors of the rainbow spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet).
- If a blink is detached early (before the matching pair appears), the cycle resets to red / the game restarts.
- Winning: Once the game progresses through to violet (or perhaps from violet back to red), the blinks flash rainbow colors to signify win state.
While it’s a lot less likely that folks will be able to just figure out the gameplay of Rainbow Ring based on experimentation, we still think it can be successful, simple gameplay. The experiential goal of Rainbow Ring is to inspire a meditative flow state punctuated by quick reactions, similar to how “Super Hexagon” gets you into something of a trance/reactive state during gameplay. We can increase the difficulty and reaction speed by increasing the cycle animation speed and decreasing the time allowed to match pairs as you progress through levels.
Curious to hear your feedback! We’re really excited to start prototyping playable versions of these design concepts.