Jump & Juke
About this mini-game:
In Jump & Juke, the player is forever running upward along two parallel football fields. They must collect footballs for points. If they collect a full set, they are rewarded by an increased score multiplier. Players must also jump to avoid enemies running along the wall. If a player jumps into an enemy who is not resting or running on the wall, they destroy the enemy and are rewarded with one shield point. Upon reaching three shield points, the player is rewarded with a shield which can withstand one hit. If a player takes a hit while unshielded, they fall onto a net below and lose one life.
Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android (Google Play Store), Amazon Apps, Windows Phone, PC/Mac (Online)
Tools Used: Unity, Photoshop, Lucidchart, Redmine, Perforce
Duration: 6 months
Release Date: Oct 13, 2014
Team Size: 10+
Role: Game Designer, Level Designer, Scripter.
Jump and Juke started as a reskin of a previous JumpStart game. The initial mechanics consisted of players jumping back and fourth between two walls avoiding enemies. I changed it a little bit and added a couple other mechanics:
I wanted to reward the player for their skill. I also wanted to reward them for being offensive against enemies and not just defensive. So when a player is jumping, if an enemy is jumping as well, they are able to destroy the enemy for bonus points. I took this a step further by rewarding the player with a shield which would allow them to take an additional hit if they were able to take down three enemies. The shield didn't stack so the game didn't get too easy.
In my games, I like rewarding skill. The combo system was one way of doing that. If you'll take a look at the first image, you'll notice the footballs are in a direct path. All the football sets are set up in ways which the player can jump back and forth and collect them all. As the game progresses and the speed increases, more difficult patterns appear as well. For every set a player completely collects, their score multiplier goes up by one, to a maximum of eight. For advanced players, this further shifts the focus of the game from just avoiding or engaging enemies to add an additional layer to master.
How the levels worked:
The game is actually procedurally generated. Through Unity, I was able to create enemy sets which would appear together. I additionally put in football sets which would appear together as well. I set these up in such a way that, if the player were to follow the footballs, they would consistently be safe and continue play. I used this to lead players to safety, teaching them the paths to safety for when there were no items near the enemies. As play progressed, the speed would increase, more difficult enemies would appear, and more complicated patterns would appear more frequently as well.
Disclaimer: Art done by artists at JumpStart - Knowledge Adventure.