Team Size: 5 Members Role: Game Designer, Co-Producer, Artist Engine: Unity Platform: PC
Duration: 1 Month
Jelly Tracks was part of an ETC project called Jam Session, focused on exploring rhythm games.
Jelly Tracks is a co-op rhythm puzzle game where two players work together to clear a board of enemies. Each enemy is associated with a beat within the “square per beat” track, as well as a color. Guests must communicate with each other to time their actions to ultimately eliminate all of the colored obstacles.
Led my team in brainstorming sessions
Worked with my team to develop ideas and mechanics for each of the individual prototypes
Implemented ideas in-engine
Playtested prototypes throughout lifespan of the game
Led daily Scrum meetings for the team
Worked with each member to ensure that they knew what work had to be done for the day
Kept track of what work had already been completed.
Wrote postmortems for the prototypes as well as keeping in touch with the many contacts important to the project.
Contributed models, textures, and particle effects for this game.
Prompt: How can we create a rhythm puzzle game?
We wanted to explore an example of a rhythm puzzle game
We found the concept of building a rhythm with a partner to be very intriguing.
While we initially wanted to design a puzzle game, introducing a co-op element early on so that the game became more accessible, ended up making it less of a rhythm puzzle game and more of a coordination or communication challenge.
We played around with multiple ways to make the puzzle element of the game more robust — with no goal or limitations, the puzzles wouldn’t have true solutions, and players could exploit gameplay mechanics (sending out a projectile on every beat) to complete the puzzles with no consequence.
We ended up deciding to force players to complete the puzzle within a time limit, respawning all enemies if players didn’t succeed.
We kept track of the number of projectiles players have sent during the course of the level. A lower number of projectiles used = better score.
There is great debate about whether or not this game was an example of either a rhythm game, or a puzzle game.
Visual feedback was important!
This game became a stronger rhythm game AND a stronger puzzle game when we removed the co-op element. Before, players were focusing less on the music and more on coordinating their button presses with their partner. Now, players have to rely more on the music and their own hand-eye coordination when executing the solution to the puzzle.
For timed levels: players disliked the fact that the timers started immediately on the next beat after they timed out. They wanted to use the time to plan their next move, but would often have to wait for the timer to start again from the top so they had enough time to execute the whole solution.