My second video game prototype ever, developed entirely by myself over a period of about two weeks in the process of learning how to use GameSalad.
Runs on Mac OS.
Foodland is an exercise in some aspects of conventional game design and in interaction design, and follows the platform game concept. Its main goal is to make the player aware of healthier choices when it comes to eating.
With the goal of making this prototype fun, fast, responsive, challenging and engaging, I made use of animations and created a few game design mechanisms that come together to form a complex system. A decreasing playtime is initially set to two minutes. Independent cupboard doors are randomly put together in three possible heights and fly across the scene from right to left. The player is represented by a “Pacman-like” avatar, Foodie, who initially has five lives and responds to the left, right, up and Z keys. Foodie must hit the bottom of the cupboards in order to get his food. He must jump on top of the lower cupboards in order to reach the higher ones. Some items are then freed and fall onto the floor: fast food, fruits, vegetables, meat and a stove.
From this point on, a complex reward and point system comes into effect measuring player achievements. Eating fruits extends the playtime. Veggies and meat must be grabbed by pressing the Z key and brought to the stove in order to move on to a higher level in the game (though higher levels have not yet been implemented). If the Z key is not pressed, the player loses points when touching veggies and meat. The fast food group — sodas, chips and hamburgers — decreases Foodie’s lives. But if Foodie jumps on them, he gets points. These points vary according to three factors: the kind of fast food, the height they were taken from and the speed Foodie is coming down on them.
In this prototype version, there are still problems to be solved. For example, multiple layers of cupboards and contents may at times overlap, resulting in invisible objects for the player. Besides having learned some programming strategies while making this game, I also noticed that I should make instructions and user input feedback clearer and more precise. Audio and visual effects could be of help in achieving this.
Overall, I believe Foodland to be a fun and catchy game, but it is definitely not an easy one to play. The player can be quick but should act strategically if he wants to succeed. Waiting is sometimes the best decision to make. In this sense, I aim to make games for the non-stressed, thoughtful player.
Use left, right and up arrow keys to move and jump.
You get points by jumping on fast food and by bringing meat and veggies to the stove.
Hold Z to grab meat and veggies to bring them to the stove; otherwise you will lose points.
You lose lives by eating fast food and live longer by eating fruits.