From Dentistry to Wizardry

My start page. Click to play.

The name of my final project is “Harry Potter Adventure Game.” It’s a dungeon maze game that takes elements from the first, fourth, and seventh “Harry Potter” novels and adapts them for the Adobe Flash game medium. Going into this game, my main goals were to improve upon and expand the elements incorporated into my previous dungeon maze game, “Dental Dungeon.”

For this game, I wanted a more modular design with clearer boundaries  in order to enhance user-friendliness and clarify the game’s feedback loop. Additionally, I wanted a more intricate design so I made my characters smaller and walls tighter. As usual, I drew all of my characters, objects, walls, etc. on Adobe Illustrator, which provides the simple, cartoony aesthetic that I find works well with these games. I strayed a bit outside of my previous color palettes, aiming for a more muted, realistic set of colors. I chose to avoid the usual typefaces and design elements associated with the Potter franchise–I wanted the game to stand apart from Warner Bros. and Scholastic merchandise.

Level One of "Harry Potter Adventure Game."

Level One finds Harry navigating through the halls of Hogwarts, avoiding various characters, to reach the Mirror of Erised. The trick to this level is getting the Invisibility Cloak, which allows you to get past Filch without receiving a detention. On this level, if you lose, a Flash MovieClip shows up that informs you of your detention. If you win, a MovieClip portraying Harry with his parents in the Mirror of Erised allows you to move to the next level.

In Level Two, Harry must stun the other Triwizard Tournament champions and exit the hedge maze before the timer runs out. To stun his opponents, he must pick up his wand. If Harry collides with the other opponents before they are stunned, the amount of time left decreases. If you lose on Level Two, a MovieClip informs you that time has run out. If you win, you see Harry with the Triwizard Tournament trophy and you can proceed to the final level.

In Level Three, Harry must navigate through the Forbidden Forest, collecting all three Deathly Hallows before facing Voldemort. To avoid losing health, you should stun the Death Eaters. If you face Voldemort prior to collecting each Hallow, he kills you. Otherwise, an animation plays and you win the game.

After “Dental Dungeon,” this game was not too difficult to complete. The only problems I encountered were related to extra features that I initially could not figure out how to incorporate (for instance, the animation of Voldemort’s death, the timer on Level Two, preventing bullets on Level Three from going through walls, etc.). After thinking these things through and/or Googling a few specific issues, I was able to solve these problems. Of course, I had a couple of the usual typo-related error messages and difficulties figuring out some conditional logic, but nothing too noteworthy. The first iteration of the game was a bit too easy, but I had friends play it and adjusted accordingly.

Overall, I’m very happy with “Harry Potter Adventure Game.” I really enjoyed creating all of the nuances and extra features found throughout the game and I’m pleased with the design elements. In the future, I wouldn’t mind adding a few more levels (maybe one for each book), but I think it’s a pretty solid game as is.

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