Snow Ball is Coming to Town

Play game here.

The start page.

The name of my final game is “Snow Ball.” While researching casual maze games, I came across a game that I found highly addicting. The concept of the game is to drag a ball through a maze, gathering the necessary items for each level and then continuing to the end of the maze. In light of the upcoming holiday and the exceptionally cold weather we have been having lately, I wanted to base the theme of my game around snowmen.

I decided to design the game around the idea of building a snowman. I was inspired by images I found on the internet of cartoon snowmen. My game incorporates different shades of blue and white that was consistent with cold, winter weather. I used vector images of whimsical trees and snowflakes, but the rest of the items I created using Adobe Illustrator. I kept the main page design simple; outlining the maze with blue, using yellow whimsical font that stands out from the blue background, and I made sure to highlight the snowball player with a purple tinted background so that it would stand out on the white maze lane. In order to visually display the progress of the player in the game, I decided to add a life meter, an item meter and to explicitly indicate what level the player has reached on the top of the screen. I also decided that I would include hints for the player when they reached a level that required learning a new skill. Finally, when the player wins the game, the fully built snowman appears congratulating the player; when the player loses, a semi-melted snowman appears informing the player of their loss. I also decided to add music to the game. After searching Google, I found a video of a hip-hop Christmas beat that I did not find annoying to listen to throughout the game. Unfortunately, I could not get the clip to loop the way I wanted, so if the player takes a long time to complete the levels the music ends.

Page that displays after winning the game.

The game consists of a start page, an instructions page, four levels that become increasingly more challenging, a page for making it to the end of the game and, of course, a page that appears when the player loses. I made the decision to create levels that requires the player to learn a new skill for each level. For example, the first level teaches the player to move the snowball through the maze without touching the walls; the second level requires the player to reach a button to shift the maze in order to reach the finish line; the third level adds penguin enemies that have to be avoided; and finally the fourth level requires the player to use all the previous skills, but the difficulty increases.

Level 2. Player is required to learn a new skill.

Surprisingly, I had minor problems with coding this game. While designing the game, I knew I would encounter issues with detecting whether the player had collided with the wall and I did. I had to use hitTestPoint rather than hitTestObject to check the collision with the player because hitTestObject was a little too accurate. Unfortunately, using hitTestPoint allows the snowball to overlap with the wall slightly, but it does not detract from the difficulty of the game. Before deciding to use hitTestPoint, I went through every actionscript resource book we had in the lab, but I eventually ended up searching video tutorials. The video that steered me towards hitTestPoint was a video posted by Flash Game University.

After all the struggles I have had throughout the semester, I was happy to create a game that worked and is a great representation of the skills I have acquired thus far.

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