The Game in Which You Make Levels for Your Friends to Play!

This game is the result of 12 weeks of work for the Free to Play Game Development class. I worked with Alexander Cordova, Ankita Srinivasa, Isaac Steele, and Aditya Valvi. The game was developed for Facebook, but since development Facebook changed their settings and we unfortunately cannot host the game on Facebook without additional funding. Above is the gameplay trailer.

This game has two parts: one where the user builds levels for other people to play, and another where the user plays other players’ levels. Gameplay is straightforward: press the left and right arrow keys to move and the space bar to jump; collect the key and make it to the brown door without dying. Death simply resets the key and the player to their starting positions. Built levels also have randomly generated coins for players to collect to augment their virtual currency. Players can then use the coins to add more obstacles, such as spikes, and other items to their user-made level.

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Although my official role on the project was “Usability Testing Lead”, I wore many hats during the production of Platformville. I created the level editor and implemented most of the basic gameplay programming for the game. When we decided we wanted to host the game online (not a requirement for the class), I set up the server that the game now runs from. I wrote some scripts (JavaScript) to help with functionality between Construct2 and Facebook (such as inviting friends to play the game, etc). Finally, when the game was near completion, I passed the game around to friends and family to stress test the server. This included some usability testing, where I monitored players’ actions in game and made notes for improvement.

Since PlatformVille is on Facebook, we have some Facebook features built into our game. Anytime a user publishes a level or beats someone else’s level, that user has the opportunity to post to his/her wall, sharing his/her actions in the game. On the front page of our game, a user can click a button to invite his/her friends to play. Future tasks for this game include: letting a user create and save multiple levels, adding more platforming objects and obstacles, improving functionality and look-and-feel of the interfaces, and adding microtransactions for purchasing coins.

(Spring 2013)