Technical Designer
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Roguish Riches

Write-Up for project Roguish Riches.

Roguish Riches

 Roguish Riches is a mobile 2D infinite platformer encompasses around a 3D tower focused on addicting game play with quick decision making. My jobs on this project were UX Development, Ability Design, and Team Management.

 

Design Philosophy

The design philosophy I used for Roguish Riches was one focused on allowing the Player to enjoy the game in short bursts when they pleased. The game play allowed the Player to enjoy a quick five minute game whenever they wanted. Myself and the team I worked with focused on continuous interesting game play within random variants of each level. As the game progresses the Player can unlock Abilities with coins, and new character skins by reaching new heights.

The title screen of Roguish Riches. The Tower spins while the title does a passive animation. While the Tower spins, obstacles that the Player will be facing circle around as a preview to the Player.

 

The Tower

The Vision

Roguish Riches was envisioned to be a game that could be played quickly at any given time. If you were on the bus for a few stops, you could play a quick game or two. To do this we focused on how to balance the game in such a way that each game lasted between 3-5 minutes. As well, since the games would last a short amount of time we needed to make sure our “infinite“ tower didn’t show our limited resources too quickly. We figured that by keeping various resources and enemies to a low spawn rate until higher up the Tower, the Player would get the feeling that the items are much more varied than they truly are.

 

An initial title sketch for what used to be Tower Power, based off of a Hackathon project done by the same team!

The Tower in Roguish Riches is what the Player continuously revolves and climbs up throughout the game. Platforms of varying types randomly spawn in up to 3 paths up the tower, making sure the Player always has a few choices of how to progress. On each platform can be many variants and hazards which will require the Player to make quick decisions to progress around. Around the Tower also are enemies which spawn in a random fashion, requiring the Player to dodge around platforms or use their chosen Ability to continue. Coins litter the platforms of the Tower, which allow the Player to purchase new Abilities and charge the current Ability while in game.

 

The Tower is a 3D cylinder, while 2D objects rotate around the Tower using the Unit Circle.

 

Game Play

At any point the Player has only a few simple things they can do. They can Run (Left or Right), Jump, or use their Ability. Keeping the amount of choices the Player has low allows for the game play to be a bit more fast paced. Since the Player has less options to choose from, we can allow them the time needed to make decisions a bit faster.

Roguish Riches game play while making their way around the whole tower, collecting coins to help earn new abilities.

The Abilities

The Player can unlock, and equip one Ability when they play the game. These Abilities can save a Player’s mistake, or reward them for more risky maneuvers. For example, a Player can equip the Absorb Shield to block an incoming enemy, while the Extra Platform allows the Player to create their own path. Each Ability lends itself to a different game play style.

The customize screen that pops up prior to starting every game of Roguish Riches. Swiping back and forth between skins and abilities will change them.

 

Decision Making

I decided to focus a whole portion of this write-up to the emphasis of decision making within Roguish Riches. At its core, the game play loop of Roguish Riches comes down to basic decision making. The Player will have to decide between a more difficult path with better rewards, or a safer path that gives a higher chance of success going higher up the Tower.

These decisions seem small, but they happen fairly quickly within the game. The Player is jumping between platforms every 3-5 seconds, requiring small decisions for a majority of them. Within these small decisions are only a handful of big ones which can decide how long the game might continue. If the Player makes a poor decision on when to use their Ability, they may end up losing the game!

When building a game around quick decision making, it was important to understand our demographic for the game. We were looking for a demographic between 12 and 30. We wanted a majority of the Player base to have a solid reaction time, but be in situations where the “time-wasting“ aspect of the game could be fully realized. With our demographic in mind, we were able to balance the game towards players who would be able to make quick, rapid decisions.

 

Play It Now!

Roguish Riches is live and available on both iOS and Android! If you’re interested, please give it a try! I would love to hear what your thoughts on it are!