Overview and Design Philosophy

High Concept Statement

The little fish of your sea village have become lost due to the mysterious shipwreck! Help Nina, the cute guardian octopus, retrieve the fish one by one and bring them back to the home coral. Rotate the plank maze around Nina to open paths for Nina to reach the fish. Be careful how much you rotate the maze! You may be hurting the fish instead of helping them.

Unique Selling Points

Interactive Player Controls - The player can guide the octopus to move toward a destination by tapping the location to move to on the screen. The player can also physically tilt the phone to directly rotate certain elements on the screen to solve the puzzle.

Rotating Challenges and Interactivity - Tilting the phone will rotate all the corals in the maze, but may not uniformly change each of their orientations, therefore opening up different paths of the maze for the character to strategically use. In addition to the stationary and rotating coral we will look to implement the following unique puzzle challenges:

  1. Fish (Non Rotating) - these will not rotate with the screen. They will bounce around when the phone is rotated, which may produce unwanted results.
  2. Fat Fish (Super Non Rotating) - these fish will not only not rotate with the screen, but prevent the screen from rotating past its position if some fixed game object is in the path of rotation.
  3. Currents (Rotating) - these will have the power to blow fish and octopus out of position
  4. Puffer Fish (Non Rotating) - will be used to blow up coral/sea urchins to create new paths in the coral
  5. Sea Urchin (Rotating) - kills any fish rotated into it

Strategic Uses of Fishes - The player may decide to permanently return a fish back to the home cave, or use the fish’s powers to alter the maze in order to retrieve more fish. (i.e. the use of the puffer fish to either return to home for bonus points or to use them as explosives to blow up urchins)

Design Goals

Intuitive Player Controls - Tilting the phone will require immediate changes of the elements on screen such that the player naturally feels like she or he is directly controlling the environment around a stationary character. Other environmental indications of rotation need to be designed such that the player knows the difference between positional changes as opposed to orientational changes. Good visual feedback will be needed so that the player will easily know what he is and isn't rotating, as he turns the phone.

Challenging Puzzles - Puzzles will require an understanding of how rotation will affect different corals and a spatial awareness of the characters in relation to the changing position of the coral maze. The player must also identify obstacles in the way of rotating and utilize the fish to overcome challenges.
Good puzzle design will need to utilize the features mentioned above in combination with one another to create not only interesting but natural puzzles.

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