A bouncing head, music making machine
The game ideation behind Vault came from creating an illustration based game, with very few interactions but to keep it fun in the majority.
This started with some simple mockups, jumping off pistons and creating this reaction.
The first idea insisted on selecting certain heads. This would contain a variety of heads ranging from big to small, and their size would determine their weight.
The weight came into play with the pistons themselves. Each piston would be linked to another, determined by colours, or lines on the design. When the weighted faces hit the pistons, they would go up or down, depending on the face position.
After deciding these aspects, I went and started to doodle some silly faces, as I knew it would have that illustration vibe I like – squiggly lines and no context.
I dwindled the number of faces down to 7, as this would help minimise the input number, and these were, in my opinion, the best-looking faces!
I coloured and corrected them, to make them look like this:
The next step was to draw and colour the piston assets.
In my head, they needed to combine the quirkiness the faces had. As I doodled, I began inputting these little squiggles and shapes inside of the pistons themselves.
The process was repeated with the pistons, like the faces. Selecting the appropriate ones and colouring.
I wanted to make a non-working mock-up of the illustration at the top. This would combine in my head what it could potentially look like once all added together in unity.
I tried to de-clutter the screen by limiting the generate button and only using 4 pistons.
The colours reflect on something from a 90’s kids show. This could bring nostalgia or just general taste for children’s preferences. In my mind: “If I liked it then, they’ll like it now” kinda vibe.
James helped me create the base game- colliders and code which helped me along the way.
In the first build, we simply made the pistons react to each other but also got rid of the generation system/ button.
This was replaced by simply clicking/ tapping above the piston itself, which would drop 1 face onto that piston. The pro’s to this where you would randomly generate the faces, that could make it a little more exciting. This also enhances the UX design, less clicking and dragging, making the interaction itself more acknowledgeable.
I added some little hit animations to create some motion. This
also reflects the cartoonish style.
This inspired the idea to have some ascending musical notes on each piston. When the head hits the piston, it would play the specific note. Bounce them in order and you’ll have a little tune. Endless fun, and gives the game a little bit more creativity.
It’s time to add in the colours!
We implemented a random somersault animation. This makes the little faces spin randomly in the air. Sometimes the colliders on the faces hit mid-air when somersaulting creating an upward motion. Although this may be a bug, I enjoy the way they fly off screen and then randomly appear. This will be something that may change along with playtests and opinions.