Facebook Social Game
I worked on Bayou Blast during my time at GameHouse, being the game that I most heavily contributed to there. I influenced many core aspects of the game, having joined the project soon after the prototype was developed and approved by management. As part of a small team we proceeded to develop it into a fully-fledged casual social game on Facebook.
Many of my contributions can be seen in the embedded video above. (The game was localized in a number of languages, the best fan-made video I could find is en español.)
Some of my core contributions to the game include:
I was responsible for the line drawing effect animation that connects the gems while selecting them. The game's mascot is a firefly character, so the line aesthetic is meant to reflect that he is connecting the gems.
I added a few particle effects that contributed to a more visceral game experience:
1. When the gems are cleared, they break apart into smaller pieces that fly toward the edge of the screen and bounce off the borders of the game area. The bigger your line, the more particles appear at higher velocities.
2. You might not notice this at first but there's some little fireflies hovering on the edges and somewhat behind the game board. I created a variation on Brownian motion to give them an insect-like randomess.
For both of these examples I used pooling to eliminate the need for allocating objects, thus reducing memory churn.
Gem Falling Agorithm
The gem falling algorithm needed to be refactored to look more natural than what we had in the original prototype. So I created a new gem falling algorithm that was able to fill in the board more organically and in far less time.
Lightning and Timed Special Effects
I implemented the special effects for the lightning and dynamite power-ups, giving them a satisfying chaining effect. As with the particles, the more gems that are cleared in the line that activates the power-up, the more powerful the effect becomes. I also implemented the "Frenzy" special mode which usually results in huge chained combos. (Keep an eye on the "Frenes" meter at the top of the screen to see when Frenzy mode begins.)
Firefly Character Animations / Reactions
If you look closely in the video at the firefly character on the right side of the screen, you'll notice that his expressions change as the player plays though the level. When the player is doing especially well, the firefly will have a smiling excited reaction. When the player scores less points, he will look more bored, and eventually go to sleep!
In addition I built many of the UI features and core game logic, as part of the collaborative team effort. A big shout out to Ted Peters who built the original prototype and worked alongside me on this.