Originally, I wanted to make a game of Mad Libs. I had found a great game on Scratch simply titled "Mad-Libs" created by funnyman1120. The game was fun and I had always been a big fan of Mad-Libs. When I tried to use the code though, I couldn't figure it out. No matter what I did, it wouldn't work. I scrapped that idea and went to look at more games. The next that I found was called "The One Level Maze." Kamikozerk's maze was deceivingly simple. The maze was easy. Avoiding the walls...not so much. The game also didn't have very clear instructions.
That maze sparked an idea, though. I wanted to make a maze with a silly little storyline. I decided to play around with knights, ghosts and, of course, a princess in distress.
You can now play my game right here!
I wanted to try and draw players in with a little bit of mystery.
The instructions are really pretty simple: use the arrows to move and avoid the walls!
My first tester didn't think much of the wall rule...until this screen popped up.
The ghoul is unamused by the intrusion to his domain. This screen had a tester frustrated until she saw the next one.
This screen is a bit of a push to play again. The challenge of "if you dare" has encouraged a couple players to start again.
The Knight is pretty curious. I hoped he would make the player curious, too. Level one is pretty easy. Just navigate over to the door to clear the level.
This screen gives a little more information about the goal before heading onto the next level. The player discovers that not only are they trying to save themselves, they have to save the king, too.
Level two is a little different. Not only is the door there, the knight also notices a green orb. If players want to try for it, the orb reveals a fairy who offers her help...if you can answer a riddle. The payoff for the extra work is skipping level three and moving right on to the final level. However, if the player chooses the door, they will receive a new instruction screen.
Level three forces the player to make a choice. Two orbs are decoys, one moves on to the final level, the fourth alerts the ghouls and restarts the game. The coolest thing for me as the creator was to watch during usability testing and see not one person choose the losing orb.
The blue orb whisks the knight away to the courtyard of the castle and the hedge mage outside. The princess calls out for help and the first step is to save her. Once the knight reaches the princess, the king appears and the princess begs for the knight to save her father. This level takes longer to compete, but the upside is that clearing the dungeons helped. Touching the walls outside only restarts the level, not the game. Once the king is safe, the player finds out what happened to those ghouls.
Winning the game triggers a cutscene revolving around the Wizard destroying the ghouls. For once the player gets to just sit back and watch someone else do the work.
The reward for winning? The kingdom is safe again all thanks to you!
I've had a blast working with Scratch...when my coding worked. But even the glitches made for an amazing experience because the feeling when I worked them all out was amazing. I actually made a computer game. Does it still have some bugs? Definitely. But I plan on working them all out.
Usability Report for "Labyrinth":
In my testing of "Labyrinth", I realized that I needed to do a little work on the game just to tweak it. The overall game was enjoyed by all testers, but some little things need to be fixed.
With more time to work on this, I would add more options for the green orb in the second level. I would also widen the hallways in order to make the maze just a little easier. The fairy in level 2 will have an option to repeat the riddle as not everyone figures out riddles on the first try.
Kaitlin, 20, female
User immediately understood the directions, but gave up when she hit the wall and had to restart. Total playtime: 1 minute
"Don't play if you're stressed."
What can be improved?
Make the maze a little easier
I wanted to see if it was just Kaitlin who was having trouble before changing anything. I went on to the second test.
Mandy, 19, female
User loved the idea of the maze and named her character "Aragorn." The user made it through the maze with no trouble and even realized that the discolored areas in the walls were shortcuts. Total playtime: 5 minutes
It's hard to tell how far I can hit the wall.
What can be improved?
I think the princess is annoying, but I don't like princesses. The orbs were really cool. Keep them.
Because Mandy didn't have a problem, Kaitlin went back and tried again. This time, she won.
Sean, 19, male
Really loved the idea of the game and the ability to make choices. Was the only tester to pick the green orb on level 2. Ran into the wall, but instantly tried again. Total playtime: 7 minutes
Fun and old school
Add a repeat option for the riddle. I didn't get it.
What can be improved?
Add the repeat option. It would be a little easier.
I will definitely be taking my tester's suggestions for the hallways and repeat riddle options. My tester's were great about playing the game and really did enjoy it once they got used to the walls. That will be fixed at another point and hopefully will be more enjoyable.