Light ‘Em Up

Light ‘Em Up is a puzzle game where player’s must increase the node’s to the same size to complete the level. This was made with Unity 5 as a test to create addictive but simple gameplay and linking sphere colliders to spotlights.

There’s a total of nine levels that slowly increase in challenge. It can be downloaded here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vvtm8ucxa48s2vh/AADpqX1Mi7kJ9-yQwAHKA4QMa?dl=0

To get the core gameplay up and running took around two hours. Constructing and then further balancing the extra levels took around three hours. The game has a working UI that links the game together and a game over screen, which is also functional.

Development

The core of Light ‘Em Up changed little over making the prototype within unity however new gameplay features where added to make the game a bit more interesting. At a base level, there is a ‘Standard Node‘ which slowly reduces it’s radius every second. For most levels adding in multiple of these Standard Nodes made the game slightly more challenging however the increase and overlap of radius’ meant that once multiple overlapped, reaching the target size was easy.

Three

To counter this, a new node was introduced, the ‘Inverted Node‘. This node still decreased in radius size however it only decreased when the player entered the circle. When the player was not in the circle the node did not decrease in size. Once the Inverted Node’s radius reached zero, the game would be over and need to be restarted.  This different behaviour changed the gameplay as, depending on placement, it meant that player’s would have to dodge around the node when it reached a small radius, potentially meaning it takes more time to reach the Standard Node.

NodeInvert

In early levels of the game, walls were introduced to provide as another obstacle to the player, forcing them to go to specific routes or lengthening travel time between nodes. For the later levels, I added an extra layer to these walls with the introduction of bridges.

Bridge

These bridges however only had a certain amount of ‘health’ meaning that the player could only cross them a few times. It made the game a lot more challenging as players would have to be more wary when constantly jumping between multiple nodes as they could potentially block themselves off from one node and be unable to win that level. Within Unity, I made the value exposed in the Inspector so I could tune the amount of times before the bridge was destroyed. After testing the bridge several times I finally settled with a number of 3.

Some extra touches for Light ‘Em Up include HUD elements and tutorial hints. The HUD elements included the circle image that is placed around nodes. A spherical trigger was made to equal the same size as this image and it was made to help the player know where they should stand to increase the node radius. As for tutorial hints, they were controlled by a Game Controller which allowed me to place objects within that scene manually so it could be different for each level. The tutorial hints themselves ran off a counter and after a couple seconds would appear, stay for a couple more and then disappear.

Going forward

There are a few things that could be added to Light ‘Em Up which would make the game a bit more user friendly and nicer to look at. Similar to having images to denote where to stand I would also add images which would be set to the target radius as this would help the player visualise their goal per level a bit better.

I would also look at getting some custom art made for the game, ranging from models for the nodes, player to animation also. This would depend on the metagame of Light ‘Em Up but something based around keeping lights on to stop monsters getting you or something similar. Music and SFX would also be a nice polish feature to include as it would liven up the game a bit more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *