The following blog post was written by members of the Gamasutra ?? s community, unless otherwise stated.
The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the writer, not Gamasutra or its parent company.
As explained in the previous post, “Hyper Casual Trends That Follow”, games in this genre are ultra-mini versions of AAA games, so you have to follow the same pillars of design as these big game studios.
The beauty of games in this genre is inherently easy to understand (although not always easy to design and develop). Therefore, prototypes are a very reliable way to test the viability of your game without spending time and money. Invested in the game. Does the concept work? Move on to the next idea.
We’re ready to delve into the four main guidelines to follow (after deciphering the trend questions from previous posts) and focus on the design elements.
One: Immediateness-Players don’t wait
One of the main reasons hyper-casual games have been so successful is that they understand what they need to offer. Time is important because they are light meals of content served in short bursts. With that in mind, as soon as the game starts, move the player directly to the gameplay screen. Everything else is unnecessary for it (and it includes concerns about game progression, metagames, monetization) and should all be shown at a later stage.
This also applies to the output the player expects. In a world where people are accustomed to getting immediate rewards, it’s important to quickly deliver what users want. Make sure the controls aren’t clunky. Most importantly, make sure there is no delay from the moment the player enters the game (clicks, taps, slides, etc.) to the first output. You can see that this is done well with a bullet rush that the character aims and shoots at the same time while moving. Another good example of immediacy is popcorn burst. Here, when the player presses and holds, multiple popcorns are instantly generated with the goal of reaching the threshold without the popcorn overflowing the bucket. With DigThis and Sand Balls, players pave the way for smooth routes in the sand, instantly creating satisfaction.
2: Drama-Playfulness and generosity
It’s important to enable immediate output, but make sure it’s worth it. The trade-off between user input and output must be clear and sufficient to ensure continuous play. Take the classic runner as an example. They’re not as appealing as the standalone concept, but when mixed with minimal adventures like platformers, players may have several layers that allow them to control units that incorporate additional mechanics. there is.
For example, in Samurai Flash, players can not only control their movements, but also their time. Therefore, the player can see how the result (how fast or slow the unit is cut) depends on the input. Bullet Rush dynamically controls the unit (character) -either slow or fast, depending on your efforts. The unit, on the other hand, has an automatic “aiming and shooting” system applied, and AoE attacks are turned off when the player “removes” their finger from the screen.
Juice-based elements are a great way to dramatize the output, and one such way is to use a heat generation system. These elements are a common way to drive a drama, giving players a temporary reward for reaching a hidden milestone, purpose, or other thermal condition. However, it is not recommended to go over the top. The Fever system works best when it achieves the right balance between drama and sophistication, execution, and not too noisy. For example, there is a fever system that appears when the player shows some expertise, such as keeping the action “continuously” without taking your finger off the screen and keeping the action without hitting obstacles. This can be found, for example, on Spiral Roll and Stackball 3D. Fever is one concept that can be added to the toolbox if it makes sense for gameplay to implement layers that reward such milestones.
3: Minimalism-Short game time requires maximum focus
This can be a pain to listen to game designers, but it’s the key to the success or failure of hyper-casual games. A game where too much is done in a non-core environment wastes at least valuable development time and, at most, actually distracts the user from gameplay. The scope is smaller than a heavy game, but to make sure the game concept works, we’ll start by white-boxing the environment. There is an environment to support gameplay, so make sure it runs correctly.
Spin-offs from this point are either the minimal character method or the case. Stickman has been very popular in the past because it allows you to communicate very efficiently without being too detailed or distracting. The package may not be as good as a more complex character, but it works well in the context of the concept of minimalism above, with an emphasis on gameplay itself, while being a fast, easy and safe option. I will. See Bazooka Boy, Join Clash, and Cube Surfer as examples. However, the downside is that this strategy can be repeated, and there is definitely room to go beyond Smiley Stickman and consider other options for minimalist models that can revolutionize the hyper-casual genre in this area. It will be interesting to see how this space develops.
4: Gameplay First-Don’t get lost in the story
Here are some of the best tips we can offer to hyper-casual developers. It’s more important to be able to explain the gameplay clearly than to tell the story. The important questions to answer are: What the game does, what are the controls, what are the rules, what are the interesting progress elements built into it, simulation games, and so on. The surrounding story is unnecessary and unlikely for these questions. Avoid getting involved in storytelling as it will affect the viability of the game.
The ideal description of the game would be: After executing “X” (input), “Y” is generated (output) and “Z” is displayed. For example, by holding down the letter (input) to manipulate the trajectory (output) and releasing it, the shot is fired with some potential consequences (depending on my purpose). Rather: My game is set on a beach where two characters are playing Frisbee.
Hyper-casual games aren’t about focusing on stories or environments that perform secondary functions, but about embodying the entire gameplay with the verbs and actions that players perform in the game. We want to get to the testing phase as soon as possible to see the performance of the game. That said, there are exceptions to the rules. For example, in the case of Save the Girl, where the story is also part of gameplay.
Take this into consideration when creating explanatory documents for teams and publishers. The way the game is communicated must match the speed at which the game is understood and “sold” in the video ad version of the game. If you can’t explain it briefly, you need to cut something.
In an ecosystem where games are created and released within a month, doing it quickly and clearly, both yourself and in creating it, can hinder trading. When developing your game, make sure your theme choices are clear to everyone, not just yourself. We’re prototyping to see the marketability of the game, so if it doesn’t work, let go of the idea, learn from what didn’t work, and move on to the next challenge.