-> Bintu Run - Game Design
7/16/2015

Video Trailer
Video Trailer

I wanted to

  • Create a unique game that still feels familiar enough for a wide audience to pick up and play. Itís a combination between an endless runner and a racing game, with an added roll mechanic and some interesting 2D physics. The game may use some familiar elements but I havenít seen anything before that feels like it overall.

  • Have tracks where shaving off time was possible in a variety of ways, and could be replayed almost infinitely to find the best line and execution. The rolling mechanic where the player physics becomes that of a ball is important to this. It allows the player to vary speed speed of the character and creates fast lines where the player catches downhills uses gravity to increase their speed.

  • Add new and different challenges to each track. Most of my ideas didn't make it into the game, but that's what updates are for.

  • Make it as easy as possible to replay tracks and foster competition. Instant restarts are possible at any time. Ghosts give you something to race against and see where you gain or lose time. Because I didnít want restarting to be punishing the tracks themselves are short usually under 30 seconds.

  • Have secondary goals to further encourage replaying levels and mastering mechanics. These are things like collecting the ancient coins and hats. The ancient coins are usually on different paths than the quickest runs, so require some careful or creative maneuvering.

  • Keep the overall feeling of playing fun and pleasurable. I think cartoon style and the music & art does a great job furthering this goal.

  • Try to have appeal to a wide range of skills. Finishing tracks probably will seem easy hardcore gamers so I hope they will compete for time or secondary goals. For very casual players some tracks on worlds 2 and 3 might be too difficult, but itís not required to complete tracks so they can still experience the game.


Danger Cavern
Danger Cavern the most difficult level in the game.

Possible negatives

  • Lack of standard free-to-play hooks. There is no in-game currency or upgrades that you earn for time spent playing the game. I think there is still the feeling of progression, but it comes solely from getting better at the game or completing optional goals.

  • This might not hook as many people for as long, or result in as much monetization. Iím not totally against checklists of simple tasks, numbers that increase simply by playing, and in game currency. I think there is a balance, and maybe I could have worked on something along those lines, but when I started I was unsure if I wanted to do a paid game or a free game.

  • The game can seem short if you donít get into competing for times (either to beat your own, beat your friends, or global ranking.) If you additionally ignore secondary goals like collecting the coins or hats/achievements, i.e. you basically just want to see the levels, you can do it very quickly. When compared to established games like Angry Birds that have years worth of additional content it definitely feels short. But if Bintu Run does well, I will try to update with as much more content as possible.


Log Bridge Path
Log Bridge Path an early level to help learn rolling down hills.

Inspirations

Trials for Xbox Live was an inspiration for the overall game structure. Tracks, medals, times, quick restarts, friends scores / global percentage. It didn’t directly influence the game play itself, since I wanted to make something a bit easier that might fit better in mobile.

Tiny Wings I love the feel of and wanted to capture some of that. Also the importance of catching hills to increase speed inspired initial gameplay ideas, although the actual mechanics are pretty different.

Mario Kart DS was an influence but I didnít end up going in that direction. I do have racing ghosts like Mario Kart does. A couple ideas I thought about applying but havenít (at least not yet) are to have a variety of characters with different stats that are better on certain tracks, and a grand-prix style mode.

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