Designing my “King Crab Catching” mini game

Today I want to give you some insight in designing my King Crab Catching mini game. I created that game to reherse my unity programming skills with C#. Ofcourse, before I could start programming or doing some art for it, I needed to have a clear design of the thing I was going to create.

The game is still in development at the moment of writing, but here’s a movie of what I have so far:

I started out with 2 “requirements”:
– It was going to be an endless scroller type of game
– It had to be procedurally generated

So I started looking at existing games to take as a starting point. The first game I came across was Rayman on tablets/phones. This was already to complex as a starting point, but gave me some ideas, like collecting coins and having to jump from platform to platform.

The following game I came across was an old arcade game for mobile phones (not smartphones in that era). The game where you are a helicopter and you have to push the up-arrow to go up and then it automatically falls back down with gravity. And you have to fly through a level filled with deadly obstacles. If you hit a obstacle like a meteor or a floating rock you die. This game was a good starting point to start designing. So I started brainstorming for more features to add in, and to give it a new setting, cause helicopters are boring.

The brainstorming for a new setting made me come up with:
– A level where you have to jump from platform to platform (like rayman)
– If you miss a platform you will fall in water and die.
– There will be Crabs on the platforms.

The Following brainstorm was about new features and the goal of the game:
– The goal is to keep going as long as possible to collect score points.
– There will be rock abstacles you have to jump over.
– There will be coins to collect to increase score
– You have 5 health points (hearts)
– Hitting an obstacle makes you loose 2 health points
– What to do with Crabs?

Then I had enough to work with and started programming in unity. I started from the platformer tutorial I believe, which already provided me with character art and a character controller to run around and jump. After I had the basic features implemented I started going back to the brainstorming board. Things I noticed during the current gameplay were:
– The rocks spawn to often, so I either have to make them spawn less, or provide a way to destroy them.
– If you try to collect all coins you will die soon because when you jump to collect coins you will likely end up between 2 platforms.

So the following brainstorm session made me come up with the following:
– Player can shoot to destroy rocks
– Player can shoot nets to catch crabs which will increase your score
– If you hit a crab, you will loose 1 Health point
– You can collect hearts to increase your health points by 1 (every 20-30 seconds a heart will spawn)
And that’s how I ended up with the final design of the game.

Currently the game is still in development, but all I have left to do is implement the health points system.

Hope this gave you some great insight in my design method for a small game!

Stefan “Stellar” Geerinckx


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