I wanted to create a fusion of a storyboard adventure with a question & answer quiz format, but with a custom environment that would immerse the user. Math Rocket is my first attempt at creating this format of game and I think it does a good job of taking the player into the unique environment, in this case Space, to wrap around basics of the gameplay.
What it does
You take the role of 'commander' at mission control. You are tasked with answering the communications coming from Jeff and his crew aboard the Math Rocket. Jeff will explain to you the situation they have and you will provide him with the response using your math skills. You are awarded stars as you progress with each correct guidance Jeff receives. If you give Jeff the wrong guidance, you put the Math Rocket in danger. If the Math Rocket is in danger you are able to send a rescue mission by using your lifelines. If you choose not to, you lose the Math Rocket, your stars and have to start a new mission.
You can replenish lifelines using consumable lifeline ISP packs, and you can also assist your progress by unlocking the one-time hint mode entitlement ISP. With hint mode, Jeff will give you his best guess and Alexa will breakdown his problem into raw math.
Players compete to get the most stars collected and those that manage to leave the Solar System are added to the 'all-time' leaderboard.
How I built it
The game incorporates a number of features including: APL, ISP and Reminders. APL is integrated into the voice-first experience to show at a glance progress and status. ISP integrates two product types, consumables and entitlements. Upsells are effectively integrated into key moments of gameplay, such as lack of lifelines or requirement of a hint. Reminders allow users to have a notification at a time of their choice to continue their mission and should help with repeat engagement.
Built using node.js and an AWS backend, the game is unique in that every question provided is custom audio, with background noise, voice actor and special audio effects. I created level-based scripts to keep the quantity and variety of questions somewhat unique and increase in complexity as the player gets past milestones and virtual levels.
Challenges I ran into
The design of voice and music was new for me, particularly in order to match it with the particular mood of the game.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Overall, aside from programming factors, I think I created a decent variety of audio elements and immersive intro, questions, responses and outros.
What I learned
I have gained a lot of knowledge on workflows for story-boarded adventure games and am hoping to create many future titles but with completely custom questions and multi-level scenarios.
What's next for Math Rocket
Before I begin another title, I want to return to Math Rocket to create a more diverse question set as part of an add-on ISP packages. These will be completely custom created audio and questions and lead to 100 percent variety and add a touch of humour to the game too.