Purple

Role: Designer/Developer
Team: Just me
Date: Jan - Feb, 2013

Play (Web browser)

The Project

Purple is (although I didn't realize it while I was making it) my way of preparing for the eventual death of my grandmother. The game follows the story of Yellow, who has a fallout with Purple, goes on a harrowing journey of self discovery, and then returns to safety to reunite with Purple. The player is tasked with moving Yellow through each level; they control the character by pressing the left mouse button and dragging it to exert a force.

The game was an experiment in game feel. My design goal was to create a simple interaction that required skill an balance. My level design goal was to express a particular emotion in each level through a physical challenge.

My Process

I began Purple when I began reading Steve Swink's Game Feel: A Game Designer's Guide to Virtual Sensation. After incepting and prototyping, I decided to limit the controls to the mouse and left mouse button. This constraint allowed me to produce a simple yet tight control system that I could playtest and polish during the time I had. It started with the idea of herding sheep and evolved into a system that required the player to balance their input. After I was happy with the controls, I built levels that felt a particular way (e.g. frustrating, scary, free), then tied them together so that they told a story.