Play the Game- BeHatted
“Behatted” is a Victorian-themed 2D “Hat”-Matching Turn-Based Puzzle game developed in Processing and p5.js, targeted towards mobile platforms, specifically Android and iOS. Although the game shall run on PC, the UI has been designed specifically for a smartphone screen.
This game was created for LMC 4725/6325 : Game Design as Cultural Practice(instructor: Dr Ian Bogost) class at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The player starts with a 6X6 square board, with a Victorian wallpaper serving as the background. At the top of the board, there is a tetromino piece consisting of hat tiles that the player can rotate, or drop, at a position of their choice. Two previews are available- one for the next piece, and an outline for how the current piece would look like once the player chooses to drop it.
On the left side of the screen, the player can see their current score, a preview of the next piece, and a gem. On a match, the score increases, and the matched hat falls onto the gem, thereby “behatting” it, before being replaced by a new “bareheaded” gem.
The basic gameplay is about trying to match “hats”(tiles) of the same kind, in either a vertical or horizontal position, on a 6X6 square board, while preventing the board from getting filled to the top. A match is formed when 3 hats of the same kind are joined together, eliminating those 3 hats from the board and reducing the filled space as a result.
Each gem has a corresponding “hat” associated with it. When the correct “hat” is matched, the player is awarded with a bonus score in addition to their base score. At the moment, the way to determine if a gem has been matched with the “right hat” is via trial and error- when the right hat has been matched, the gem is replaced with a new “bareheaded” gem of a different colour as opposed to the same colour. We intend to provide this information in a further iteration of our StartScreen.
After rotating or moving the piece according to their liking, the player has the choice of when to drop a piece onto the board. Each tile of the piece will fall straight onto the floor unless there is a tile directly below it, blocking it’s passage.
Currently, we have a placeholder StartScreen in place, to be replaced with a more suitable screen in the near future.
We currently have sound effects of varying pitches implemented. The base sound effect plays when a match happens. Multiple matches(“combos”) result in the sound effect being played at different pitches.
The basic game concept was a combination of two classic tile-matching puzzle games- Bejeweled and Tetris. However, our goal was not to merely create a fusion of the two, but something that feels and plays different from either of the two, whilst drawing elements from both. As such, we have attempted to ensure that the player’s “verbs” are capable of standing on their own, without drawing too many comparisons to either game.
For example, unlike Tetris, the player chooses when to drop their piece onto the board.
Therefore, this is a turn-based game as opposed to a real-time one.
We wanted to move our gameplay into a more “strategic” zone as opposed to basing it on “quicker” response times and faster “micro”. We want players to think more about rotation and piece placement, and to focus around stable and tactical ways of matching as opposed to short-term goals of trying to match at each turn.
Each tile of the piece will fall straight onto the floor unless there is a tile directly below it, blocking it’s passage. In traditional Tetris, the whole tetromino functions as one piece- tiles do not fall to the floor, pieces as a whole do. This is significantly more punishing on small boards like ours. Therefore, we decided to treat each tile as it’s own piece, susceptible to falling to the floor if not blocked by a tile below it.
Our placeholder start screen is not very Victorian-themed, and we aim to address that in a future iteration. However, we did want to ensure that a start/restart screen functionality is implemented, and thus we have kept our placeholder within the code.
Our design process was informed not just by our design inspirations but also by weeks of iterative development and feedback from our Instructor and Classmates.
We experimented with various different board sizes, rotation locks, various kinds of shapes(such as emojis, notes, gems and Tetris tiles), the number of different colours/shapes/hats, different sound effects(musical notes), as well as with gameplay mechanics more reminiscent of classic Tetris/Bejeweled(full line tile matching, Real-Time gameplay as opposed to Turn-Based). We also looked into adding elements into the gameplay loop, such as time-limits and randomizing the falling speed, before settling on our Turn-Based game.
We also made a Google Form at the start of our development process, to gauge expectations for smartphone games, which is available here.
Some of our design inspirations are given in the next section.
Tetris for Ipod-microinteraction
Tetris EA- two types of mobile interaction- pre
Puyo Puyo- micro interaction
As mentioned earlier in this document, we need to work more on our layout, to make it more Victorian-themed.
We also are looking into background music, and into implementing a more informative layout. We wish to make it easier for people to determine which hat corresponds to which gem piece, in order to better facilitate players to push towards trying to match a specific kind of hat.
We faced some technical difficulties, especially in trying to get the sound working on iOS, and moving from Processing to p5.js. However, we were able to solve both of these problems.