The Story of Sprinkfield

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40_0824or How an Abstract Idea Became a Thematic Puzzle Game

The Idea

One day, on a walk with my kids, I was thinking about FedEx Day when I saw a broken air vent on the wall of a building and the idea for a new game popped into my head. I sketched the following image on my Android phone:

Skicc

Inspiráció

FedEx day

I started thinking about the logic of the game as I studied the tiles on the bathroom and kitchen wall. And then, it was FedEx Day. Unfortunately, for family reasons I had only 3 hours instead of the usual 24 to create something. I used JavaScript for the game. The program I came up with was far from perfect, as I had very limited time for troubleshooting. The only way to restart the game was to refresh the page, the game rules turned out a bit confusing, but the game was playable. In the end, I gave it the name “Vent Game” to indicate the source of inspiration.

Szellőzős játék

Game Rules

Areas can be linked by squares shaped selections. These selections are only allowed if they incorporate whole squares. The goal is to acquire a given number of squares through a given number of steps.

The Future?

I didn’t think much about what would become of the game. It made me glad to just to think I had come up with something in so short a time.

iOS

A few months later, it occurred to us at the company to develop a game for iPad and iPhone. This was when my idea came in handy, and we started brainstorming how we could turn it into a high-quality App Store game.

Realizing the Idea

The first task was to clarify what the final logic of the game would be and what kind of thematic content we would give it.

The logic was a bit easier to come up with: selecting squares, no overlaps, fulfilling the specified objectives, collecting extra points.

Coming up with a theme for the game was the bigger challenge. There were several proposals: hatching chickens, planting flowers, etc. It took a while for the final, unifying idea to occur to us: watering fields.

Planning

utak gui mezők

Alpha Version

nindzsa tutorial alfa
felület alfa 1 felület alfa 2

Design - & Graphic Design Studio

design

Beta version

béta 1 béta 2
béta 3 béta 4

Final Game

2013-03-05 09.25.52

Interplay Between the Theme and Game Rules

It was an interesting task to match the game rules up with real content. Some of the questions that came up along the way were:

-       can grass fields turn into wheatfields and sunflower fields – the answer was no

-       does wheat need irrigation – there are types 

-       how should we mark field boundaries

-       what should we do with the sheeps – should we turn them into mutton stew of… scarecrows

-       what is double, triple and quadruple watering – we hadn’t even mentioned quadruple watering during our brainstorming sessions

-       how do we communicate the rules to players in a way as to help them connect the rules with reality

Crossover overlaps and maximizing overlapping were the most important innovations over the basic idea.

While setting up the levels, we realized that the game would be additionally challenging if we did not maximize sprinklers, but attached a price to them instead. This was how Fullfield mode was born to complement Puzzle mode.

The Name of the Game

The name of the game and the name of the main character are both puns.

Sprinkfield is a portmanteau word made up of two words: sprinkle and field, and closely resembles Springfield, a city name often used in America.

Walter’s name was chosen because it’s just one letter away from the word water.

The expression Fullfield mode is also a pun, because of the close resemblance to another English word, fulfilled.

And that’s the story…

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