Arcade Game Research

Arcade Games

Arcade games often have short levels, which rapidly increase in difficulty with simple and intuitive controls. Game players are essentially renting the game for as long as the game avatar is alive.

Arcade apps are often very colourful as they are meant to attract a mainly child audience and it makes the app more appealing.

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is a side-scrolling, auto-running platformer. The player controls Mario by tapping the touchscreen so Mario jump over larger obstacles; the longer the screen is touched, the higher Mario jumps. Like other side-scrolling games, Mario must avoid obstacles such as; enemies (goombas) and gaps that wish to block his path. Apart from completing the levels as quickly as possible, you have to collect coins. There are normal coins and special coins for each level. First, there are 5 pink coins once they have been collected 5 purples coins are unlocked, and after the purple coins have been collected 5 black coins are unlocked. This gives each level of at least playthroughs.


Crossy road

 The objective of Crossy Road is to get as far as possible without being killed. The player plays as a chosen character and must tap to go forward or swipe the screen in the appropriate direction to move the character forward, backwards, left or right. The game consists of an endless series of obstacles in a set path, such as rivers, cars, and trains. The player must time movements correctly in order to pass these obstacles without dying.

For example, in the instance of a river, the player must cross the river using floating logs, without landing in the water. If the player takes too much time crossing an obstacle or goes idle, an eagle will snatch the character, resulting in the game’s end. Every forward movement will earn one point, with every fifty points sounded out by an effect.

Furthermore, there are coins scattered across the environment that can be used to make new characters playable.


Jetpack Joyride

The game uses a simple, one-touch system to control the jetpack; when the player presses anywhere on the touchscreen, the jetpack fires and Barry rises. When the player lets go, the jetpack turns off, and Barry falls. Because he is continually in motion, the player does not control his speed, simply his movement along the vertical axis.

The objective of the game is to travel as far as possible, collect coins, and avoid hazards such as zappers, missiles and high-intensity laser beams. Contact with any of such obstacles would result in instant death, although Barry’s body will tumble and slide for an additional distance upon dying.

You can also ensure you make it further with the various upgrades that start from a mech all the way up to a water board or massive dragon. The collection of coins allows you to upgrade these machines or enhance your character aesthetics and jetpack as there are over 50+ different jetpacks and items of clothing to buy at various prices. In addition, you can buy upgrades using real money.



2D Game Design Idea


Mood Boards

Set Design Initial Idea Board

Character Design Moodboard

Prop Design Moodboard

Game Outline

The game is set in the future on a space station. The station has been destroyed/damaged by an asteroid shower and the main computer (AI) has gone rogue and started destroying the station / killing the astronauts on board. The goal of the game is to fix and restore the station/defeat the rogue AI.

The goal of the game is to fix and restore the station/defeat the rogue AI.

The player must work their way through the station, checking each compartment for damage and fixing them if possible.If the pod is damaged beyond repair, the connecting airlocks will no open and there will be a visual cue on them that there is something wrong with the pod. Some compartments will be locked and require access keys to open. these can be found in different pods and/or by defeating ‘station drones’.

As the player is working through the station, the AI will try to stop them from getting to the data core by placing Station Drones in their way. If the player Defeats/Stuns a Drone or walks into the view of a camera, the AI will know where the player is and try to stop/kill them by shutting down pods/ systems (i.e life support) or activating the Drone’s defence system.

Set Design / Station Layout

The station is built up of ‘Pods’ around a central beam. The whole station is rotating around that to create gravity. Depending on which side of the station the player is on, the gravity changes – rotating both the character and the camera angle.

Around the station, there will be cameras. This, along with the Station Drones, is what the AI will use see where the player is.

Pod Design Cont


Main Character

astronaut – in a space suit, cant see face.

Initial astronaught design

Station Drones

Station repair/defence droids controlled by the main AI that has two different modes: Passive and Aggressive.

In passive mode, the drone will go around the station doing minor damage repair. However, in aggressive (or defence) mode, the drone opens to reveal two weapons and will attack the player (or anything that moves).

Initial Station Droid design

Final ‘Boss’

The main Boss is the Rouge Station ‘AI’ that has been damaged by the meteor shower and has killed the rest of the crew on the station. As the player makes their way through the station, the AI will try repeatedly to kill them.

Tools, Items and Currency

These will be lying around in different pods as the player progresses through the map. There are two different types of items: Weapons and Tools.


Crow-Bar like device

Found near the beginning of the game, this is the lower tier tool, used to open airlock doors without power.

Repair Device

Found nearer the end of the game, this device is capable of fixing and repairing broken station parts and/or faulty systems.


Melee Weapon 

Found near the beginning of the game, this weapon is made out of repurposed station parts to form a basic self-defence weapon capable of defeating (just) Station Drones. However, will alert AI to presence when doing so.


An endgame weapon, ranged and powerful, can stun Station Drones (permanently) and Station Cameras (for a limited time). Does not alert the AI to the player’s presence but has a limited power and needs energy packs to recharge.

Specific gameplay mechanics

  • Station has changing / no gravity so scroller gameplay can change direction from horizontal to vertical (camera rotates with the character)
  • The player cannot see the state of adjacent ‘pods’ until they have opened the airlock to them.

Art Concept Design

Space helmet Design Moodboard

 Weapon Design Moodboard


Game design ideas

Space station

story based / score based

Story based

  • Hero/villain
  • a problem on station
    • explosion
    • asteroid
    • debris
    • malfunction
    • sabotage
  • Final ‘Boss’
    • station AI
    • rouge crewmember

score based

  • timed
  • survival for as long as possible
  • random level generation

Gameplay Mechanics

  • changing/no gravity
  • Connected modules/multiple stations as levels


  • Handheld computer
  • sci-fi gun
  • crow-bar


  • science
  • air


Retro Games Research



A series of geometric shapes fall down the playing field (called the ‘well’ or ‘matrix’). The goal of the game is to manipulate the pieces so that they form a continuous line across the well. When an unbroken line is created, it is deleted and all the blocks above it will fall down by however many lines were removed. as the game progresses. The pieces fall faster and the game ends when there is no space left in the well for new shapes to fall.

Visual look and different release versions

There have been many different versions of Tetris, each with different graphic styles and variations on gameplay mechanics.

The first version, made for the Soviet DVK-2 computer, was text-based, using square brackets to form the shapes.


The 1986 version, made for the IBM PC, was also text-based but used actual shape blocks that were coloured rather than the square brackets of the original.




The aim of the game is to control the Pac-man through a maze to ‘eat’ all of the ‘Pac-dots’ to progress to the next stage. in the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots that allow the Pac-man the ability for a limited time to eat the ‘ghosts’ and earn extra points. Whilst in this mode, the ‘ghosts’ turn dark blue, reverse direction and move more slowly. when a ‘ghost’ is eaten it disappears except for its eyes and returns to the centre box where it returns to its normal state.

Visual look

The visual look of Pacman is traditionally a black background with dark blue maze borders.


Character design

The main character (Pac-man) is a yellow circle with a wedge taken out for a mouth


The rest of the characters are various coloured ‘ghosts’




Designed to mimic table-tennis, pong was one of the earliest arcade games. It was very simplistic, consisting of two ‘paddles’, a centre line and a score-counter for each player.


Space Invaders


Visual look


Colossal Cave Adventure (Plot/text-based game)



Stages of production


  • idea generation
  • script writing
  • character development
  • story development


  • funding (Sponsors, lottery funding)
  • storyboards/animatic
  • concept art
  • casting (actors, stunt doubles and crew)
  • location scouting
    • location reki
  • set building
  • prop building
  • shot list
  • costume design


  • directing
  • filming
  • live sound recording
    • background (ambient) sound recording
  • acting
  • re-shoots
  • live (practical) special effects
  • stunts
  • script updates
  • logging
  • video effects


  • editing
  • video effects
    • colour grading
  • soundscape (Foley, sound effects)
  • soundtrack
  • trailers
  • marketing
  • merchandising
  • release date
  • pre-release screenings
  • Edit Decision List (Paper edit)

Hope Animation and Stop-motion Evaluation


“A sense of Hope”

The project was based on the competition with the theme “A sense of hope’. There were certain requirements set by the film institute, which we were expected to meet. We were asked to produce 90 seconds animation in a particular format.

Idea generation and design process

Firstly, I worked in a small group, where we shared our initial ideas and come up with concepts that reflected on the brief given. In my research, I looked at animation history and analysed relevant examples of existing animation. I also created a mood board to visualise my idea and gain inspiration from. After that, I wrote a treatment and drew a storyboard for the animation. To inform my study further I investigate two examples of animation and watched the film Wall-E again. I decided to base my idea on the film as I think that it represents best the core idea of hope for the all human beings. To add on, I have researched animation history and different animation techniques and styles. 

 It was very difficult for me to start with my initial ideas on paper. I have a graphic tablet and it is easier for me to do my drawings straight in Photoshop. Therefore, I digitalised my initial drawings for the characters and scenes.  This digital process was fairly easy for me because I have good Photoshop skills, but the difficult bit came when I started to use Adobe Animate. Fortunately, I quickly adopted the relevant skills, as all Adobe products are similar to each other in terms of functionality.

I created my animation in Photoshop, Adobe Anime and Premier Pro. In order to include the sound to it, I used LMMS software for PC, which is similar to Garage Band on Macs. I taught myself how to use it and I am very pleased with the outcome, as the sound compliments well the animation and helps to convey the story better. 

Time management and sound

Through this assignment, I faced some challenges in regards to my planning, organisational skills and also have some time management issues. Although that I had a plan for this project I did not realise how much time it would take to produce my animation. I was overwhelmed with the theme and very enthusiastic to watch tutorials and explore further the software that I used, so it was hard for me to meet the deadlines set. Despite that, I managed to finish and upload my animation without sound on the competition website. 

If I had more time for this project I would have focused more on adding more details to the character and scenes. Also, I would have made the character movement more fluent.  To sum up, this project was like a milestone for me as it gave me the chance to gain valuable experience in working in a real life project and participate in group discussions and presentations. Trough this project I have learned a lot about Adobe products and adopted some new creative techniques.


I set a questionnaire on Google Forms and asked my friends and peers for feedback.  The overall response was positive but it was suggested that I should add more frames to make the animation smoother.

Animation Feedback

Animation compared to professional-standard work

I think my animation is quite good compared to current 2d-style animations. however, there are a few things that could be improved upon – such as adding more frames to make the motion smoother and working on more realistic walk cycles as the current ones are very basic/non-existent.

Stop Motion Animation

As a part of this project, I have been asked to produce short stop-motion animation to promote the letter ‘G’.  I did my research on the stop motion animation and its history, which has helped me to form my concept. I have decided to use Studio Ghibli film cases and I spread them in a form of the letter ‘G’. The camera and lighting were already set up for me so I found it quite easy to do on my own without assistance. I also filmed it back-to-front and later reversed the footage to make it easier to align the cases to form the letter. I stacked the cases in a domino-like effect on top of each other so that they appeared to move as if they were joined together. I added a movie shutter sound to my stop motion to make it seem like it was being played on a film-reel.