Save Your World is an arcade-style mobile game that takes inspiration from classic ‘endless runner’ games like Frogger, Temple Run, Subway Surfers and Crossy Road. The simplicity of gameplay and addictiveness has made this style of game extremely popular on mobile platforms – Temple Run has been downloaded over one billion times and Frogger is, of course, one of the most successful game franchises of all time.
In Save Your World your first decision is whether your playable character is a male, female or non-binary superhero. This choice is important, especially on a mobile platform, as women make up over 70% of casual mobile gamers (Mason 2013) and the opportunity to identify with their playable character is often overlooked in traditional gaming models (Nooney 2013). You then fly (your hero’s version of ‘running’) through the sky, dodging obstacles like birds, planes and super-villains. Controlling your character via finger tapping, you can collect ‘kudos’ that your adoring public throw into the sky for you. They work like coins in traditional games; the kudos can be used as currency to update your cape, change your appearance and ‘buy’ images like newspaper front-covers celebrating your hero’s success.
These images can be reposted and used as click-through promotion on Social Media, with players sharing their achievements on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The customisation of character and ‘killing’ of the various villains you dodge can also be shared, with the opportunity for those social networks to follow the links back to the app download page (Apple and Android). Display ads can also be created for Social Media alongside lead generation, and potentially a partnership could be created between this game and niche sites relevant to the game, like comicbook.com and TouchArcade. The game may also be available as a free desktop download on a self-hosted webpage.
Production for this game will, hopefully, cost nothing. It is being created myself on free game design software Stencyl and the ‘low-quality’, nostalgic aesthetic of arcade games is definitely a benefit in this instance because I am a complete beginner when it comes to this sort of thing. Potentially hiring a sound engineer, for background music and sound effects, and an artist for preliminary character design could be looked into, but the software on my computer (Audacity and Adobe Illustrator) and the kindness of my friends should make the production of the game relatively low cos overall.
My potential audience for the game is anybody that wants to waste their time, for free, on a portable device. The playable character customisation will hopefully appeal to women, while the simplicity of gameplay ensures that even children would be able to handle the mechanics and could, potentially, learn from it (Marchetti & Valente 2015). The use of the ‘superhero’ genre should also have a wide appeal to many potential audiences – as this genre is increasingly popular in new media to almost all demographics (Dittmer 2011).
Initial development of the game has begun, with game-building tutorials and scene sketches underway.
Dittmer 2011, ‘American Exceptionalism, Visual Effects, and the Post-9/11 Cinematic Superhero Boom’, Environmental and Planning D: Society and Space, Volume 29, Issue 1, Pg114-130
Marchetti, E & Valente, A 2015, ‘Learning via Game Design: From Digital to Card Games and Back Again.’ Electronic Journal of e-Learning, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p167-180
Nooney, L 2013, ‘A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History’, the international journal of computer game research, volume 13 issue 2