One genre of game that has had consistent and significant success are the “match-three” vein of puzzle games. These pieces of software are based on solid and simple mechanics that provide a lot of entertainment for such a basic concept. However, without some other stimulus or strategy involved this gameplay alone may become repetitive. There are many examples of this type of game as well (mostly on mobile platforms), but this project will present a unique gameplay aspect that is unlike many classic puzzle matching games. In addition to the swapping of tiles to create set matches, each match made by the user will trigger its own unique effects against a foe. Now the user will be required to strategically find the matches that also serve their best interests. Upon defeating an enemy, the user will gain an in-game currency used to upgrade and advance their gameplay. Through this proposal the classic formula can take on a new and fresh outlook that solves the monotony that plagues most puzzle games of this kind.
The history of tile-matching games stretches back to the original Tetris (1985), but the variant that involves matching sets of 3 tiles, dubbed “match-3 games”, found its roots in the later Yoshi’s Cookie (1992) and the most influential Bejeweled (2001) that introduced a tile-swapping mechanic. In the highly competitive and saturated genre that these games have created since, it is essential to give users an amount of familiarity but also innovate enough to differentiate from the other games of the same type. The proposed project that introduces combat will present the user with difficult gameplay decisions and variability between plays. These mechanics will serve to give this project some uniqueness which will set it apart from its predecessors and competitors.
Environments required for this project will be minimal; the proposed Java development software to create this project in is Greenfoot, Processing 3, or Gamemaker: Studio. These tools will help the project to reach its potential with ease. The most difficult implementations of this project will undoubtedly be the tile-matching engine. Elements that are planned to be added (combat and enemies) to the base concept will not be difficult to implement comparatively, excepting the in-game currency “store”. This project will definitely make extensive use of searching and sorting algorithms, which are already accessible and therefore make the final application easier to complete. The final package when complete will include an application, appropriate documentation, and possibly a marketable leaflet. The estimated timeline to complete this project will be 1 month - 6 weeks. With this consideration, there will be approximately 50 hours of work allotted (including prototyping, debugging, and testing), amounting to a cost of $2000.00 CDN (at a cost of $50.00/hr).
In general, the proposed project is one that will attempt to innovate a sturdy and proven product. The finer details of theme are yet to be determined, but this project presents a challenge that is feasible and under a cost that is reasonable. Upon its completion, the final product will be a complete presentable package.