Do YOU have what it takes to conquer the cosmos? Help our brave bot-explorer, Gal-X, navigate the universe and avoid space debris by creating black holes! Cosmic Shuffle is an exciting intergalactic space game that will take you to the stars and beyond! Now available on the App Store and Google Play.
What we did
What started as an internal Proof of Concept (POC) project soon grew into Interad's first foray into mobile gaming. The idea for Cosmic Shuffle came organically from Interad's very own development and design team. There was an interest to work with new and exciting technologies, and a passion to work on mobile games. As a way to foster and encourage professional growth, the Cosmic Shuffle team was put together and given creative freedom to implement their vision. Through the use of continuous improvement cycles, the game mechanics were refined to optimal levels of fun! The team took an Agile approach to this project, and developed a simple, easy to learn mobile game that users can spend hours playing.
Based on user research of the mobile gaming industry and taking a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) approach, Cosmic Shuffle was launched in December 2019.
How we did it
Developed using Unity, gameplay consists of navigating the character Gal-X across the scrolling expanse of space, and avoiding various obstacles that will end the game if hit. This is achieved through the user tapping the screen to spawn blackholes, which pull Gal-X towards them, and hopefully, safely away from danger!
The team developed a leaderboard that users can compete in, and three levels of difficulties to ensure that users were challenged. Users can also choose whether to keep the game’s music and sounds off or on in the Settings tab, allowing for some customization during gameplay.
Using the popular cross-platform gaming engine, Unity, to create Cosmic Shuffle allowed the team deeper insight into efficient game design, and opened up the path for future game development. The back-end for the application was coded in Rust. This was the first time Interad used this language in a project, and the result was a very reliable, quick and sturdy API.
During Cosmic Shuffle's conception, the team and stakeholders provided the following for the game’s overall vision: it should be fun, simple, and intuitive. These three traits/goals were used to design the game and are evident in its theme, user interface (UI), and mechanics.
As this was Interad's first mobile game, a lot of research was conducted to produce the designs needed for development. The team created a flow chart of the game to outline all screens and UI elements needed, from there they were able to create a unified design. This approach also helped with keeping the project agile, as development was able to provide input on what elements/screens were needed first, which became priority tasks for designs' sprints.
User feedback was a key part of this project. After a milestone was achieved, a team of users were provided a version of the app that they could test and provide input. As mentioned before, there was an emphasis on designing elements that the user would understand with minimal instructions (i.e. obstacles and power-ups), and obtaining feedback was key to ensuring that this requirement was met.
In addition to user acceptance testing, the team conducted tests on features per sprint, and complete end-to-end testing to ensure that the app was running smoothly, and with the intended user experience.
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