”Noor” is a casual physics puzzle game for mobile devices, taking inspiration from mini-golf .
The objective is to drag and shoot a star
to reach a black hole.
Starting with a blank screen the player draws lines between set points on the screen for the star to bounce on in order the help it reach its destination.
Drawing and shooting forms lines across the screen – reminiscent to creating star signs on the night sky. The player creates their own levels to advance in the game.
Genre Casual puzzler
Engine Unity 2017
Team Size 4
Time 10 days
Designed a majority of the games levels with accompanying puzzles. Created and implemented a selection of art assets.
Scripted the mechanic for shooting the star and the ability to draw colliders between set points on the screen. Implemented wind and gravity modifiers in later levels.
Conceived, iterated upon and finalized core game loop. Collbaroted closely with artists to define the graphical style.
Examined the then casual mobile games market to tailor an experience appealing to a demographic new to playing games.
With a short development cycle in mind, one of my design pillars was “a sum larger than its parts”.
Both technically and artistically the game is minimalistic:
Two scripts – the slingshot mechanic for shooting the star and the line renderer that adds colliders for the star to bounce off – are the motor of the game
Exclusively using simple shapes to create the game's aesthetic meant that anyone on the team could create and implement art assets.
One of the primary challenges was to make the game feel dynamic without the time or resources for animation or VFX-work.
Modifying Unity components like the particle system for the level goal, and a trail renderer for the shooting star I wanted to give the levels a vivid expression.
The tail of star helped enhancing the readability of the game, showing the player the trajectory of the previous star.
Letting go of control was a big part of the level design. Not being too adamant in how the player should complete the level facilitated player freedom and creativity, sometimes players could complete levels with the use of only a single line (of a maximum of three available).
“Noor” is a very conscious attempt at designing for a specific audience. From prototype to finished product it was targeted towards a middle-aged group without a widespread interest in games. As a result, there is no audiovisual stress, no time limits or possibility to fail at the game – there is only the next shooting star.
A small, seemingly superficial, detail like the star’s tail helped immensely with targeting the game for the specific demographic.
By extending the lifetime and contrast of the trail renderer the star’s tail creates unique patterns driven by the game’s physics.
It's calming and pleasing to observe, especially when the star is caught by gravitational pulls in later levels.
Even a failed attempt at the level could potentially bring somehting of value to the player.
ONE Adding Line Renderers and colliders to the lines drawn when connecting the points on the screen.
TWO The slingshot-like mechanic to release stars the player shoots.
THREE Planets and wind gusts where made using simple 2D assets and Point- and Area Effectors to attract and repulse the shooting stars.