Time Guards is an F2P mobile game with elements of a side-scroller, puzzle, semi-procedural, and runner game.
You play as the Time Guards who solves mysteries with the player running, jumping, flipping and shooting their way through a maze populated by enemy robot minions, destructible objects, and Juggernaut boss fights! You will explore and rescue powerful artifacts!
The game features cultural, historical, and archaeological locations in Turkey with the main focus on the temples of Göbeklitepe: the oldest sanctuary ever known, dating back 12 thousand years.
I made a short trailer
High jumps were the first thing I tried to improve with a tutorial. My idea was to create theses safe spaces where the player could learn the mechanics. In the picture, we see my attempt; first, the player is introduced to the world with tons of negative space indicating the direction is to move right then the player is told through text and pausing the game to move left and right. Using this safe space to move around and learn the controls of running.
A case of using the environment to afford where to jump while also using the Energy blobs to signify the path to jump.
The next part the player learns to jump. It is the second safe space, which is fine because the shooting mechanic is so tightly fit together. Furthermore, the difficulty increases slightly because if the player does not make the jumps, they will be set back facing the other direction and they will have to try again. This creates these short iteration cycles or a loop. The first time you jump the loop starts with a realization that you can jump, the action is executed by pressing tapping the screen, the game rule triggers the maximal distance and height of the jump and lastly the feedback: the actual jump, which again leads back to players’ renewed mental model of the jumping abilities. The way this part was constructed was for the player to test the limit of the jump. Therefore, I made the next obstacle a bit higher after each jump until reaching max jump height.
The first time they encountered the wall-jump-challenge, they did not know they had to slam into the wall because that seems unnatural and it also looked like they could jump over the wooden fence.
The solution was to set a physical constraint on the level so that the player had to run into a collision curse with the wall. The next thing was to tell the player to jump from wall to wall. And the simple solution was to place energy blubs that was used to show the jump path earlier in the tutorial. The player instantly knew how to jump up the wall.
(The shooting tutorial. The red squares are the ground minions and the cycles flying minions. The striped line is the expected path of the minion when they have discovered the player)
In the tutorial, I play around with this idea (see picture). After the first minion is killed, the player encounters another minion facing right so it does not appear threatening. However, when the avatar is in the line of sight the minion will charge you. It will then drop down into a pit where you can shoot it from a safe distance. The game loop here is on two level learning the shooting and the behavior of the enemies. The next minion does almost the same, however, this one falls down a pit and is eliminated. There two reasons for this the first is that repetition is key to understanding and the second reason is not to overwhelm the player.
The fourth enemy that are introduced is a different minion. The behavior of this enemy is the almost the same expect it can fly and is has less health. This flying enemy will always follow until it is shot.
As a result, the playtesters in the beta enjoyed the mechanic and they easily understood the behavior and had mostly no problem pulling is off.
Overview of the the level segments
As a UX designer, I was testing the mechanics, I mapped theses out in the UX report and suggested optimizations to them
Role Level Designer & UX Designer
For Logic Artists
Type F2P (iOS, Android)