Mike Culligan
Creative Computing / Year 3

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Mike Culligan

Mike Culligan

Creative Computing

Year 3

  • Project Title Magical Dungeon - An Immersive Puzzle Platformer
  • Course BSc [Hons] Creative Computing
  • Year 3
  • Contact Info N00144005@student.iadt.ie

Magical Dungeon - An Immersive Puzzle Platformer

The goal for this project was to make a puzzle-platforming 2D game through JavaScript. In this day and age, it is easy enough to learn specially built game software for more complex programs, so I welcomed the challenge of making an elaborate platformer through pure code. I felt that doing it in JavaScript would develop skills that were not exclusive to game development and could be used in other areas too.

Project Description

Magical Dungeon is a 2-dimensional sidescroller puzzle-platformer designed through JavaScript with the Phaser framework. The purpose of the game is to have made a game through pure JavaScript, without using a game development program to construct the game. The game is ambitious given these restrictions, with dynamic enemy behavior and fluid movement and animations. All the visual assets were made for this project, with none of them sourced. To that end, I indulged in my artistic side, personally designing and drawing all the assets. The final version was designed with medium difficulty in mind – easy enough for non-gamers to clear without too much frustration, but still with a challenge for more accomplished players. Magical Dungeon focuses on several key principles of game design: intuitive design, compelling gameplay, and gradual ascension of gameplay features. “With a mysterious dark force descending over the Elemental Kingdom, its inhabitants are helpless to avoid being infected. Only the player character, a young adventurer, can restore prosperity to the once-prosperous land. To do so, he must journey to magical dungeons scattered across the land, and gather as many elemental particles as he can, to give the Kings the strength they need to conquer the darkness before its tendrils fully envelop the kingdom. It will not be easy, for many of the land’s inhabitants are located in the magical dungeons, and cannot be hurt, since they are not responsible for their actions. Thus, the player must, in his quest, only avoid and defend against the enemies, and cannot attack them. But even with this handicap, the player character will not fail, for all hopes lie on his shoulders! The general purpose of the gameplay is for the player to gather glowing particles scattered throughout the level. Enemies try to attack the player, but the player cannot hurt them. Thus, the game is less a test of reflexes that it is of platforming puzzles. They increment on the player, with the first enemy being in a risk-free zone, and building to two patrolling the same stretch of ground and the final one leaving less room to jump and avoid. The player does not need all the particles. Only the easy ones are mandatory, meaning newer players can complete the game without feeling excess pressure.

Project Findings

On top of making a fun and polished game demo, I was also concerned with how I made it, since that was what would matter going forward, so doing it through JavaScript was important to me. Towards the end, I was quite surprised at how naturally I solved coding problems without outside help. So I know that, despite using the Phaser framework, I still became quite proficient in JavaScript. To summarize, despite setbacks and difficult compromises, the final game still turned out well. There was enough programming complexity to impress, plus polish went a long way in all aspects.

Mike Culligan
Creative Computing / Year 3