Bing: The Monkey
Creating a new game is always exciting. On one hand there is plenty of research that needs to be conducted and on the other it is important to have a good sense of how human psyche works. It’s a mix of two very uniquely combined and essential skills that can together allow creators to make something which is impactful in the game industry.
When our team gathered together for a brainstorming session, we wanted to create a game that was both nostalgic and entertaining. We wanted to tap into the memories of our childhood and make something new and creative that speaks to the industry today.
The session lasted long and there were a lot of ideas being thrown around. Eventually there was one idea that we all agreed upon; something fun; something bright; something that make you smile just by looking at your screen.
That is when the idea came to life, the idea of Bing: The Monkey.
The Making of Bing:
The game is centered on Bing; the monkey. Bing is not just an animal in the game. Bing is the representation of a conglomerate of characteristics. The expressions and the outlook of the monkey were carefully chosen to give a specific outlook to Bing; he looks like a child with very baby like features. He has big bright eyes and innocent expressions which make him a very loveable character.
Bing is the personification of the inner child that looks at the world with big brown eyes and wishes to change the world and make it a better place. The character has an aura of energy and positivity to show the enthusiasm of the monkey to get to a better place and be helpful when no one else is willing to take a stand. The optimism of Bing is manifested as his will to cross the jungle to fight the trouble making Gorilla.
Bing is a cheeky little monkey who goes on a journey alone, through the thick and thin of the jungle, facing whatever obstacles he is faced with. It does not matter what comes his way, Bing is determined to do whatever is needed to achieve the goal he has set out.
When designing the character, there was one detail that was always kept in mind, Bing’s smile. Similar to a child that gets upset over being hurt but quickly forgets what happened and moves on with whatever they were doing, throughout the game, the cheeky little monkey has a smile across his face. Although there are moments when Bing gets hurt and his expression changes but his smile returns almost instantly.
This depicts the monkey’s pure and childlike heart that does not dwell in the short comings and is motivated to save the animals of the jungle.
The Story Line:
The story of the game is pivoted on the main character, namely Bing, who is a little monkey going through the jungle to reach his goal. Bing is not just an ordinary monkey. He is passionate and determined to do something good in the jungle world. Bing, the monkey is out on an adventure of a lifetime!
The jungle used to be a great place for all the animals where everyone lived in a tranquil environment. However; one day the malicious gorilla became greedy for power. He wanted that all the animals of the jungle world bow down to him and nothing happens in the jungle without his permission. The gorilla gathered an army of creepy crawlers and pesky animals to help him take over the jungle. Slowly and gradually he had spread his army all over the place and animals were scared to come out of their homes unless they were allowed.
Bing will keep you on your toes as he embarks on a journey to go around the jungle to defeat the malicious gorilla and bring happiness to the jungle! The valiant monkey goes out and crosses all levels to get to the boss; the malicious gorilla. Go through the journey with the monkey and overcome the obstacles in the path as Bing jumps, ducks, moves around and your task is to help Bing fight ugly monsters through different landscapes to save the jungle at the final destination.
Defend The Jungle:
The malicious gorilla is causing mayhem for the animals in the jungle with the help of his pesky insect crawlers. The creepy crawlers guard the paths of the jungle and don’t allow the animals to step foot outside their homes. All the animals are scared to come out of their homes. Bing, the monkey, is on a mission to fight for all the animals and defeat the gorilla.
Our team of developers created a user interface for the game that was vibrant and attention grabbing. The buttons of the game were specifically designed to match the rest of the UI of the game. The buttons on the main screen have a wooden finish to them and look like blocks of log. This design is carried out throughout the game and gives the game a unified look.
Inside the game, Bing; the monkey, uses peaches as his weapon of choice. He collects these peaches along his way as he moves ahead on his path towards the end point. Bing uses these peaches to hit creepy crawlers from a distance and take down enemies without getting too close. However, sometimes if the pesky insects get too close, Bing does have another weapon that comes in handy; a bamboo stick. This trusted bamboo stick combined with the cheeky monkey’s quick hand action and smash any crawler in range.
During the journey, Bing may get attacked by the creepy crawlers that are terrorizing the jungle. Whenever that happens, Bing tends to get scared and lose some of his energy. To keep his energy levels high, there are bananas available all throughout the path. These bananas are Bing’s favorite snack and help to fuel up his energy swiftly. After he gobbles up these scrumptious snacks and gets his energy levels up, he is ready to fight the crawlers and continue on his journey.
The entire user interface of the game was designed in accordance with the theme of the game where each button, icon and design is created to give a unified look. This takes the players on a journey as they feel they have entered the world of Bing and are jumping around with him through the lush green trees of the jungle.
The game enraptures the true essence of a platformer game. We wanted the game to be as simplistic and fun for the user as possible which is why we opted for a side scrolling design for the game. This makes the game more user friendly and easy to play without having to focus a lot and without having to provide undivided attention to the game play.
The game design includes different moving platforms that provide an adrenaline rush to the players as Bing jumps up and ducks low to land on the ground and not drown in the water below.
One of the essential parts of game creation is the user experience. It does not matter how unique the user interface is if it is not user friendly and the people who are playing the game do not enjoy it. We at Solaris Studios understand the importance of user experience which is why we focus a lot of our time and energy in ensuring that the person playing the game is assisted throughout the game in a manner where they are not left with any questions or confusions.
The game is created in a side scroll style. This means that the camera is set in one place throughout the game. This side view camera angle works best with the game play as it allows the person to be fully in control of the environment that they are in. With the use of side scrolling, it allows us to create a perception of speed and direction of the monkey. In case a person is out of peaches or life, they can also move backwards in the game and go to previous parts of the stage. This way the player can go back and visit anything that has passed off the back of the screen.
During the game, the screen follows Bing and tries to keep him near the center of the screen so that the what is coming ahead and what has just been crossed can be viewed by the player at all times.
For the developers of Solaris Studios it is quintessential that the games are amusing for the players and they do not feel confused about the game play at any point of the game. This is why level 1 of the game is so important for the developers. No instructions are needed for the player to read and understand how to go about the game. Each button is individually explained to clear out all the actions that are possible during the game and may come in handy for the player.
When Bing is moving forward on his journey he collects coins that are hanging in the air which he can then use to buy items for the game. This sequence of the reward hanging in the air and staying in one place implants the idea that hanging items might be worth collecting and that there’s a payoff.
Another key indicator of collectables is that both the health and the weapon of choice for Bing are fruits. It further plays into the idea of the story of the game where Bing is utilizing fruits that are readily available to him in the jungle to progress in the game. A banana is collected for strength and recovery of health whereas peaches are collected so peach pits can be used as a weapon against the creepy crawlers.
In the game, there are blocks with question marks on them. These indicate that the specific block is different from the rest of the platforms that are visible and probes the player to take some sort of action to uncover what the question mark holds. Through the initial tutorial of the game, it has already been established what actions Bing can perform so the player can try these actions to understand that the monkey needs to jump under the block and break open the block.
When Bing jumps to hit such a block that has a question mark on it, the reveal of what is inside is instant and the question is answered without having to look for the solution. The player does not need to search the screen to get to the solution instead it is offered as the player interacts with the block on the screen. This allows the person to get closer to the solution without having to press multiple buttons or moving their fingers away from the set position. This is done consciously to allow users to play through the levels without having to go through any unrequired effort.
This ease makes the game more likeable and user friendly.
Bing’s jungle adventure is lined with surprises. The experience is brilliantly diverse and the further you go in your levels, the more you discover about the world. The game play follows a method of progressive addition of hurdles that keep the user engaged and interested in what is to come next.
The pesky pests that are going all over the jungle, terrorizing animals, are initially limited to the ground. As the levels progress there is an addition in the sort of crawlers that can be seen in the game. Unique new enemies can be seen as Bing gets closer to the end levels. Eventually the game involves not just crawlers but piranhas jumping out of the water, birds flying down from the sky and skeletal ghosts that kills you instantly on exposure.
Solaris Studios pays heeds to the minor details of the user experience to ascertain that the players have the most epic experience while playing these games. The screen of the game is also designed in such a way that is makes the game easy on the eyes of the player. The upper half of the game is very tactfully cut out from the lower half.
It is in the bottom half of the game that most of the action is taking place. The game play is focused in this part of the screen. It is delicately separated from the upper half of the game where the game information in provided and is required occasionally and can be overlooked for most of the game. This creates a white space in the game play.
As the player does not need to constantly shift their eyes all over the screen to keep track of everything that is happening, it allows the user to have a greater interaction with the game.
The design is focused on the essential interaction that Bing has with the environment. Everything else that is created in the game is secondary and complimentary to the primary design. Solaris Studios focuses on the user’s needs by simplifying the experience without over simplifying the game. It is too often that we come across games that have been so overloaded with stimulus that is impossible to keep track of what is happening. Tiny bit of actual content is so often hidden away in some corner in the interface that creates a bad experience for the user. The interaction with the game play becomes more complicated and the player loses interest.
These smaller details are designed in depth to ensure a smooth user experience for the player. Developers at Solaris Studios are constantly establishing ways to get the right navigation and the correct work flow in front of the user without having to force them to look for these in hidden nooks and corners of the screen. The navigation in Bing: the monkey is not placed outside of the game rather it is sewn inside of the game. As Bing works his way through the levels, the correct reinforcement to do required actions is presented to him
Currency, Achievements & Rewards:
A game is highly affected by the ranking system that it follows. The team of developers and creators at Solaris Studios research and create a detailed formula for how the game progresses. Plenty of times there are games that will offer magnificent rewards however, the only way to get these rewards is to purchase them for absurd amounts. The currency system in Bing has been developed in such a way that if there is an invested player, he or she can open almost anything in the game by playing the game in the appropriate manner.
The currency being used in the game is coins. These coins can be collected in the game play while clearing the levels or they can be purchased by the user. These allow you to buy different items that are useful to clear levels and get to the completion of the game. Collecting the coins makes the games a lot more fun to play as you have more lives and more ammunition to go through the game while completely enjoying the progression.
Bing collects peaches along the way and uses the peach pits as a weapon. Best Game Developers tend to overcomplicate game structures and make them confusing by using too many currencies in their game play and making it difficult for the players to keep track of them all. To ensure that no such confusion occurs, the game has a linear system so that there is only one currency and everything else is interconnected. Such a currency system allows people to understand how the currency works and what uses can be derived from them. The peach pits can be collected during the game or be purchased by the player with coins.
Achievements and rewards of the game are placed to reinforce the players and keep them engulfed in the levels as they progress. The achievements are of different categories; some of the achievements are level based and can be attained as the player unlocks new levels while other achievements are based on reaching particular goals for example having 50 peaches. These make the game more interesting by offering mini challenges inside of the game for the player to enjoy and take part in.
For Solaris Studios, the addition of currencies achievements and rewards in not purposeless. The purpose of these is not only to give boosts and jump starts to the players but also to create a wholesome experience to the players. All games need an economy to function properly. It is the heart of the game’s reward structure and is imperative to the success of the game. The game is designed in such a way that it allows people to experience everything in the game initially. This way they understand how things work and how they can utilize these different items to succeed in the game. The entire concept of the game mechanics is to enhance the gaming experience of the user. You can use in-app and real money to achieve more goals and succeed in the levels.
At the end of Bing: the monkey, the player makes it to the malicious gorilla and has a faceoff with the final monster of the game. The level involves multiple enemies targeting the monkey and trying to get him to collapse. However, along the way, Bing has learned how to deal with the different obstacles that he is faced with and holds the key to a successful defense.
Killing the gorilla brings the story to a completion that gives the players a sense of satisfaction that the chapter has now officially been closed. It brings the entire game together by simply rounding up everything that has brought the player to this point in the game. This sense of completion makes the game enjoyable for the users as they go through the journey with Bing.