Magic Moving Mansion Mania
Magic Moving Mansion Mania is an award-winning action-puzzle-platformer that couples fast-paced gameplay with mentally stimulating puzzles. In the game, a little girl, Anastasia, is lost in a magical mansion where the rooms move in mysterious ways. Users need to help guide her to safety, but don’t let her fall into nothingness. Users play by tapping on two different tiles to switch their locations while Anastasia will continue moving forward. Some more complex levels also include multiple layers in the mansion that can be navigated when Anastasia is walking through a door.
// CASE STUDIES
ConceptA little girl named Anastasia has found herself in a dream world. She is trapped in her grandma’s large, mysterious mansion and cannot find a way out. Disoriented, all she can do is continue moving forward in hopes of finding an escape. It is up to the player to rearrange the rooms of this mansion to help guide her to safety. There will be many challenges and puzzles for the player to solve, all while protecting Anastasia from walking off the edge. She, too, may come across certain objects around the mansion that will help the player to rearrange the rooms, but ultimately her fate lies in the hands of the player. Tap and swipe to move the magical mansion and quickly solve puzzles to help Anastasia survive.
Our primary design goal is to provide the player with mentally stimulating puzzles. There should not be one dominant strategy or a common solution between levels to the point that the player gets bored with the puzzles. The player should feel a sense of accomplishment for completing a level and want to continue progressing through the game. This goal is a requirement for our game in order for it to be fun and carry out our vision.
locks and keys
While Continuity is a similar puzzle platformer involving the player rearranging tiles, Magic Moving Mansion Mania adds an element of urgency since the player does not control character movement. Unlike Continuity, our character cannot be frozen in time to allow the player to visualize a solution to the puzzle without penalty. Additionally, our tile switching is not limited to a sliding grid, allowing for more possibilities for interesting levels. Lastly, our game has more colorful and themed artwork.
While Framed provides a similar tiled puzzle feel, its pieces flow into one another so that there are a limited number of solutions. Magic Moving Mansion Mania has endless possibilities and is not paused while switching tiles, again providing more urgency and action.
While Monument Valley provides puzzles with a magical feel, it has a slower pace and no time pressure on the player. Timing the switching of tiles as the character walks or falls across them is an additional aspect of our gameplay. Magic Moving Mansion Mania achieves a similar magical feel, but with more excitement and quicker gameplay.
After a series of brainstorming and discussions, our team has decided to focus on the concept of rearranging rooms through the section drawing of a house. To test the existing gameplay and future polish the rules, we have made a paper prototype to try the settings out.
To better evaluate the gameplay and UIUX design, we had two rounds of user tests after alpha and beta release separately. I
n the test, we asked our friends to play the game, observed their interactions with the game, recorded the time they need for
levels, and asked them to write down the things they found interesting, frustrating, and exciting.
One important feature we have added in based on the feedback from the user tests is the speed up button. We have observed a lot of people complaining about the long waiting period when they have finished arranging the tiles but waiting for Anastasia to walk through the path. The speed up button allows users to accelerate the walking speed of Anastasia and therefore reduce the waiting time.
We have deployed the game and published it on both App store and Google Play. One can download them using the links at the
beginning of this page. We have more than 1000 downloads on each of the two stores. Below are some screenshots for the iPhone
Besides the digital product, we have also designed and prototyped a series of promotional materials such as posters, banners, game manual, and some giveaways.
We brought our game to the Boston Indie Game Festival that was held at MIT in September of 2017, and won the Best Digital Game for the student group.
GDCIA Showcase and Boston Indie Game Festival
Takeaway and Next StepsAfter we have published the game, I have further developed the background story and made a monograph, which you can read more at MMMM Monograph