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When David C spent a weekend with friends, he decided to remix one of our games, DmazeD for a 7 year old and 10 year old. He was also kind enough to share his experience of using Gamecake with us through this blog post.

Intermission image

We played on the laptop, and I think they found using the arrow key really difficult! They maybe game on tablets more than keyboards - imagine arrow keys not being a core gaming competency!

They were dying quite quickly with the default settings on the game (only 7 and 10 years old remember) - but the hook of, "well, we can alter that" seemed to work better on making the game as easy as possible to beat - I wonder if they would go back to making it harder once they got bored! We did set the bear not to move at all, but then they realised they couldn't get all the sweets if the bear stood still! So 'completion' was a big driver.

I couldn't quite work out how to make the radius of the darkness bigger (and still keep their attention), so just deleting it worked there and then.

In-game screen

Altering the monster was fun. We changed it's speed to 10,100,1,0 and 0.1 - they couldn't wait to see the effect of each of those changes.

I think they were quite thrilled to see themselves in the game. They were very happy to be photographed, but the cutting out in gimp, followed by scale, copy, paste, position etc was a bit of a tall order. I did most of it. The 10 year old did do about 4 images, and got quite into the routine, but I'm not sure that she would have stuck to it without a bit of help.

Sprite sheet image 1
Sprite sheet image 2
Items sprite sheet image 2

What was cool was to show how what you had just done already effected the game, so we could have the character only with the new image when it moved up the screen for example. Save, run play, escape worked really well I thought.

I think they liked the soundtrack, also that was really accessible in terms of them thinking they could do their own - no massive orchestral skills needed, just the voice -I think that is a stroke of genius myself! Also pretty easy to just record a voice to recreate the hum.ogg (theme music).

We discussed further about his experience in terms of tweaking the speed of the chasing bear and David had this to say:

From what you just wrote I just want to say that they weren't scared by the bear, or being chased. It was just that they got caught too quickly for their liking. One of the issues I think they generally have is about sharing time on 'screens'. I suspect some of the motivation of infinite life is not having to share because the game is not finished yet.

You can find David C online at http://flavors.me/caprenter Thanks again, David!

Fork us your versions of DmazeD at https://bitbucket.org/xixs/gamecakejam.
You can play DmazeD online if your browser supports NativeClient at http://play.4lfa.com/gamecake/dmazed?play