SO, what is juice? well, it’s what puts the ‘spring’ in Springfield. check out these amazing presentations on what it is and why you need it
In Bloom Blossom Saga there is an amazing amount of juice, but before I break down each specific part, I would like to talk about my favorite one, the cascading effect. What I mean by this is when you burst one flower, and that bursts another flower, and so on. This is one of my favorite things to experience, reminding me of stacking the huge LRM40’s onto a longbow from the old mech warrior games.
This ‘reward cascade’ Is why gambling machines don’t pay out all at once, instead slowly spurting out each coin one by one, so that winning 20 bucks feels like the best part of your day. It’s why the game has a chance to give you 20 free consecutive auto rolls, rather than just adding 20 to the amount you have left. It starts up a fanfare, adds in a multiplier. It does all of this to make your small input feel as though it has a huge effect on the game space.
Its some extremely powerful feedback to the player, I think it fits in well with the player feedback loop described by Jan Willem Nijman, the idea that is created in the player is the feeling of a heavy effect from their actions, from the creation of a domino effect, or cascade.
Another reason that I know this is the main goal in the game is their trailer on the google play store (here is an example)
As you can see, it is the main function that is shown when advertising what their game can do, this is the core player experience.
Now, let’s break down all of the juice that can be found in this game
flowers fall down into the scene in rows, this feels like a really quick sand timer, but offers order and pattern.
you make a line of flowers, they make a burst and a sparkle noise, burst into a puff of petals and glitter, each regular flower is replaced except the one you end on, which grows in size, and matures. the new flowers fall into place around it, and each flower that moves also ‘bounces’ while moving
when selecting flowers, there is a nice, slightly punchy sound of (maybe hitting a patch of grass?) to let you know you selected something, but the whole game freezes so you know you are having an effect
if you line up heaps of flowers, the final one grows into a huge flower, through several stages, each one making a punchy (bursting plant) sound, kind of like a wet tree snapping a bit. This flower bursts into heaps of petals, with extra sparkle noises, and a success bling noise (that rises in pitch with each successive flower grown to this state triggered in this chain)
If the player sets up a particularly large combo (not chain) then there is a (bright lights getting sucked inwards) animated image overlayed under the players finger
Oh man, if you combo a bunch of flowers (like 7-8) in one shot it explodes a super bright light outwards, with an even more blingy bling noise, rays of light shoot outwards across the screen and all the flowers around it are brought to full maturity, setting up a huge cascade of flowers bursting, nearly entirely wiping the whole board, all building up the pitch of the bling sounds and covering the screen with bursts of flower petals everywhere! this would be the perfect time to have the phone vibrate, if available.
there is a cavalcade to announce the ‘final flower’, which automatically clears the board for you, and plays a bright and uplifting jingle for completing the board. It scrolls up the screen, tells the player they are awesome, tallies up the score, adding huge points for bonuses, and then tallies it up again dishing out a star rating based on the score (while playing another bling noise for each hundred points as it tallies up)
These are the Audio and Visual feedback systems found in this game. Each one is added to the game to make the player feel as though their actions have an even greater effect on the game, a consequence (though not necessarily a bad one). This makes the player feel as though their actions have weight, this feeling is the ‘idea’ placed into the player and is what makes the game have a lasting effect on them.
Another awesome game by King is Farm Heroes Saga, and I want to talk about some juice they put in here to make the player feel like a super smarty pants. When they tally up your score, instead of adding a couple of zeros on the end of the points you actually get (which in itself is pretty amazing) They actually give you a completion percentage. Which they allow to go over 100%. This means that, given you meet the reasonable target set in each level, your efforts are rewarded, by telling the player exactly how much better they really did. It lets you know where the expectation bar was, and allows you to hit scores like 500%! With a normal scoring system, you either have no way to gauge exactly how well you did or have to do mental backflips to figure out the maths (or worse yet, are pitted against your friends who have no life and play this game 24/7)