Storm8 is a casual game studio that, while I was there, made puzzle and invest and express games.

My focus on Bubble Mania was to translate level design learnings from Jewel Mania to make bubble shooter levels. I was also responsible for rebooting and supporting the content cadence of Buble Mania.

  Bubble Mania
A bubble shooter with a large selection of obstacles to work with. Check out the trailer below.

I oversaw content creation and cadence for this game for several months as the only dedicated design resource. I was able to continue to learn and expand my level making ability across different genres. It is likely going back and forth between Bubble Mania and Jewel Mania that made me a good candidate to later be put on Bubble Theory as I was one of the few designers on the team with experience designing levels for both match 3 and bubble shooter genres, and could be moved around more freely as a resource because of my level design flexibility.

Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Design engaging levels and obstacles
    • Learn how to design engaging bubble shooter levels
    • Design engaging levels
    • Analyze level data and tune problematic or underperforming levels
  Level Design

Below are samples of some of the levels I designed for Bubble Mania.
  Level 776

Bubble Mania was built on the idea of random making levels difficult and replayable. Most of the obstacles that change state turn over turn are random under the hood. The bubble queue itself was also random. This created an atmosphere for level desgin that could potentially become very grindy and also required the designer to understand how to mitigate or control to the best of their ability all the different ways randomness could hurt the player expereience.

Color subtraction was one way to manage some of the color related randomness. By allowing players to remove colors for the field of play the bubble queue would also stop serving up that color of bubble. There were many levels in the game where designers would attempt to play with either the number of colors in the level or how to add or subtract colors during level progression.

  Level 777

The second section of this level is a good example of color removal in Bubble Mania. This level is constructed of nice short succinct sections that can be chalenging but not overwhelming.

  Level 778

Snow on bubbles was a great obstacle to keep players from accidentally hitting doom bubbles. A designer could cover a doom buble with snow to give the player a free or strategic hit on a doom bubble with out the player loseing the level. The down side to the snow bubble is that it can make a level overly grindy especially depending on how the level is constructed. Snoopy Pop on the other hand went out of its way in its obstacle design to remove the grind as much as possible. This can be seen by the number of colorless obstacles that can be removed by 1 hit, puffs, bubbles, and clouds. It is also shown by the fact that Snoopy Pop's bubbles have few if any modifiers on them.

  Level 779

A more typical Bubble Mania level in that there is a decent amount of grind as illustrated by the bubble queue at times being less than helpful. Ice and 'seed' bubbles also take multiple shots to activate or clear adding to the sense of grind. Lightning bolts have been placed in the level strategically to counter the slower pace and give the player a nice release after some of the grindier sections.

  Level 780

A long level that has fairly good pacing. The player gets very lucky that the spiders did not capture any of the babies. The spiders move to a random buble each turn, and if they move to a bubble with a baby the player loses the level. So the strategy then becomes how to manage removing the eggs, which act as pins for the underlying structure and prohibit level scrolling, and bridging the gap for the spiders to move onto the structure with the babies.