Lately we have been looking for ways to make our game a little more “juicy”. While I think juice is important for a game I don’t like when it’s too much and the game starts to feel messy. But I do like it when juice or other aesthetics effects strengthens game mechanics making it easier to understand what is going on in the game.
During one iteration we did a quick prototype where we changed the graphics in rooms cold enough for the player to regain energy. Adding some creepy shadows making the room look a little different ended up working better than expected.
Not only did it make the game visually better it also helps explain the mechanics of the game because the player doesn’t only have to relate to different shades of blue. Now they will know that a creepy room is a place where they can regain energy.
While it does require a lot more work for our graphic artists it’s still something we will do as it improves the game in several ways.