An interactive waterscape for mobile, made as a surprise for my newborn nephew. I made it as a side project in 48 hours over the span of a week.

It was exciting to build this in the short time that I had. I was inspired by pictures of paintings my brother did of multiple underwater creatures, which he had sent to my family. Very early on I shared the work-in-progress in secret with family and friends who provided feedback and a lot of enthusiasm.

As I started my design, I thought the waterscape should be:

  • Easily accessible through a webpage
  • Designed for portrait orientation on smartphones
  • Appealing to a small child
  • Done in a week, to present it as a gift to the parents when I would meet my nephew for the first time.

From there, I developed the pieces one by one, creating a first vertical slice with the shark. My main tasks were:

  • Designing fun and vibrant interactions, based on existing images.
  • Editing pictures of the paintings, isolating the creatures and separating moving parts as assets.
  • Coding cute creatures with distinct behaviours.
  • Ensuring a vibrant game feel at any moment, with or without interaction.
  • Scaling the environment, making sure elements stayed on-screen when dealing with different screen sizes.
  • Maintaining a balance between fast iteration using GameMaker’s desktop testing and testing stability of the HTML5 module.