Collect happy faces and be happy
Every one of us has a busy day. We run around and try to complete the tasks of the daily routine. And at the and of it, we realize we don’t spare much time for ourselves.
We know that you need a break. And a method to clear your mind.
This game is designed for that. You will sit down and play it. You will first play the game, collect the smiley faces. Every level has beautiful scenery to help you get relaxed. And while collecting the balls you will recognize your daily worries will clear up.
Then you will meet with our wise characters, Ella the wood nymph, Chuck the old sailor, and the secret ancient character you will meet at the end of the game. They will feel your worries and answer your questions with their wisdom and sometimes with their sense of humor.
This is a game that aims touch your inner self. It is not about collecting balls, it is about making you smile. Collect the smiley faces and don’t forget to smile.
Use the mouse to move the bucket to collect the smiling faces. On bonus levels, choose only one of the bonus balls to collect - that will influence the wisdom you collect.
Extra hint - if the smiles get stuck, try clicking on them!
I have in my current task list three things I'd like to fix. First, although this affects mobile more than web (but maybe it will affect touch capable PC too), but I am redoing the level select screens so that you can drag them to move levels.
Second, I am reducing the sizes of images to make a smaller file. Again this should affect mobile more than PC but maybe we will see an improvement in load times.
Third, on the last levels (the ones with bottles), I am trying to fix the bug where you can't affect bottles when they get stuck (I want them to smash instead of wiggle when clicking on them), and an odd case where you win despite not getting all the balls.
Any feedback is welcome! Is the game fun, are messages from the characters silly, other bugs you might see, anything you can think to mention!
Thank you for your feedback!
I didn't know you had this project around, it was cool to discover it! I like the intent, how you aimed to make something meant to help players relax and clear their mind. That's something I had in mind with my (abandoned) mobile game project as well, I found this to be quite a difficult thing to get right.
I like the idea of incorporating hand-made watercolors in a game. The paintings are great! Now I feel there is a missed opportunity to make them shine by adjusting the colors for the screen and integrating the art better into the game. The medium gives plenty of opportunities to bring the paintings alive with animations and parallaxing, here they are just plain backgrounds which don't attract the attention that much. Now I'm probably suggesting this because I've played Gris quite recently, which - well, had a much bigger budget obviously - but also points out how a relaxing game (theirs is advertised as a "serene and evocative experience") has to stimulate the senses in a way ; a good, even minimalist animation does that much better than static pictures.
The falling marbles gameplay also feels like a missed opportunity ; for one the visuals don't integrate that much with the backgrounds (for instance, I could easily see the first world have sprites suggesting leaves or fruits falling down the branches of a tree), but most of all the sound aspect could have been awesome. The randomness of items falling down and hitting each other yields cool patterns that evoke rain or wind chimes… but in practice the choice of sounds is pretty neutral and not particularly pleasant to listen to. On the positive side, I really liked the physics of the smileys ; watching them fall down, appreciating the little behaviors suggesting they're not perfectly round, unstucking them from places occasionally was the main aspect that could have some relaxing effect.
Other than Gris, another game that comes to mind is Faerie Solitaire, which follows a similar structure: short and easy enough levels with straightforward, relaxing gameplay plus pretty and mostly static backgrounds. Could be another reference worth checking out.
Now on to read some random clickbait article :P