Hidden Object Scene Design. Trying to revolutionize the way people experience finding objects.
When Bill Meyer, Jeff Haynie and I sat down to think about our goal: engage players with new mechanics for playing Hidden Object scenes we first thought why? Well, because this genre was so stale and with new games coming out every day or every other day that were essentially ALL THE SAME we thought that we NEEDED to do something different. We looked at games that tried to innovate before and being new didn’t directly translate into better or more popular or even as popular. There were no guarantees that new would mean good. Again, why? We watched people play and studied their behavior with things they knew immediately how to do, and things that they hadn’t tried before. People were afraid to fail with things that felt totally new to them, and they admitted that.
Long story short…the term we came up with was ‘Familiar but different’. This meant to us that we weren’t going to innovate just arbitrarily be new, but rather target exactly the familiar, and make it feel new. Here are some examples of how we did it. Check out how much of a Hidden Object Master the artist in these scenes is, Bill Meyer ladies and gentlemen.
When you come into this scene, a museum display representing James Smithson, the founder and benefactor of the Smithsonian Museums, you find a glowing handle that is on top of a shelf of books. When you clicked the handle, the first book would open and give you a set of items to find in the display. As you finished that list, the book would animate back into the shelf and the next book would open revealing new items to find.
This list has items that related to his life one way or another…and they were in hint form…so the player had to figure out what the item was based on the clue. One extra layer of thought and freshness for them.
The jewels in this picture were part of the subject because James Smithson was a mineralogist. No sense NOT educating people subtly, right?
Here you see some symbols from the periodic table in this book. Yep, James Smithson was a chemist too. Spoiler alert, he was quite a renaissance man.
Once again, Old Mr. Smithson dabbled with tools of all sorts.
Like most good mysteries or there are hidden treasures that if you are on the right path, you will discover. In the last book, you got a stereograph as an inventory item to take with you.