Picture Book Author & IllustratorPaddy Donnelly

Wee Subs for iPad/iPhone

Almost immediately after releasing our first kids app for iOS, Wee Rockets, we got started on our second. We made sure to keep our future game ideas in mind during the development of our first app, as one of our goals was to create a ‘universe’ for our characters to live in. This would enable us to build upon and expand our family of branded apps, allowing kids to quickly pick up the familiar gameplay and characters of each game in the sequence. After exploring the galaxies with Wee Rockets, we decided on our next destination…

Under the sea

Aiming for a setting that would allow us a little more variety and creative freedom, we decided on venturing into the depths with Wee Subs. We welcomed some new challenges this time around, such as switching to a horizontal orientation for gameplay, designing a more interactive launch sequence, wave animations, increased parallax and lighting effects.

Uncharted waters

Taking on board many lessons we had learned from Wee Rockets, we aimed to recreate what kids had enjoyed from the simple gameplay and creative freedom and expand on it. Once again keeping it completely text-free and working on the same Build-Launch-Race-Reward cycle, one new aspect of the game was to increase the rewards. In Wee Rockets, the collectable items are limited to aliens, but in Wee Subs we introduced treasure as well as a wide variety of underwater creatures. As you go through the 6 main levels, the game remembers and displays the number of coloured rubies you’ve collected so far in the game, adding an extra incentive for kids to collect the whole set.

Increasing difficulty and differentiation between the levels were two pieces of feedback we’d received from users of Wee Rockets. Keeping in mind that our target audience are 2-6 year olds, we slightly increased the difficulty of each level by adding more obstacles and awkwardly placed collectables as the game progresses. In terms of level differentiation, we added a special ‘large’ item (treasure chest, pirate ship etc) to each level, helping to make that level unique. We also used these large assets as the primary hiding spot for the collectable rubies. As well as this, I created a new soundtrack for Wee Subs, but kept strands of the music from Wee Rockets to keep some familiarity for kids coming from one app to the other.

Where next?

We’ve already begun working on our next app. Once there’s something to show, we’ll be sharing it first with our mailing list, so sign up if you want to see sneak peeks of our latest adventures.

Finally, a huge thank you if you’ve bought our apps, tweeted about them or reviewed them. It means so much to know that people enjoy the things we make.

Download Wee Subs

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