101 Dalmatian Street - Boom Night Rescue

Uh Oh - it’s Boom Night!

Big brother Dylan and big sister Dolly must team up and scour the park for all their missing siblings and rescue them before its too late and the booming begins!

Brief

With the imminent launch of ‘101 Dalmatian Street’ (Disney’s beautiful reworking of 101 Dalmatians as a hand-drawn cartoon series), a new HTML5 game was commissioned to launch alongside and support it.

Disney were looking for something that would introduce the show’s characters and narrative world to the player, particularly the relationship between the two leads, Dylan and Dolly. Naturally for a new flagship show, there was a strong desire for the outcome to feel highly polished and to push the boundaries of expectation for an HTML5 experience.

Our Response

As this game would be a pathway into the show for newcomers, we decided to build it around the plot of a forthcoming episode: Boom Night! This helped to ground the game in the show’s universe and authentic character interactions.

We opted for a style of play that felt quite open and loose, where the player had a good view of the world around them and could explore at their own pace. We knew we would have access to fantastic hand-drawn assets so felt confident in a fairly asset-heavy approach.

We put the two lead characters (Dylan and Dolly) and their relationship at the heart of the game, pitching cooperative gameplay elements and live switchable character control. This complimented the story of two siblings having to form a begrudging partnership to achieve a greater goal – rescuing their MANY brothers and sisters before the dreaded ‘Boom Night’ starts!

The Challenges

We originally planned to have the player round up a fixed number of missing puppies across successive levels but we found that in practice, this meant the game got extremely hard towards the end, as there was only one or two stragglers to find. We had to change the way this system worked to keep the sense of it getting tougher as it went on, whilst still allowing a more forgiving end stage that we could tune based on user testing.

The explorative gameplay style coupled with the need for immersive and eye-catching graphics meant complex and large levels with lots of props and textures. This had to be handled with care to ensure the continued smooth running of the game on mobile devices.

A lot of thought had to go into the puzzle designs to make sure they simultaneously posed the right level of challenge for the target age group, fitted into the theme of the game, made sense in the world of the show and maximised the use of the character-switching mechanic.

The Results

After a brief comc-book style intro that establishes the puppy-rescue premise, players find themselves in the park, with both Dylan and Dolly. They can run in any direction and switch characters at any time. Running around the park will reveal cheeky puppies dashing this way and that as well as other, sneakier siblings hiding out amongst the rich scenery. Park keepers hold some in cages while others are trapped in the middle of a lake or at the top of a treehouse! 

Make use of Dolly’s explosive turn of speed and Dylan’s supreme detective skills to home-in on each puppy until they have found enough to call a ‘puppy wave’ and smash through to the end-stage puzzle. Rescue the triplets (Dallas, Destiny and Deja Vu) from high above the ground atop the lighting rig, via a cunning physics based puzzle!

As night falls and ‘Boom Night’ crowds of humans gather, the pressure is on as our dynamic duo return to the park to find the remaining puppies. This second level features new puzzles and even tricker-to-find puppies, culminating in final rescue attempt to save the youngest puppy of all (Dorothy) from atop a soon to be lit bonfire! Can she be saved in time?

With huge, rich levels, authentically recreated sights and sounds and hand-crafted physics puzzles, this classic team-up adventure delivers humorous brain-teasing play blended with high-stakes action for Dalmatian lovers everywhere.

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