lightmare - browser game

Game Design and Data Analytics, Fall 2015

Lightmare is a physics puzzle game where your vampire character must reflect light to a point without burning oneself.

I was Lead Designer for my group in the Data Analytics Game Design class.

Concept Art

I referenced gothic architecture and popular tropes of vampires to develop concepts of how the game would look.


The player character approaches mirrors to push and rotate them into an arrangement that will reflect light from the source to the unlit orb, opening the level exit.

User Testing and Data Analytics

We had several sprints: Alpha, Beta, Friends Release, Newgrounds release, and Kongregate release. After each prototype was finished, we tested our game on users to determine what could be improved in the next iteration. With each new release, we found our user engagement increased, both over how many levels players completed and long players spent on the game.

One of our biggest design concerns was what control scheme we should adopt and how we would display that information for users. Given the nature of our puzzle game, there are many discrete commands the player can use, rather than a few continuous actions. During early prototypes, many users complained how difficult it was to remember which commands were used to control mirrors. To make sure player frustration only came from puzzle difficulty rather than playing difficulty, we conducted tests on different control schemes.

With control scheme A in mind, I created tooltips that pop up when users interact with mirrors and want to perform an action on the mirror. Based on user feedback, I made the directional arrows larger and added glowing effects to denote when a direction was activated.