x About Me Game Design Game Art Graphic Design x

Fusion Rocket
Keith Erickson / Studio Piņa
Game Design, Art, Programming
Notes: Fusion Rocket was an attempt to create a puzzle game that could out-do Bejeweled, but I was sick of seeing so many un-inspired clones that instead of simply copying the match-3 mechanic, I started working on something unique.
I really tried to make Fusion Rocket as original as possible, so I started by coming up with the "Compress & Combine" game mechanic. My original concept was to make some kind of car-crushing game, but the game mechanic quickly evolved into gems that would power-up and explode.
Following that theme, I spent a few months building the engine, designing the art and coming up with more game-play ideas. I really loved the idea of having the gems burst and release ions that would hit other gems and power them up too, which could create combos.
That's where I thought Fusion Rocket could succeed, by combining casual puzzle gameplay with the rapid-fire excitement of constant combos.
I spent a lot of time polishing this game: adding 2 game modes, achievements, and an unlockable ending, tweaking / balancing the gameplay, creating sound effects, making a funny story play out between rounds, etc.

In retrospect, I feel that Fusion Rocket is an awesome game buried beneath a few fundamental design flaws that keep it from being a success. Had I changed the "combine everything in one row" mechanic to a more traditional "touch 2 connected gems" mechanic, I think the game would have been better. Also, the randomness of the ions makes it almost impossible to predict or control your combos. If the ion behavior was more predictable, perhaps by following in the direction that the gems were combined, the players could more easily understand how to set up combos. Instead, it seems that most players just combine gems and wish for luck.
If I ever get the opportunity, I'd like to revisit this concept again.

Below are some samples from this game:


Useful Links:

Play Fusion Rocket
All content © Keith Erickson