Hey Blitzers! Emoji Jenny here with another Emoji Highlight! This time it’s the lightning-loving, buff and beardy Zeus. On August 7th, we rolled out a Hercules Survival Event that brought him and Phil (also beardy, not so buff 😜) to our Emoji Collection. Zeus, as a new Rainbow Emoji, has a very unique power that zaps lines of Emojis with every match you make. This made creating him particularly interesting. I asked Andy, our Senior Game Designer, to share a behind the scenes look at how we achieved this!
What came to mind when brainstorming the power for Zeus?
We knew Zeus had to be mighty and full of lightning, but just putting Lightning Clouds on the board would be too simple for a god like Zeus. Here are some ideas we considered along the way:
- Tap to place lightning
- Tap an area to clear it with lightning
- Trigger a Lightning Cloud, then leave it on the board afterwards
- Enchant Lightning Clouds to become special (what could this mean?!)
What did our team land on as the final power for Zeus?
Ultimately, we wanted Zeus to have a godly presence above the board paired with a lightning effect. So we decided that while Zeus is above the board, every match you make for a limited time creates a lightning effect! Not only does this feel special and unique to Zeus, it was also great for destroying the Hydras during the Hercules Survival Event! We always try to make the Emoji powers relevant to the event type so that they feel helpful in addition to providing the x2 progress bonus when they are “Lucky”.
Were there any challenges in creating the Zeus Emoji? If yes, what were they?
We did face a few challenges in developing Zeus’s Emoji:
- Time Pressure: We felt the time limit to make matches might be too short and players could feel pressured. However, we couldn’t increase the duration because it would make him too powerful for veteran players that are expert match-makers.
- Coins: Even though he was clearing lots of Emojis, Lightning Clouds don’t generate a ton of coins.
- Border Effect: The visual effect around the board felt too much like a science experiment, like earthling electricity. This did not feel right thematically with the mighty Zeus.
How did we solve the challenges?
Through the magic of playtesting and teamwork (it’s cheesy but it’s true 😊), we made a number of changes:
- Grace Period: We added some game logic to the start of his power. Now his timer doesn’t actually start until you make the first match. The game time will run, but you at least have a moment to make a game plan before going match-crazy. Phew!
- Coins per Match: When Zeus’s time duration ends, he now zaps your coin counter, granting coins for every match made! This brought his total value much more in line where we like Rainbow Emojis to be (taking into account that the lightning effect he creates is also part of his value).
- Glowy Border: With some iteration, we changed the border effect to be light and glowy rather than electrical. This feels more like the heavens, and contrasts nicely with the constant lightning effects as you make matches.
In the end, we think the Zeus Emoji came out great and that his power is worthy of a god in the world of Disney Emoji Blitz! 😁
Thanks for reading! We’ll leave you with our favorite quote from the thunder god himself in Disney’s Hercules:
“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”