PLEXXR

iPad Puzzle Game

PLEXXR is an award-winning game I designed and programmed.

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  • DATES:
  • ROLE:
  • PLEXXR
  • Myself
  • UI, IxD, Development
  • 2010-2011
  • I designed and programmed the game, which was released in the Apple App Store.

Background

PLEXXR is a visual puzzle game designed to give the player a sense that they are participating in a covert scientific research program. A organization named SCIUP has released their PLEXXR application (Portable Lab for Extraterrestrial and Xenomorphic Research) to the public, to crowd-source answers to the mysteries associated with alien technology found near Groom Lake, Nevada.

splash screen

Why PLEXXR

My goal with PLEXXR was to create an immersive, visual, touch-driven game to express myself artistically with UI design, while learning the platform to build it (GameSalad). I’m a fan of scifi and alien contact as a genre, and believed I could build on this as a theme. I wanted to keep the game exploratory, with no written instructions, so players would be faced with two challenges: not just solve each of the puzzles, but determine HOW to solve them, and discover/experience the interaction to so.

color selector

Menu and Levels

Shown below is the main menu of the game with icons representing each stage (puzzle), along with screenshots of various puzzles.

screen 1 screen 2 screen 3 screen 4 screen 5 screen 6

Development

I treated PLEXXR as a serious application design project: organizing the UI with defined regions for specific interactions, applying alien typography, and establishing global color palettes. I created different interactions for each stage to keep the gameplay from being repetitive and enhance the immersive alien user experience. I spent substantial time working and reworking designs of interactive components, and adding extra details to give elements of the game the appearance of alien tech within a scientific application.

regions

UI regions

hub designs

Designs for the navigation hub

settings

Settings screen

transmit results

Dialog displayed after all stages completed

app store icon

App Store icon

Recognition

PLEXXR didn’t generate substantial revenue, but it was a fantastic learning experience, and I was blown away by the positive response it received with virtually no marketing. PLEXXR went on to win the award for best art in the 2010 IndiePub Mobile Games Competition.

Apple new and noteworthy

New and Noteworthy — Apple App Store

wirebot

“PLEXXR is short but sweet, delivering a worthwhile experience for gamers interested in great storytelling.”

gizmodo

“...it’s the ambience—super slick alien graphics and animations and a fitting soundtrack make it a pretty immersive experience.”

indiepub

“The panel felt that your game was exceptional within this category.”