HaluBuBum is a 4 player, competitive, multi-touch, iPad game. Each player has their own court. Little black goo creatures called Boos roll around leaving messy splats behind them. The goal is to keep your court clean. Players can toss the Boos around by touching them and then flinging them away. At the end of the game (which lasts about 1 minute), the player with the cleanest court wins and the one whose area is dirtiest loses.
Visit website: http://halububum.com/
Available on iTunes!
Want to Play the Game?
Get it on AppStore
Available on iTunes!
Play the Early HTML5 Prototype
HaluBuBum is installed by opening the website in Mobile Safari on an iPad 2 or newer and adding it to the home screen. Please disable multitouch gestures by going to Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures and switching the slider to OFF. To fix rotation, turn the iPad so that the home button faces left, press the home button twice, swipe left and tap on the circular arrow until it has a lock in the center, while here use the volume slider to turn up the sound. Find the application icon on the home screen and open it. Press the green play button on the splash page to begin. After the first game , you can press and hold Replay button for 2 seconds to start a new game.
Players can toss the Boos (the black goo creatures) to other players’ areas by simply flicking them. Boos leave splats behind them. These can be cleaned by swiping over them. At the end of the game (which lasts about a minute), the player which has the cleanest area wins and the one with the dirtiest area loses.
Early Playtest Video
HaluBuBum was a student game created for an assignment with no restrictions. We decided right away we need to impose our own restriction and we chose in-person multiplayer on a tablet. Instead of trying to approach the problem from the board game direction and add digital elements we framed the problem as adding human interaction to a video game. HaluBuBum’s physics gameplay is from video games but its competitive environment is all about the in-person play.
On top of that, we wanted to make a game that was impossible before the iPad. Physics wasn’t something you could do with dice and cards. For the game design, we drew inspiration from hot potato and foursquare (the playground game, not the app) in order to create an easy to pick up game where physical play was important.
We also wanted it to be quick paced and short. A countdown timer and increasing music along with an increasingly agitated goo monster helped build the one minute interest curve. One of our favorite moment in the game is when the Boo (the goo monster) first splits. It surprises new players and adds complexity to what seems like a simple game.
What does in-person multiplayer on iPad look like? HaluBuBum is our first shot at answering that question. The game was created at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center as course work for Jesse Schell’s Game Design class. The initial prototype was created in a two week scramble to create art assets, design gameplay, implement multi-touch physics, and get reasonable sound via HTML5 on iOS. It’s production budget was $0 (excluding the cost of takeout, tuition, and emotional damages) and it marks the first step into a series of in-person multiplayer experiences we are developing on iOS.
HaluBuBum was created by Dilara Semerci, a computer engineer turned game designer, and Regis Frey, a jack of all trades covering art, programming, and design. The two of us met at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center in our Building Virtual Worlds bootcamp semester. We were looking for an opportunity to make a game together when Jesse Schell assigned a student’s choice assignment and gave the option of working in teams. During our blue sky planning we came up with a bunch of ways to approach in-person multiplayer on iOS. Wanting to explore this more, we made a plan to develop several games in the same fast development cycle as HaluBuBum and release them on the iOS app store.
Primary gameplay and final art are all present in this version of the game. We are still working on the game menus, code optimization, updating our sound handling, and rescoring the music. We are developing one additional mechanic and hope to add it to the game within the next week.
More on HaluBuBum! can be found here.