Thursday, August 18, 2022

Game Portfolio -- Gloombusters

Continuing a review of cancelled and discontinued games in my Game Portfolio, today I'm talking about a cute match 3 game that was cancelled during soft launch. 


  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Current Availability: Cancelled during Soft Launch
  • Release Credit Category: Design Credit
  • Company: KingsIsle
  • Business Model: Free-to-Play
  • Category: Mobile Game
  • Genre: Puzzle, Coloring
Personal Development Notes
  • Fun Fact: Gloombusters was a follow on match-3 game after Animal Cove where players would earn crafting/coloring supplies through match 3 games and then use those as fuel for restoring color to the world. Players collected Lumis who they could bring with them into match 3 games and use their various booster effects during gameplay. Although Gloombusters never made it out of soft-launch, the cute Lumi characters from the game eventually found a home in Wizard101 as pets.

  • Job Highlights: I was one of five designers assigned to work on Gloombusters. As such, JIRA tasks were divided between us by our Director and Producer. I wrote two or three of Gloombuster's Design Documents, which mainly focused on the city building and crafting portion of the first iteration of the game and an event system meant for late game. I also worked as one of two designers responsible for the tutorial tasks and wrote all the copy for the tutorial text.

    Eventually the second iteration of Gloombusters removed the city building portion of the game and instead focused on restoring color to a coloring book land through solving match 3 puzzles. For this iteration I helped hook up several coloring book page scenes, worked with creative to insert dialog scenes into the game, and again helped with the tutorial. 

  • Best Memory: While brainstorming how players would collect crafting ingredients from playing match 3 puzzles, I had an idea for a grocery bag match 3 piece that would act as a collection point for other game pieces. It was debated for a while but eventually we went with a simpler solution. I still use this as a gag line to my boss when brainstorming, often suggesting that it's clear the solution we're looking for is "bags." 

  • Other Comments:  Unfortunately metrics for the game didn't warrant a full launch of the game, but we learned several valuable lessons in its creation. I'm happy that Gloombuster's cute Lumi characters found a home in Wizard101.

Sample Gameplay:

I can't seem to find any footage of the first iteration of Gloombusters, but I did find some footage of the second iteration!

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