Candy Pop

I started Candy Pop in my head ages ago. I had this idea where you could tap on objects that would grow each time you tapped them until they exploded; this would then cause adjacent objects to grow in size. How it would turn into a playable game I wasn’t too sure.

So anyway a new Syntax Bomb competition had started; it was a relatively short one, so I thought I could try out this idea.

The actual games main code (engine) was worked out and running in a few days, in fact actual code time was probably only a few hours. A day or two was fiddling around in he paint package trying to come up with a style for the game. I first did balloons that had 4 frames of animation and the the pop was a triangular shape going off in 4 directions. I quite liked it and run with it while working on making the game look professional and polished from the start. I wanted the playing area to draw in nicely; not just a usual fade from black.

I was watching ‘other half’ she was playing Candy Crush on her iPad which gave me the idea of exploding sweets; ok I know that’s not what they do but then I thought of popping candy and then I set about drawing the stages of the first candy sweet.

First Candy 4 frames

I wanted the candies to look like they were growing for each time they got to the next size. So I started trying to add more frames to the candies animation sequence but still have 4 distinct stages, I couldn’t get the effect that I wanted to. I have to confess I am not that great at making graphics and I couldn’t get what was in my head on to the screen.

Eventually I managed to get the effect I wanted to, by using a couple of tweens.

The video above doesn’t show it off as it appears in game. I used two of the standard tweens ‘Ease Out Bounce” and “Ease In Out Bounce” to change the  size of the x scale and y scale of the sprite in turn. I think it makes it look like it is being filled with candy juice!

The next part was deciding how to make the game a challenge. So I came up with some simple rules to make the game what it is now.

  • Popping a candy gives you points.
  • Having a chain go off gives you a multiplier.
  • The larger the chain the greater the multiplier.
  • Having consecutive pops gives you another life (or move).
  • Running out od moves gives you Game Over

Tweaks to the chain counts and the size of the grid makes the game either too easy or far too hard. So after a lot of time playing I finally came up values that make the game fun but not too easy or hard.

The rest of the time after this was making the last 20% of the game. Making the games GUI elements and storing scores, writing the instructions, title screen graphics, making background graphics behind the games grid.

Overall I am very pleased with how the game has turned out. The game is available from and the Mac App Store. Follow the links from the Games page here.