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Antlion was created for a senior-level game fundamental design course. The project brief was to create a game from scratch that would incorporate the fundamental game theories. Through player testing, revisions were then made to improve the original game concept.



September 2022 (2 Weeks)


Enoch Hsieh, Evan Huang, Samuli Karki, Angela Lee


Team Lead, Programmer, Prototyping, Game Design

Engine and tools:

Processing, VS Code

What is Antlion?

Antlion is an endless-running arcade game where the player must survive by jumping and ducking to dodge different obstacles while running away from the giant antlion chasing them.

Summary of Contributions

Programmer: I coded the primary and secondary mechanics of the player, like the movement and the invincibility ability. I also contributed and polished other mechanics like hitting an obstacle and difficulty increase. The overall layout was conceptualized and coded by me which includes transitions and producing the cosmetic shop.

In addition, the way obstacles and items are randomly spawn is coded through a randomizer algorithm. Each item/obstacle will have its own spawn rate which controls how often the player will come across each item or obstacle.

User Testing: Once our first prototype was created, I conducted user testing, and recorded key insights which brought new innovations to our final prototype.


Our team had to design, prototype, and test our game within a very short amount of time, with very little outside help and resource. All of the art was created by our visual artist, Angela Lee, while the rest of us had to program and troubleshoot our game.

Below is an overview of our 4-step process and how we approached the challenges that we faced throughout this project.

Step 1/4: Designing

Our team began by designing the core idea, where players will have to jump over obstacles to stay alive.

We also implemented a 3-life rule where every time the player hits an obstacle, the chasing antlion will move up 1 position closer to the player. If the player fails to dodge 3 obstacles and the antlion catches up, the player dies and the game is over


Step 2/4: Prototype 1 & Playertesting

Once our core idea has been implemented and the basic art was created for it, our first prototype was ready for player testing.

I gathered 10 play testers to try out our first prototype and received many insightful inputs on how to improve upon our prototype.

Step 3/4: Redesigning Prototype 1

The main takeaway from the feedback was that our game needed more challenges and a goal for the player. To tackle these issues, we added more obstacles like holes and flies where the player will need to be more aware and adds more interactivity.

Our team also decided to create a cosmetic shop for the player so they would have a purpose for collecting the coins. Additionally, our visual artist revamped the background and the player model so the game would not look static and boring.

We also introduced a new narrative for the game so the player has context and a better understanding of why they are running away from the Antlion, bringing a clearer sense of immersion.


Core Mechanics:

  1. The ant lion will be chasing the player with rocks in their way. If they run into an obstacle, the player will be slowed down and moved back toward the ant lion. If the ant lion catches up to the player, the player dies, and the game will terminate.

  2. Introducing the hole obstacle, if players fail to jump over the hole and fall in it, the player is immediately dead, and the game is over.

  3. The fly is a new oncoming obstacle. Just like the rock mechanic, if players fail to dodge the fly, they will be slowed and moved back closer to the ant lion.

  4. Crouch/slide action will be a new mechanic player can control in the game, allowing them to dodge incoming mid-air obstacles.

  5. The gameplay speed will increase over time the longer the player stays alive.

Secondary Mechanics:
6. A power-up that enables player in boosting up the speed and immunity to obstacles for a diverse and more thrilling gameplay for the users.

Step 4/4: Final Prototype

Due to time constraints, our team tried our best at implementing the earlier proposed changes. In our final prototype, we were also able to save the progress of the player’s coins and skins once they close the application.


Below we present all the new changes and newly revamped gameplay of our game, Antlion.

Instructions Page

Cosmetic Shop

Narrative Cutscene

Equipped Ninja Skin


Throughout this entire process, one aspect I’ve taken away is that a lot of game fundamentals found in current video games are there for a reason. For instance, I found grinding for coins or experience in games to be very tedious. However when creating Antlion, I realized that without a challenge and a goal set for the player, there is very little drawing the player to come back to play your game.

I also learned and gained a lot more experience with coding in Processing, similar to Java, which will definitely be beneficial in the future. My mindset on how to design games have definitely been shaped by this project.

Overall, I am very proud of the outcome, but most importantly, of how well my team was able to develop this with such a short time and limited experience and overcome any challenges that stood in our way.

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