WizDream Games May 2024 Update

I am happy with the team’s growth so far… But at some point, we have to show them, right? As we decided to “shut up and work” (figuratively speaking) we are almost ready to reveal what we have been up to all this time. This post will contain some more teasers of an upcoming project, and discusses quite a lot on game design, and what SparkLine has (or rather, doesn’t have) in regards to it.

Short bullet points for discussions:

  • Progression System – How to make the Journey (Process) rewarding and Impactful
  • The Player’s Presence and Impact on the Story
  • Actionables – What to do to Solve the Problems. Includes a Teaser on the solution!

Progress and Process

SparkLine has story cutscenes where we can unlock a bunch of characters and of course, songs. However, this is finite and making more of them simply requires more resources (which in itself is a different topic to discuss). What else is there to do beyond that?

Replaying songs? And if so, what for? High scores?

“High scores” is a result. The end, and not the means to it. There is a process to becoming good, and that process needs to be an enjoyable and rewarding one. With a good process… comes a good result! And that process will be what drives you forward.

In most games, as the bottleneck is sometimes a lack of tools (and not skill), the process would quite literally provide upgrades that make the game easier. In some cases, they even change your play style, such as switching from a sword to bow.

In rhythm games, the charts majorly decide the play style so I don’t see radical play style changes possible from upgrades. But, it’s still possible to make the game easier. This is typically done by levelling up characters so they have:

  • More HP (easier clears)
  • More Productivity (easier resource grind)

More radical upgrades include the ability to turn misses into hits, or even making the timing more loose. People may say that there will be asterisks to getting achievements in this way, but if the game allows it, then that’s fair.

As a skill-based game, rhythm games would also show you that your overall skill has gone up. This can be taken out of context,  but as humans it can be hard to gauge for ourselves whether we are really improving or not.

Therefore, someone else can do that for you. In this case, the game. This is typically done through those “numbers” a.k.a the now omni-present rating systems you see in games today. It sounds simple, but it’s quite effective. The “purist” in me is conflicted on implementing this, because there are always people who’d hyperfocus on this and squeeze out the fun. However, it’s a new and different reason for you to play, and who am I to dictate your reason in playing games? As long as you don’t ruin someone else’s experiences, of course.

So, all in all, we are considering on implementing a rating system for our game.

Your Impact in SparkLine's Story


Most RPGs have you assume the role of someone (well, it’s short for Role-Playing Game after all). In this way, the player’s choices would feel that their actions are impactful towards the game, especially if given the choice. When the player doesn’t speak (silent character), another character usually steps in as their mouthpiece.

Most of all, it makes the player feel they are someone within the game too.

We reviewed on SparkLine’s story, and we thought this is one thing that we can truly improve on.

  • Who” is the player in SparkLine, and
  • What role do they have in the game? 

Is the player taking on the role of Lune? Sophia? Zephyr? Kuon? Or anyone else?

The answer is sadly, none of them. The player is watching from afar, and thus they have no role, and no impact in the story. It may work for a non-interactive medium (manga etc) but games are an interactive medium. This is of course, a homework we must solve in the future. It is of course, an opinion, but this is what I currently feel is the better route for our games.


Having the knowledge that things can be better is merely the first step. We know :

  • “What” could be better, and
  • “Why” it could be better. Typically said as the purpose. Everything we do should have a purpose.

The next step would be to solve the problems:

  • Again, a “what”, but “what” can we do to make it better, and
  • “How” to do it.

A very wise man said to me “We learn more from what went wrong than what went right“, and I couldn’t agree more. If you read through this far, I felt there were a lot of things that went wrong in SparkLine. Life is like boxing – it’s okay to fall down, but we have to get up again, and give it another go.

So what let’s summarize what should be better in SparkLine based on this post alone:

  • The player should feel they are in the world and that they matter to the story
  • The player should have a sense of purpose to keep playing after the current content is complete
  • The player should be able to feel a sense of progression in more ways than just “git gudder”

We can talk all day long about the solutions, but there’s nothing better than showing you those solutions.

For now, let me show you these as our solutions.

I have to censor some things that should remain hidden yet, but hopefully the intent seen from the teaser images is clear! If things are going to schedule, we should be able to announce it by the end of next month or early July.

As for SparkLine, there are indeed some questions unanswered in regards to it. We will also answer those questions at that time.