July 17, 2017 Fresh Ideas & Inspiration: Topcoder Designers Collaborate For Fun

Formative Stages

Foreword from ToxicPixel
May was an amazing month! Specifically because of the Tinker challenge. It unlocked a staggering amount of personal design development and inspiration for me. When the chance presents itself, I might make those findings available to everyone. Above and beyond that it was the stage for something remarkable to happen. While tinkering away, I shared some findings with other designers. One of them, out the blue, took what I showed them and RAN WITH IT. Eriantoongko, you beauty!
This is the result of of 2 designers just riffing on some ideas. A budgeted 4 hours worth of work. Almost 2 months after the fact. This is all W.I.P/First flight material. Gameplay comments more welcome than art comments. TYVM.

Tetris vs Snake

After sharing what I was working on, eriantoongko and I discussed the legalities of use for Tetris. Turns out this is an interesting read in general because of how strict they are protecting their IP (Intellectual Property). Then, eriantoongko made the suggestion that the snake game was not so tightly restricted and…

Eriantoongko [12:44]
just my thought, maybe when the snake ate the point, it show the topcoder timeline/history. The goal is to race for high score…

First Flight


OK – so this is standard “out the box treatment”. The biggest problem is time and popups obscuring play.
I moved score down by the controls to break the mold on standard UX and tick that unobscured box. The grey is bland, but I wanted to make the TC colors POP. So maybe let’s hit multiple birds with one stone.
Time – Linear – Color – History – Logo – Gameplay – Motion

Timeline Content & Background Test

Gameplay Suggestion


This could work! It attends to a few things…

  • The content concerns the founding of Topcoder by Jack Hughes, 2001, Glastonbury, CT.
  • Adding motion and thematic colors by stepping across the logo from left to right will allow for a richer game experience. The cool colors to the warmer colors is standard gameplay progression fare so that box ticked. Yellow will be the problem color! (it always is).
  • Gameplay. So we have changed a few core mechanics of Snake by making the background and text content be in motion. This will could possibly add some interesting gameplay elements like animated “eggs” or even powerups.
  • I don’t think that the player should/can be punished by hitting the content “Box” … this might have to be communicated to them somehow earlier on.

That blue on blue might be a problem…


  1. Strike up conversations with other designers.
  2. Foster friendships.
  3. Share your work.
  4. Be open to criticism.
  5. Take ideas forward.

That conversation script:

Screenshot of slack chat.

Secondary Stages

Addendum from eriantoongko

Thanks to ToxicPixel for sharing his idea while working on the Tinker Challenge while I was busy working on another challenge. ToxicPixel also invited me to collaborate without any limit on what can I do, so here are several ideas that came to my mind after I saw formative stages:

  • Removed the controller for the mobile version and replaced it with the swipe gesture to control snake movement. If this snake will develop to web-version, the controller will be keyboard: arrow key or aswd.
  • Since blue on blue might be a problem, the background is muted. This will also make the yellow pop up.
  • The box is removed so the snake can travel safely in a borderless world. This means to symbolize the borderless world that Topcoder has.
  • Added rule: if the snake hit its own body, the game will end.
  • Added scenario: to view thematic history about Topcoder, the snake need to eat a special eggs/foods and answering the question to gain the bonus. A various question can be asked to educate member in fun way.


  1. Never say never to new opportunity.
  2. Learn/try a new thing every day.
  3. Shout out your ideas when asked.
  4. Perfect the imperfect.
  5. Keep the discussion open.
  6. Be kind to each other.
  7. Make new friends not war.

ToxicPixel & eriantoongko


Guest Blogger


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