Emoji Blitz is a grid based Match 3. I joined the team during the last four months of production as a "feedback strike force". My goal was to iterate and polish any and all parts of the game: controls, gameplay feedback, game feel, and presentation.
Great effects can't just look good - they also need to help communicate game rules and logic. When touched, Emojis will darken, scale, follow, and emote based on the touch state. When matched, Emojis animate to the corresponding UI that match impacted. Meters animate more aggressively (i.e. more eye catchingly) as they get closer to being filled.
Too much feedback is just as bad as too little, since the volume often obscures what's really important. A lot of work went into prioritizing the right kind of feedback, whether making Blitz Mode feel blitz-ier or highlighting the main Emoji when its powerup is ready. Often times it meant removing feedback, like animating coins from matches to the UI.
Emoji requires responsive yet accurate controls. The game uses two different radii for detecting swipes. "Valid" swipes use their strictest values at the inner radius, and expand as they reach the over radius. This quickly rewards "perfect" swipes, while still filtering out any accidental movement (Fingers are really inaccurate input devices)
Since players see the Results Screen every...single...round...it was important to make this screen fast, while still being able to celebrate high scores. The results sequencing is dynamic, allowing for adjustments and beats to be scaled or skipped.
Some of the communication feedback was simple but effective. Like making the "suggestion match" animation imply which direction to swipe. Or using the Round Intro to confirm what power ups are equipped.
Emoji are expressive! Polishing the feedback meant finding more opportunities to surface each character's expressions (And make them feel more like actual characters!) Emojis change their expression when they match, fall, swipe, or un-swipe.