Dig Dug
Components: Dig Dug, Monsters, Pookas and Fygars, multi-colored ground.
Skills required / taught: Planning, tactics
Object: Eliminate underground-dwelling monsters

About the Game

Dig Dug is an arcade game released by Namco in 1982. A popular game based on a simple concept, it has also been released as a video game on many consoles.

How it Works
The objective of Dig Dug is to eliminate underground-dwelling monsters. This can be done by inflating them until they pop or by dropping rocks on them. There are two kinds of enemies in the game: Pookas, round red monsters wearing yellow goggles, and Fygars, green dragons who can breathe fire. The player, Dig Dug, is killed if caught by either Pooka or Fygar, burned by a Fygar's fire, or crushed by a rock.

Thought Bubble
Variable Scoring – Accomplishing the same task in Dig Dug can earn the player a different number of points depending on where and how it is done. The Fygars who only breathe flames horizontally grant the player less points if inflated from a vertical position as opposed to a more dangerous horizontal approach and defeating a monster deeper in a deeper colored level grants more points as well. Crushing enemies with rocks not only grants more points than inflating an enemy, but repeatedly crushing with a rock earns the player even more points. How might your game earn the player bonus points by performing difficult or dangerous maneuvers? Perhaps a multiplier for enemies defeated within a short time span, a shorter ranged weapon which earns more points, or extra points for guiding a craft through a narrow passageway…

Difficulty scaling – As the player progresses in levels the monsters get faster and more numerous. What other ways might you gradually increase the difficulty of your game? More enemies would certainly make things harder as well as making them faster, have a greater range for their attacks, or a more improved AI so they less easily walk into traps; or adding new monsters to give the players something new to face.

Fight of Flight – When only one enemy remains, it will attempt to escape. Such behaviors mimic animal behavior and can make a game seem more real. What other natural elements might you add to a game to make it seem more real? Perhaps if the monsters can ‘hear’ when the player uses his weapon, a vehicle’s brakes taking time to stop the vehicle, or moving slower across rock or shallow water…