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Spark & Kling


Gameplay Designer

VFX Artist



Team size



Puzzle Platformer




30 min



Spark & Kling is a stylized couch co-op puzzle platformer for all ages. Each player plays as one of two experiments created in this world. Players have to navigate through puzzles and obstacles to escape this evil scientist.







Spark, the electric bug. She can possess certain electronics to get through obstacles. Single mother of three baby sparklings. She uses them to activate generators as well as magnets.


Kling, the metal gel blob. He can throw blobs to weigh down items. Spark can also traverse through these blobs. And the sparklings love him! If spark attaches sparklings to him, they charge him up, allowing him to double or even triple jump!



Spark&Kling was initially a 4-week school project (GP2). The ambition of the initial team was to submit it to the Swedish Game Awards, to which they recruited Vincenzo Catano to redesign the game's 3C, and me for the redesign of the puzzles with some gameplay design tweaks, and creating several VFXs.


This was a particularly interesting challenge. I've previously always been at the start process of the projects I've worked on. So not only having to catch up to the current state of the game, but also adapting to the workflow and communication channels took me longer than I expected. Luckily I had a great team with an understanding of this.

Gameplay Design


Kling being too Klingy

One of the first challenges I took on was to reassess the "fun-factor". I had played the game before, and I had noticed some imbalance in the gameplay.

Kling didn't feel fun to play.

Kling felt like the one paving the way for Spark to shine. He made the blob path for spark. He used the blob to open up ways. And the only way for Kling to traverse obstacles was for spark to activate a magnet. So it felt very passive to play him.

Adding something for Spark to enhance Kling felt natural. And I needed to enhance Klings movement. Making Sparklings give Kling an extra jump felt like the little extra thing Kling needed!

Giving spark that little extra thing

I decided to redesign the way Spark could jump out of the gel. Initially Spark jumped outward from the gel, making it unpredictable and difficult to control.

Players were forced to connect the gel at all times because the exiting jump for Spark was clunky. It made for slow and unpredictable gameplay.

I changed this to make the traversing feel more fluid.

Having Spark jump out straight up made it easy to go from gel to gel. It promoted less downtime for Kling and the players tested out doing riskier jumps.


Possessive Spark

A mechanic added was possession used by Spark. I wanted Spark to feel fun and independent without her Sparklings. When possessing, Sparks camera changed to an overview camera. This helped a lot to direct the players attention to where we designers wanted them to.

This unlocked the possibility to both subtly show they players where to go, and letting them "build" the way by rearranging electronics.


Puzzle Redesign


With new mechanics and different progression, the puzzles had to be slightly tweaked or redesigned.

I'll be talking about the redesigns of the puzzles. If you'd like to know more about the tweaks and specifics of the level design, feel free to check out the level designer Saheel Husains page.

The Challenge

In this puzzle, I looked over the framing and visibility.

In the first iteration the players were blocked out from seeing the whole puzzle. And the hazards were not shown clearly.

Another issue was the last part of the puzzle. You had to look up and let Kling weigh down the lamp. But players missed this several times.


The workstation


The Solution


My playfield is already limited. And I knew verticality was an issue to guide the player through.

So I opened it up a lot. I removed the TV and books. And instead I added possessable robot arms. This cleared it up. I ended the puzzle with the last robot arm pointing towards the direction to the next table, making sure players knew where to go.

The Challenge

The Upper Shelves felt too exposed and didn't provide any preparation for the final puzzle segment.

There was a feeling of spikes in difficulty in this section. 

The Upper Shelves


The Solution

To start with, I added this small puzzle.

It gave the players an incentive to communicate and time their jumps together. The open vent also gave a clear goal for them.

The following part was a series of cooperative platforming obstacles. Playtesters handled this part much better after being tested with the timed jump puzzle. A nice breather before the conclusion.


The Challenge

The last puzzle was a struggle to balance.

Not only did I want to finish it in the vents, which has limited space. But I also wanted to test the players, and emphasize the need for each other.

This led to the puzzle having the most iterations.


The FANtastic finish

The Solution



My later iterations included a magnet to be shot in a timely manner. Playtesters found this too difficult and the feedback from the magnet wasn't clear enough. So I removed it and gave Kling the option for an extra jump. This way I measured the distance so that Kling couldn't just spamclick the jump button, and had to methodically time it.

Spark on the other hand had to time her jump to reach the second fan, and finally the other side.

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