Why is there a captain in the game? If you think about it, he doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay, and the game would still make 100% sense if we removed him.
But there’s a good reason he’s there. During the initial design phase, we realised that we needed to give the players some feedback on their actions. We needed to tell the players when they did something right and when they did something wrong. We knew we couldn’t use written messages, since our players are toddlers and therefore unable to read. Using sound to give feedback wasn’t an option either, since the sound may be turned off.
The solution was to include the captain – who gives the player feedback through a series of simple gestures. We chose to limit the gesture palette to four states: Default, happy, worried and refusing. We added a fifth state just for fun: Sleeping. Which is activated when the player doesn’t touch the screen for a while.