Acted as a lead game designer responsible for all the gameplay features implemented.
Gameplay design deriving - player, enemy, ally AI behaviours, and ingredient mechanics.
Responsible for core game loop and the rule system.
Crafted progression to account for the full potential of the concept.
Level design accounting from paper - to photoshop - to editor implementation.
Designed and implemented unique puzzles and side objectives.
Crafted universe and different faction based unique characters to populate the game world.
Designed and responsible for all dialogue conversations in game.
Created and implemented all animations into the build.
Feature planning to be executed for full production cycle.
Budget planning and market research responsible to attract intended target audience.
This is a comical game about the player fixing a broken world, designed by sketchy developers (AKA Gods), who aim to appeal other trapped players in the game world into submission of their money, and their soul.
The game world is bound by unjust rules designed by a greedy game production team. Removing and adding rules, changing assets, and reprogramming as they want; The development team are transforming the world into an extremely classic universe where nobody can do much except move around and have specific jobs decided by the gods themselves.
Real world people are stuck inside the game. And with almost the entire world population stuck inside this virtual world, the real world was facing direct consequences and was breaking down.
Most of the government, order, education, and any type of maintenance disappeared. The buildings started to crack down, the economy stumbled, and the few who still remained in the world are creating a world of terror where the strongest rule.
The situation must change. The remaining governments join their forces and decide to send an agent every month to find a way to free everyone out of the game.
So far, no success. This is where you as a player come in. You are one of these agents sent by the government, and you need to save humanity and break everyone out of the game!
The narrative also features multiple factions with different types of rule changing abilities for progression purposes.
WHAT MAKES THE PROJECT UNIQUE?
Change the rules of the game itself.
Experience a real-virtual world.
Fight the developer gods ruling the game world.
Lead Game Design, Level Design, Narrative, Animator, and Marketing
2017 May - 2018 May
A puzzle-adventure game about changing the core rules governing the game world itself.
The project was made for our 'final year project' in our university in 12 months.
VERTICAL SLICE RULES
Lead Game Design
iClone Kinect MoCap
Me and my colleagues after working on multiple prototypes focused on different concepts settled to work on "The_Game" to showcase it as our final year project.
The_Game initially kicked off as a 2D programming-esque rule changing game in the initial days of pre-production. But the deeper we went in, we quickly understood that the experience wasn't all fun for everyone.
It had many accessibility barriers (because it seemed more of an educational game than anything), and since we didn't intend for this direction, we then shifted the concept into a third person puzzle-adventure title, where the emphasis changed to creating a "parody" on game development troupes, instead of teaching the concepts of game development itself.
Initially I took on the role of a lead game designer, and worked on finalizing all the game systems required as per our design pillars, intentions, and the game loop envisioned in pre-production.
Once the design was set-up, we shifted our focus to executing it through level design and progression. And to fill in multiple roles in our project, I shifted my path into narrative design, and 3D animations to explore more on their development process.
Over the course of production:
I crafted around over 15+ characters with features inclusive of - name, gender, age, faction, hierarchy, traits, occupation, appearance, and behavior.
At the end I've written around 15,000+ words of dialogues for my level, and few for all the supporting levels in the game.
Not every line of dialogue made it in the final vertical slice, as we had to cut down a lot of them to make the player focus on the gameplay in our final months of implementation.
For the animations - I modified around 150+ animations from mixamo & mocap to our specific rigs for implementation.
I also key-framed few specific humanoid animations, and also crafted a full-fledged specially rigged monster with a unique visual identity as per our artistic intentions.
We initially struggled a lot on onboarding our players into the many systems we had in our level design, and we also struggled on creating a cohesive progression for the vertical slice execution.
To be honest we didn't have much clue on how to get this right in the beginning. We kept on iterating on our level design and progression until we noticed a change with our fresh playtests, where players actively began engaging with all of the 1 hour vertical slice content in one go ready for more.
I personally believe things could have been much better, but this is where I realized experience matters. You can't just go and create best games out there. They can only be crafted by planning, iteration, and determination.
In our final days, many industry professionals came in to take a look at our end result, and potentially judge if we failed on the project or not. To make the project presentable, we made lots of marketing material like - budget planning, competitor benchmarks, teasers, trailers, pitch presentations, and physical pamphlets and booklets for making our project stand out among others.
The project at the end was highly appreciated for the amount of content it had, and the quality of execution as compared to regular student projects.
WHAT WENT RIGHT?
Concept had high potential for full release.
The amount of content presented at the end was more than ample for the member count working vs. time allotted.
The vertical slice quality at the end was well appreciated among professionals working in the industry.
We had to be really creative while dealing with the low artist count on team for executing the desired art direction.
Maintained robust documentation across all departments to keep track of the development progress.
A lot of effort was put in clearing out dependencies, planning, and dealing with development disruptions.
WHAT TO IMPROVE?
Highly ambitious for a student project. We definitely needed a reality check while going into production.
The project doesn't feature any SFX / Audio.
Account for technical challenges while working with no programmers on the team (which got our final build corrupted).
We have to better plan for number of iterations done in pre-production to execute the project the right way.