Copy editing and graphic design for a set of postcards advertising my wife's wedding planning business.
I had another great experience at Global Game Jam Vancouver.
This time I jammed with 6 other CAPCOM employees and my friend, Michael Lee (www.soundcloud.com/pixelee), an amazing artist who provided us with exhilarating music and SFX.
The theme, "ritual," inspired us to create a twin-stick shooter where an ibex uses magical powers to protect itself from villagers trying to ritually sacrifice him. Made with Unreal using 3D models from Maya.
See the full credits below and check out the game page at www.globalgamejam.com/node/30800
My role was 3D modeling & UVs with additional responsibilities including scoping and guiding our project schedule, mentoring UE4 visual scripting, and imparting (surprisingly little) design wisdom. I photoshopped the credits and game over screens too.
Our goal is to create a multiplayer puzzle game in Unity3D that allows people in different places to solve a puzzle together even though they all can only see one part of the puzzle. There are three players who all see a structure composed of three coloured tetrominos, one of which they can control (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetromino). Each player also see a unique shadow cast by a light that only they can see, giving them a unique perspective on the puzzle. When the puzzle is solved, the pieces are united in a glowing consensus that spreads across the whole world (cut due to scope). The degree of communication between players is left entirely to whoever decides to participate in the game. This is in keeping with our groups discussions that centred on the idea of isolation that we drew from the GGJ 2014 Theme, and how one must take initiative to take themselves out of the conditions that create the feeling of isolation. Our hope is to develop stronger Unity3D skills, and create puzzles that can be solved.
Since players are familiar with environments that create shadow puppets, and controlling tetris blocks with arrow keys, we decided that solving a multidimensional puzzle as a team would be an adequate challenge. In Canvas, your character is a tetromino that represents a human being with its own objectives. Success, however, does not come from achieving what appears to be the goal in front of you, but from bringing everyone closer to their goals - even when you do not know them.
My role in the creation of Canvas focuses on the creation of art assets, presentation of the game space, and troubleshooting the puzzles created by various members of the team so they are functional. This project would not have been possible without Matt and Andrew's understanding of server code and repositories, or Pietro's familiarity with board games and physical prototyping. Throughout this project, I feel that every one of us contributed equally to design and felt positive about the idea that we helped cultivate. I gained a better understanding of coding for multiplayer games in Unity3D, improved my Maya skills, and thought about aspects of game design that I normally delegate to others including composition, colour palettes, and trying to create a mood using soundtracks and visual design. I definitely recommend trying a Game Jam for the atmosphere, the experience, and exposure to new perspectives and aspects of game design that are not in your current skill set.
Update: See the final product at http://globalgamejam.org/2014/games/canvas and notice that it is no longer a multiplayer game. The previously dependable server code went ballistic on the morning of submission so we adapted our design to get a submission in by the deadline. This is a common outcome of GGJ Projects but should not deter anyone from attempting them!
This summer I made a Game Design Document for a strategy game staring adorably backward humans who must compete for resources against highly advanced and bureaucratic futuristic civilizations. The document ran well over 100 pages, but it is far from complete. I have been rethinking the basic strategic elements since playing Pixel People, and took some time today to reaffirm the pillars of this game and overhaul the concept before working on the document again.
There are five pillars, which may be excessive, but that will stand until the game loops are more established. The first pillar is humour. The second and third pillars are the inspiration for this game: the enemy is playing a european style game where players do not influence others actions directly and the player is the only one playing that acts with a zero sum game mindset. The fourth pillar is repurposing tools, an idea in the original concept that was not as developed as it could be in the original document. The fifth pillar is a collection of game theory concepts that I want to develop in the repurposing mini-game and the world domination meta-game. Respectively, they are mapping, ordering, and nesting, versus allocation, growth, specialization, cybernetics, and system dynamics. In order to achieve the second and third pillars, the enemy AI may have to be designed using complex adaptive systems as well. Stated simply, the fifth pillar is to keep these concepts in mind while continuing to design the game so that it can avoid becoming as convoluted or shallow as previous iterations.
I have been reading the Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks, which inspired me to make the Starship Arya an integral character to the both the plot and an important NPC that assign missions to the player. So far, I have been working on a puzzle design chart for a tutorial challenge. A lot of the details are vague because 1) they have been covered in previous iterations and 2) they may need to be updated once the concept is developed more fully. Here are the basic steps:
1. You found an bike frame in a trash heap and you need to make it run again to make your UnderNauts able to move faster.
2. You ask the Starship Arya for a recipe to make the bike frame work and must complete one of several objectives to unlock a unique recipe that corresponds to the individual mission you completed. You will not be able to stumble upon locked recipes through experimentation until you level up the Science skill tree, so for now you must unlock them one at a time.
3. Salvage and combine parts to form any components that the recipe requires.
4. Attach these components to the frame as well as additional parts that are needed.
5. Solder these parts in an acceptable order to link them together and create a working bike.
Also, I want to move away from grungy and dirty, worn-out graphic design plans and towards a pre-school pastel and incorrectly assembled, misshapen style. This means revising HUD and menus, but I think it will benefit the game's aesthetic. The Prince of Thorns trilogy by Mark Lawrence has been another source of inspiration, but to explicitly say why would be a massive spoiler for those who number among the far too many that have not read these books.
More to come. Until then Happy Holidays!