Category Archives: Original Characters
In the wake of the Dec. 9th announcement of Dina Abou Karam as Comcept’s community manager, the gaming community is still feeling the aftershocks of screeching dudebros splitting the earth. Outcries range from simply not getting along with her personality to demanding that she be fired from the team and/or refunding donation money. Karam’s big crime? Suggesting on the Mighty No. 9 forums that the female audience receive more acknowledgement. Oh, and being a woman herself.
The unanticipated backlash of Karam’s appointment has once again raised the issue of the grotesque amounts of sexism and misogyny present in the world of video games. Discussions have fired off over the harassment of female gamers (such as what’s happening to Karam) as well as the under-representation of women in games themselves (which was Karam’s original point). I was going to write an article that examined these issues as well, but my attention shifted to something more subtle — and more insidious.
Project Length: 5 Weeks (5/4/13 – 6/1/13)
Team: Loud Cat (4 Members)
My Roles: Concept art, Game Mechanics, Character Development, Artwork (Environment, Weapons, Interface)
End Product: Full Game (Android)
In late spring 2013, I became a member of Team Loud Cat, which to date has been my most successful team. With little more intent than the decision to make a mobile game, we centered on the idea of a chaotic top-down shooter that broke the mold of fighter jets and roaming tanks. After quickly agreeing that junk food vs. veggies could have mass appeal, we settled on a cat as the protagonist, at least partly to honor our team name. Zach Allen, our programmer, nicknamed the project Baker Cat vs. The Veggies.
Baker Cat vs. Hellthy Veggies is the most adorable bullet hell gamers have ever seen. Players take on the role of the Baker Cat, who’s had enough of this ridiculous health food craze and is determined to bring delicious baked goods back into the public spotlight! Employing the use of donuts, cookies, cupcakes, and frosting, Baker Cat progresses through either a farmer’s market or an organic farm to eliminate the veggies — and it’s just as well, because it seems like the vegetables are getting a little out of control…
Both adults and children enjoy this exciting cute-’em-up, which offers a refreshing mix of challenging gameplay, catchy music, and fun characters and environments. Baker Cat is available free for Android via the Google Play Store.
When I first started creating this story, I decided that I wanted to go against the grain as far as what conventional protagonists tend to be like. Madame Dibi would typically be considered a villainous character by most standards, and yet she sees herself as one of the few people willing to stand up for what’s right. Her perception of ethics and incredibly low opinion of her peers makes her interesting to write, and as far as I’ve been told, she’s also fascinating to read.
In the spring of 2012, I began working on a fantasy story in which people develop supernatural-like powers relating in some way to the natural world. These abilities are called uurha (pronounced “oor-rah,” with a slight roll on the R), and while most people are predisposed to at least one kind of uurha naturally, others can be learned if hard work and study is applied. However, few people take the time to pursue anything other than the uurha that comes most naturally.
The story’s protagonist, Madame Dibi, has concluded that the society of Virdith has been poisoned with laziness, and most of its citizens are beyond redemption. She’s made it her mission to eradicate anyone that she deems unworthy of their life.
Project Length: 20 Weeks (10/16/12 – 3/12/13)
Team: Rotten Ideas (5 Members)
My Roles: Concept art, Story, Level Design, Character Development, Set Pieces, NPCs, Easter Eggs
End Product: Game Demo
In the winter of 2012/13, I was part of a game design team called Rotten Ideas. Over the course of 20 weeks, we developed Shape’Scape, a multi-character puzzle-platformer. I was responsible for the story, character designs, facial expressions, NPCs, set piece assets, and about 30-40% of the level design. I also participated in the overall concepting of the game, but that was a shared process amongst the entire team.
Project Length: 5 Weeks (10/19/12 – 11/16/12)
Team: HotKeys (6 Members)
My Roles: Public Relations, Writing & Documentation, Character Development
End Product: Game Design Document
In the fall of 2012, I worked on a team of six to develop a mock-up FPS for the Xbox 360 over the course of five weeks. My team, known as HotKeys, developed a game called Relapse, revolving around a zombie-like virus having broken out in a military facility. It is up to Sgt. Jax, a soldier and engineer, and Dr. Mirez, a doctor and medical researcher, to put a stop to the outbreak before the infected make it outside of the base.