Category Archives: Game Design
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.
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: 4 Weeks (7/12/11 – 8/11/11)
My Roles: Gameplay Mechanics, UI Design
End Product: Full Interface Conversion & Demo
One of the most important elements of gaming is the user interface. Even an immaculately designed game can come crashing down if it controls poorly or the player can’t ascertain the information they need. As a test of skill, this project was a challenge to take a console-based game — one that has plenty of buttons available — and translate it to an Apple product format. The game needed to convert logically and remain as intuitive to play as it was on its home platform.
To meet this challenge, I chose the 2008 Prince of Persia. Neverminding that this is one of my favorite games, I felt that it had a control scheme that I could condense without losing the essence of the game itself. Prince of Persia is and always has been about fluidity of motion, and as such I believed it would benefit from simplified controls anyway.
Project Length: 6 Weeks (1/29/13 – 3/14/13)
My Roles: Gameplay Mechanics, Level Design, Play Testing, Writing (Content & Layout)
End Product: Playable Board Game, Complete Game Manual
This project originated as an exercise in creating additional level maps for the game Portal 2 that utilized a game element that had been cut from the final product. My teacher had suggested to me that I prototype my ideas in a board game fashion, and with that in mind, I decided to make them out of Legos. It was fast, simple, and wouldn’t fall apart easily.
Unexpectedly, as I built my level designs, I began thinking about how Portal would work if it really WERE a board game. Before I knew it, my mind was teeming with ideas about how to translate the design into a unique physical format while maintaining the essence of the original. My project completely changed gears so I could explore the idea in full.
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.