Portfolio

This is my portfolio of games and prototypes I’ve developed over the years. Following a brief introduction of each game is a slideshow with images and further details on aspects of the project I found important.

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Cavernous Pink

Enemy Design

Cavernous Pink is my most recent project, originally created in Flash in three days for Ludum Dare #34 under the thematic constraints of “growing” and “two-button controls” and is currently being developed further.

The game focuses on a player controlled life cycle for each enemy. Enemies change and evolve depending on what happens to them and on learning how to effect these changes the player can master survival and manage risk vs. reward. The slideshow delves into these relationships.

Cavernous Pink uses a simple control scheme with a separate button for left and right while jumping is triggered by holding then releasing both simultaneously.

The additional use of the jump input while airborne to perform an accelerated descent provides the player control in 3 directions at all times to respond to incoming threats and opportunities.

All enemies have an advantageous use
as well as pose a danger to the player.

Jellyfish can be used to remain airborne.


Although their tendrils hurt so keeping the population in check is a good idea.

Once killed the Jellyfish evolves into a Slime followed by a Slime wall.

The Slime provides a complimentary obstacle to the airborne Jellyfish.

They will amass creating difficult ground cover to land on until an Eel is lured in to destroy them.

Although dealing no direct damage the Slime bounces the player up into airborne hazards and are invulnerable to damage from the player.

Eels are the compliment to the Slimes.

When the Eel spots the player it turns to move in that direction.

The player can exploit this to lure it into Slimes which pop against its saw nose.

This clears space but causes the Eel to grow in length.

Not only can Eels be controlled by luring but by removing their tail.

This drops them to the ground making them vulnerable to the player.

Being on the ground also lines them up to destroy numerous Slimes once its tail regrows and it charges.

All these interactions between enemies and the player lend depth to gameplay beyond the simple destruction of everything on screen.

This project still has a way to go before I can call it complete but I am proud of its controls and enemy design.

I will be updating Cavernous Pink as I develop more features and fine-tune existing ones.

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Fish Monger

Level Design

Fish Monger was originally created in Flash in three days for Ludum Dare #33 although a lot of work has since been done. The game is a time limited top-down stealth game that provides the player with the ability to knock for distractions (like Snake) and temporarily turn invisible by collecting and eating snacks.

When time runs out the game begins to scroll forces the player to rush ahead or be left behind. Thus levels are designed to be completed quickly with extra challenge involved if the player wishes to collect the snacks (Gold Fish crackers). The following slideshow gives an in-depth breakdown of the player’s stealth options in two of the levels and gives a brief description of how difficulty is escalated.

The levels in Fish Monger escalate in difficulty by:
- forcing the player to maneuver closer to enemies and their line of sight
- requiring the use of wall knocks to attract enemies
- overlapping enemy's lines of sight so the player is in danger from multiple directions at one time
- the amount of time needed to traverse an area is closer to the time limit so mistakes and delays have more impact

The collection of gold fish crackers, which can be eaten for invisibility, was kept difficult from the first area. These are for extra challenge once the player is comfortable with an area and to entice them into riskier parts of the level.

All crackers can be collected in one play.

This being an introductory section the enemies were kept apart in two separate interactions.

Provided with cover at Aa and Ab the player can pick the right time to enter the patrol and work their way around.

Interaction A involves a patrol of 2 guards along the cyan route. Their turning points are indicated in-game by manhole covers. A visual cue which is used consistently throughout Fish Monger.

Opting to go left provides an easy safe path where the player can move along with the patrol.

Although once the player has competence they can short-cut through the right side by maneuvering left of the enemy as they reach the circled manhole. This maneuver can get the gold fish with lots of time to spare, but has much higher risk.

Section B was meant to get the player to knock at Ba to lure the guard away from his post. When playtesting most players attempted to sneak along Bb and behind him.

I liked that close maneuvering like that was possible so the enemy hitbox was made smaller so succeeding this way didn't have to be pixel perfect. But to still encourage knocking at Ba the goldfish was placed in the enemy line of sight so he had to be moved before the fish could be grabbed.

This next area comes near the end of the game, provides many possible paths and requires awareness of multiple enemies at a time.

Section A has four ways to successfully pass. The simplest of which is to wait at Aa until either enemy turns and the player can squeeze past their sight cone.

The other paths are opened by knocking. Knocking at either Ab or Ad can distract a single enemy. The walls are shaped as corners to allow the player to act in relative safety, providing time to move before the enemy can see them.

Ac can also be knocked at to attract both enemies. This is a high risk option as there is no wall for protection like at Ab and Ad. Although it clears the path of both enemies so that both crackers can be grabbed.

The Section B enemy is fairly easy to avoid but there points at Ba and Bb where enemies from Section A can spot the player.

Also Section B persists as a threat to Section C. As knocking is required at either Ca or Cb the player must time their knock so as not to attract the patrolling Section B enemy and trap themselves between two threats.

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*NOTE* Unfortunately because of the noisy tileset gif optimization is poor so only one is used. They were far too big.



Sinner Party

Atmosphere & Humour

Made for Ludum Dare #32 in Unity I worked on Sinner Party beyond the deadline for an additional week and because of its small scope wound up as my most polished game development project. The scale of the game being so small allowed me to spend time developing a strong sense of atmosphere, working out the kinks in gameplay, and delving into audio which is a seldom tread territory for me.

In Sinner Party the player must keep a table of guests free of distraction so that they may be fed until they are contently full. The focus of this project was in the creation of a disturbing yet humorous atmosphere. Elements in the setting, actions of the NPCs, writing, and audio all contributed to this and a few are explained in the following slideshow.

The controls are simplistic, the mouse being used for everything.

Right click picks up food while held and throws once released.

Left click makes the player point which gets the attention of undistracted pigs prompting them to open their mouths and watch the player, waiting for their grub.

This straight forward scheme keeps focus on the actions of the dinner guests rather than mastery of execution.

The game opens in an impossible room. Sitting at a a table floating in the air and surrounded by bodyless pigs.

A sharp row of teeth below chomps out a calm explanation to the player. They are here to host a dinner party.

The contrast of the dark setting with a mundane objective creates a surreal atmosphere.

Gameplay consists of a carnival game like dinner service. Guests often fade off to sleep or get lost in conversation while the player hucks food in their mouths to fatten them until they're too heavy and drop into the gnashing teeth below.

In this we again see a contrast of silliness against the Satanic backdrop. Violence tempered by humorous mechanics.

Gameplay can end numerous ways.

Failure is achieved by either running out of food or time each of which prompts a unique speech of derision from your employer. After which, like the pork chops before you, you plummet down into the deeper regions of Hell.

If the player should feed all pigs to the room they are congratulated and remain working in this purgatory for the gluttonous.

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Sludge City

Level Design

Made in Flash for Ludum Dare #28 Sludge City is an action puzzle game in the spirit of Pipe Mania/Pipe Dream. Trapped in a sewer system with a load of gooey beasts the player is left with only one weapon, their own explosive death.

To achieve victory the player must navigate through the pipes rotating the section they are currently within. Using this ability they can connect pipes so that all monsters are on one circuit. Upon detonating themselves the explosion travels through the pipeline destroying every creature it touches. The game demands the player think towards an overall solution as well of their own immediate safety.

Turning a section with an enemy on it forces them away. As long as the player notices and reacts before they are hit safety is guaranteed.

This allows for an aggressive action play style by getting in the enemies' faces and forcing them away. As well it provides a semi-safe bubble to think and plan out your strategy.

Death by self detonation or in enemy hands emits the same explosion.

This is done so that as long as the player has found and assembled the solution they have won regardless of how they die.

Enemies escalate for a progressively more constant threat to the player's safety with ranged attacks, movement, and growth.

Over all 25 levels the escalation is broken into arcs. An arc beginning at the introduction of a new enemy with a simple level to showcase their capabilities and provide a brief break.

Levels then grow to incorporate previous enemies and more labyrinthine layouts until a new arc begins.

Level design, a variety of dangers, and the snappy player controls all come together to create an action-packed puzzle game.

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Raze da Roof

Atmosphere & Visual Cues

Raze da Roof was developed for GameJolts Contest #10 in Unity for the theme “Party” with music created by Landon Podbielski and the mesh shattering script written by Andrew Morrish. My goal in developing this game was, like a party, to not have any particular objective but provide a venue for people to mess around and make their own fun. The combination of physics altering drinks, hidden mutators, and an obstacle course like layout of door and window frames helped to achieve this. Ultimately the experience is more akin to visiting a playground than playing a game.

This slideshow covers some of the methods used to visually hint at different ways players could mess around within the world.

Booze not only makes the player stumble around as if tripping in ultra low gravity but the bottles leave trails of alcohol drops as they are knocked around.

The trails act as an optional game, trying to stay on course with the droplets as your character gets progressively drunker and harder to control. The player can even "win" when they drink too much and collapse to the ground.

Raze da Roof uses visual and audio cues to hint at gameplay mutators. For example there is a man entranced by and staring at the disco ball. This serves to indicate two things.

First that the disco ball has an effect if stared at.

Second...

... after staring at the ball the players eyes acquire a sparkle similar to that of the disco ball indicating that their stare now shares its enchanting characteristics.

Hereafter the player is free to charm fellow attendees with their gaze and can build a posse of followers.

There is also a secret combination of effects. When the player flies though a pot smoke ring they, on top of getting logey, acquire a red sparkle to their eyes.

This effect is the same as the disco sparkle and is meant to encourage players to try and mix the two. Mixing naturally results in laser vision, bestowing the player with the god-like ability to smite other partiers with their deadly stare.

Similar to the hot pink balloons, which break on impact. Victims of the players laser gaze acquire a hot pink hue just before bursting.

This tells the player that they will act like the balloon and adds a bonus way to play with the laser. By removing ones gaze from the victim while pink the player can ram them to pieces.

With a dense, quick to traverse environment Raze da Roof focused on an exploration of functionality more than physical space.

I appreciate this kind of game design and greatly enjoyed my time spent working on this project.

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Big Bang

Level Design

Made in Flash for Ludum Dare #23 Big Bang is a puzzle game inspired by water displacement tests. The idea of putting one thing in to push another out was interpreted as filling a planet with two substances before it could release one of its own. These substances are people of each gender which is determined by the color of the planet they emerge from. Impregnating a planet takes one of each gender at which point the planet can birth 1, 2, or 3 groups depending on its size. The slideshow will be covering how the first four levels introduce the games basic concepts step-by-step.

The first level has one planet of each gender ready to birth and only one planet to receive. This demonstrates the fundamental process of filling a planet with one of each colour.

Second level begins with a mid-sized planet as the only usable one. This gets the player to use it and see that larger planets emit multiple shots.

The two remaining planets being of different size serves dual purpose:
1) to emphasize that there are different sizes
2) that no matter the size only one shot is required to fill a planet

The third begins with the final size of planet, demonstrating how many shots it is capable of. Barren planets are also introduced and act as impassable walls.

On this level whenever a planet becomes pregnant the barren planet blocks access so available connections are equal to the selected planet's output.

This is done so the only way the player can fail is by firing into the barren rock. Which would reinforce its functionality should the player not yet understand.

The beginning of level four presents only one shot of blue and two planets that it could impregnate on the first turn.

This choice stresses that the player must take note of how the following turn will play out. It is tempting to fill the pink planet as there is currently no supply of pink but this would leave the player with no blue afterwards. Filling the mid-size blue instead allows for pink to be obtained the next turn.

Big Bang is a short game of only 10 levels.

Although I feel it brings a unique concept with a tutorial that allows the player to learn the basic principles with their own brain power.

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Mimic Maze

Level Design

Made in Flash for Ludum Dare #21 with the theme “Escape”, Mimic Maze was developed beyond the original entry to include a new game mode and far more levels. All levels are filled with red and blue aliens that the player can control with their own movements one colour at a time. The player must plan on how to use their limited motion to maneuver the alien units out of the way, clearing a path to the goal. The slideshow will explain the two game modes and what gameplay principles each exercise.

The first game mode, simply called "Normal" mode is similar to the board game Rush Hour.

Constricted by the walls of the level the player must rearrange the aliens to clear a path to the goal.

Normal mode practices the skill of rearranging groups of units to create openings by pushing against the walls.

"Zone" mode provides a wider range of motion for the player. But aliens cannot leave their area without setting the player back a move.

This mode focuses more on using the aliens themselves as walls. The immobile colour acting as a wall so that the other does not get pushed out of bounds while the player is moving.

Using the skills exercised the player can beat all 42 levels of Mimic Maze.

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Prototypes, Experiments, and Failures

Besides these projects I have entered other game jams and spent a lot of time just trying things out to see what I can do. Here’s a brief slideshow showcasing GIFs from many of these experiments.

Chomp Samba, made in two days for Barfcade

Acid Shrimp, made in two days for Barfcade (same week as Chomp Samba)

Playing with collapsing ground for Dig Dug/tower defence cross over concept dubbed "Queen Mother"

Experimenting with text effects in Flash AS3

Proof of concept for a Tetris-like puzzle game borrowing heavily from Gorby no Pipeline Daisakusen

Briefly played with some Turn Based Strategy development.
The game I was set on making was too large for me on my lonesome so I quickly moved on from this.

Mesh creation and deformation experiments in Unity.

The waveform could also take graph data to set shape.

(whoops on the multiple graph recording)

Proof of concept for a first person adventure with a text parser driven conversation system.

Tongue tied, vomit propelled tug of war amidst a shower of flying fists and fast food.

Régurgiter was developed while I still lived in fear of audio design and is thus very near completion.

Togglio was made for Ludum Dare #26 for the theme minimalism

Apologies for the trailing on the gif. ScreenToGif does not seem to like Togglio's colour scheme.

Lancescaping
(name courtesy of Dayton McKay)

Urine Trouble was made for Ludum Dare #22.
Not very well designed but it was funny.

I learned a lot from ASD: Warriors Three as it was my first completed project. Unfortunately it has a core design flaw that makes it very difficult to lose.

With what I have since learned this game would be designed very differently.

Night Train mostly functions as a test project. Trying out Unity lighting, lightmapping, and learning more about shaders.

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© 2016 Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha