Here are the projects I took part in only as a Game Designer and not programming in any manner. I’m less and less used to this kind of work as I like to implement things in engine.
First, a word about how I approach my work in Game Design. In my point of view, to build an interesting and coherent experience, it’s necessary to have strong intentions as a base for the game and always refer to them. That’s how I like to work : first define the most precisely the experience intentions, then develop mechanics regarding to it.
After that, I like to discuss with every creation poles to hear their opinion about a mechanic or any other idea developped by game designers. Knowing how the artists plan to represent a mechanic can sometimes give me a lead on how to develop it further. Discuss the same mechanic with programmers may give me a more practical approach of it and make me see from a different angle and improve it.
Finally, I like to always look the « bigger picture »: How a new mechanic fit in the whole game design of the game.
(10/02/2020 – 31/01/2021)
Developed on Unity 2019.
XIII is the multiplatform (PC, PS4, XBOX One) remake of the original and classic FPS XIII from 2003. I worked on the game as an Experienced Game Designer for PlayMagic Malta.
During this project, my first mission has been to entirely design the AI of the enemies, creating behaviour trees and working closely with the programmer in charge of implementing them. Once implemented, I was in charge of the entire balancing of the enemies and bosses.
It was a very interesting challenge for me as it was my first time designing AIs entirely. However, the lack of time and iteration cycles made it impossible to have a satisfying result in the end. On the more positive side, the balancing (considering the base material of the behaviour) was honest.
If I was to do it again, I would definitely make the behavior in a different way. I learnt a lot about AI design during this project and I feel like the confidence I acquired would be very positive for the game overall.
My second mission was to balance and improve the gamefeel of the weapons. I had to do some fine tweaking of the recoil, the fire rate, the damage of each weapon of the game.
The balancing was a challenge because I had to manage to find the sweet spot to make them feel bad-ass while not overly hard to control or, on the other hand, irresponsibly powerful. It was a constant back-and-forth between the animation department (to make sure that the recoil I was putting on the weapon was not breaking the aesthetic aspect of the game), myself and the various playtesters (to know if they felt like the weapons were enjoyable to use).
Looking at the result, I feel like the weapons in XIII are very flat. They lack some oomph. The damage are almost there, they are around the sweet spot. The handling is okay, it needs more fine tuning but none of the weapon is immersion-breakingly inaccurate or slow. However, the recoil is really where everything collapses. The weapons really don’t feel like they are heavy or powerful.
If I was to do it again, I would push to redesign the system that was in charge of the recoil to make it more interesting for the player.
My third task on XIII was to take charge of the main stealth levels of the game. I was to place the AIs, define the player’s path and make sure that the overall experience of the level was positive.
I must admit that it was the biggest of my challenges on the game and I feel like I failed it. Some of the ideas in place in the levels were interesting (as described by playtesters) but the overall realization wasn’t there and, therefore, even the good ideas were drowned in the mess.
My first mistake was to make the stealth levels too difficult. If the player was caught, he would barely have a chance to get back on his feet. Any mistake he would make would cost him a game over. I identified this issue as coming from the fact that I was constantly testing the level and had such a clear idea of the perfect path I wanted for the player that I forgot that the player would have to figure out the perfect path. I knew my levels too well for my own sake.
My second mistake was to make these levels too dry. I made the stealth aspect mandatory since they were supposed to be working as « stealth mandatory » levels. However, I forgot to add any opportunity for the player to play with the stealth and have fun with it.
I corrected these mistakes after some time. I reduced the number of AIs and reduced a bit their viewcones to give the player a better chance and I added a couple of more « toyish » elements where the player could hide and assassinate the AIs without being seen. It took me some time to figure out the issues and unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to correct all the mistakes I had made.
Overall this project has been a great teacher on many subjects and has given me the occasion to get initiated in a lot of domains I was, so far, unfamiliar with.
Developed on Unity 5.
Muld is a cross-platform (PC & Tablet) management serious game teaching the player how to manage a farm in Denmark. I worked on that game during my internship at Lucus.
In Muld, the player embodies a farmer trying to run his farm the best he can and realizing his dreams (goals in the game). To do so he has to take care of his animals (pigs, cows or chickens) and his crops. The game has the will to be realistic and thus to show what it really is to be a farmer in Denmark. The game deals with notions such as environmental impact of a farm or the importance of the Supply/Demand law of market.
The game targets the Danish pupils and their teachers as farm management is a subject taught in high school. The discipline covers matters from economics to biology and Muld is a great way to explain all this to the students.
My mission on Muld was to design coherent mechanics to flesh out the overall system and balance it. I also had to design UI and write a tutorial to teach the player how to properly play the game and understand all the teachings the game had to give.
This game made me work with different kind of people than usual like teachers or someone responsible for the pedagogy in the game. I also had to make specific researches to learn a maximum of informations and be as realistic as possible. One of my main problematic was to bring balance between the game aspect and the realism of the experience to keep the game fun and educational.
Galactic Lobby is a 2-4 players 4x boardgame I developed during my first year in Supinfogame with three other students.
In Galactic Lobby, the player embodies the head of a super-company wanting to expand its galactic empire. To do so he has to conquer as many planets as he can. However, other companies have the same idea and the galaxy is not big enough for so much greed. Every player has then to fight, bargain or destroy planets to be the richest at the end of the game when one of them is totally destroyed or the galaxy is completely ruined.
Each game last between 20 and 45 minutes. The experience is based on the rise and fall of each player and the temporary alliances created amongst the players.
On this project I was both Game Designer and Writer. I had to co-design the mechanics, create physical prototypes and create a narrative background justifying the war between the companies (a 20 pages booklet describes all the setting).