Out of Time - 2D arena shooter (October 2018 - April 2019, Unity)

Designer

Action party title. Designed one of the multiplayer maps, co-designed the core mechanics and created production documents. Supervised sound design and was co-programmer on the initial prototype.

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Out of Time was presented at Level Up Student Showcase 2019. You can download that build here.

Based on a two-week prototype with the theme "time", Out of Time became a multi-month project with a team of 16 people. Someone pitched the idea of a Towerfall-style game, our programmer had a scrapped prototype of time rewind and time stopping powers, and things clicked.

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Over the course of a few months we continued to polish, stripping out character-exclusive abilities, grenades, and anything else that wasn't going to be highly polished. Before and during the LevelUp showcase, we were lucky to have some big fans who hung around to play for about a dozen rounds, helping us account for more experienced players.  

A large design challenge was getting players to use both rewind and melee dash abilities. We tried storing shots during dash to get shotgunned on resume, having players invincible during rewind, and a lot of different control types. The result is still pretty chaotic, and that was the plan to a point. But generally those who play for more than a couple rounds learn the rock-paper-sissors of the powers and use them intentionally.

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Sticking with 2D frame-by-frame art was something the team wanted from the beginning, and while another approach might have let us add more characters, it was worth the tradeoff to have something that looks strong and unique. 

The time travel concept allowed us to set levels wherever we wanted, and I liked the idea of taking an old setting like Victorian London and adding sci-fi elements. To stand out against the other two levels in production I opted for something more vertical, with a central moving platform that could be timed as a sort of shield as well as lending itself to aerial fights. And I liked the idea of experienced players using their melee dash to get around without waiting for the platform. While the result didn't receive enough playtesting to be included in the LevelUp build's map rotation, it's still in the project files, and the result is pretty fun, and an exciting first stab at multiplayer level design. In retrospect I wished I had asked the stage artist to put more sci-fi in the level, like making the ferris wheel chrome. And if the stage music had a theremin in the mix, oh man...

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