I/O

A giant virus is making its way to the twin-cores of the system. A race begins! Slowly but steady the red beast climbs up and with it chaos comes. Previously solid platforms have turned into a glitchy mess of data. In this hardcore platformer the player has to reach the top before the virus does, or everything is lost. Thanks to his ability the player can not just jump and run, but also switch the state of the platforms and walls close to him - solid to permeable and vice versa. On his way he can also provoke the virus, preventing it from making more damage, but beware: Anger makes it faster.
 

Project Information

Date: 2nd semester (2014)
Duration: 5 months
Team Size: 5 people
Technology: Unity 3D, C#
Constraints: Make a full playable vertical slice of a 2D platformer using the Unity-Engine. It has to be about 4 screens long, containing exactly one player character and one enemy type, both with sound and animation.
My Part: I worked on the game concept, the system- and level design, as well as their implementation.
 

What I've learned: I/O was the first digital game I've ever made, so basically everything was new. I learned how to approach a game like this and work on it together with a (wonderful) team. I've learned how to test rough ideas in (analog) prototypes, and then iterate these to turn an idea into a game. I've learned how to use the Unity Engine (at least in 2D) to make first greybox levels with crappy controls, turning them bit by bit in an actually playable game!


Workflow Examples

Due to the constraint that we could only use one enemy, we decided to make the whole game a battle between a giant monster and the player. (Both left images by Team Member Philipp G.)

We developed the idea of a race between these to climb a tower- I started making the first rough level design sketches. Based on these we prototyped the game with bricks and had some fellow students fake-play it.


Although the prototyping showed that the rough concept could work, there was still a lot to do to refine the gameplay. Early on we decided to make a hardcore platformer - translating a certain feeling of stress to the player but also a final satisfaction and fiero. I developed the concept of hurting the beast and by that gaining points, but also making it faster (and it therefore harder to win).

With the Machinations-Tool I balanced the race, so that the more attacks the player does, the less errors he can make in climbing the tower - but still leaving enough room to keep it fair. (http://www.jorisdormans.nl/machinations/)

Another main aspect was the ability of the player to switch the states of different platforms. I scribbled down different ideas I had for this mechanic and then started to test them in a simple in-engine prototype.

 As the development went on, I iterated the level as well as the gameplay in different greybox states until it became its final version.