With breakneck speed the player's rushing along the inside of a giant orb. There is no horizon, up and down are relative. Immersed in the virtual reality, the player can look around at full speed. Dozens of enemies are floating around - every contact is deadly. The player is leaning foward to accelerate, then suddenly to the side to evade an enemy. The heart races! There are more and more enemies, and it’s getting harder to find any gaps inside the clutter. Thinking quickly the player breaks away to the side and gets through one of the gates. All around, the black beasts are exploding! But as soon as has he regained some speed, the player notices how every enemy in sight is heading towards him! In panic he tries to escape, and drives directly into one of the machines. The highscore flashes.
Date: 4th semester (2015)
Duration: 3 weeks
Team Size: 4 people
Technology: Unity 3D, C#, Oculus Rift DK2, Wii Balance Board
Constraints: Make a full playable game prototype that uses an alternative interface-device. We were given a list of possible devices and then decided on our own to use two of them together.
My Part: I worked on the game concept and iterated the gameplay to what it finally became. I especially spent a lot of my time to design and balance the player movement. Also I did all the organizational work.
What I've learned: By working a lot on the movement, I really unterstood what it means to (try to) perfect a single game aspect. A lot of times I thought: "That's it. It can't be better," but then I still got further and further. Also very important was the cooperation with the programmer of our team. It was the first time I worked with a dedicated media computer scientist - and it was so educational to see how different game designers and programmers think, but also how to work with and learn from that.
Early on we only decided that the player should move along the inside of a giant sphere. For the exact gameplay we therefore started to concept different little game modes and then prototyped them one after the other until we found something awesome. In that way, we slowly iterated the game to its final version.
The movement is the core mechanic of inVert. I spent a lot of time in order to concept, implement, test and balance this crucial aspect of the game. To find out how the player controls the game at all, I made different control-concepts and then had them tested in a little ingame course.
From there, I could then refine the movement step by step - again based on a lot of testing. We wanted to have the movement as good as possible - intuitive, but still with a lot of little details for players mastering it. Elements like drifting or moving backwards are examples of that.
Just like in my other 4th semester project we had our own little studio space for the whole time. This was again especially convenient for working closely together and managing the project.