The Surge

The Surge is an action RPG set in a world ravaged by war and global warming. The game offers a hardcore experience, with a focus on challenging, visceral melee combat. The player needs to carefully study the enemies, rather than blindly rushing and wildly swinging weapons without focus. Each enemy has attack patterns and weaknesses, the player must strike hard and fast – even the weakest of enemies can be deadly! Thanks to the dynamic targeting system, the opponents’ specific limbs can be targeted to dismember them, in order to loot or craft the attached equipment. The choice opens up for the easy kill by hitting unarmored limbs, or the attempt to claim a piece of equipment from the enemy by targeting a specific area. Balancing the need to survive against the desire for new equipment is key to overcome the game's challenges.

Project Information

Company: Deck13 Interactive
Position: Game Design Intern
Time: 4months, 2016
Status: Released 2017 for PC, Xbox One & Playstation 4
Team Size: 60+ people
Technology: Fledge Engine (proprietary game engine)
My Part: As an intern in Game Design I was primarily working on the enemy and encounter design of the game. My tasks were, in detail:

  • Implementation and polish of a variety of enemy types, including general behavior, combat AI, and ability sets.

  • Participation in design review sessions, offering contributions in the area of encounter design improvement, and implementation of consequential changes.

  • Tuning and balance of combat experiences, bringing enemies from a prototype state to shippable quality.

  • Documentation of the enemy ability/AI toolset for the benefit of current and future design staff.

For more information on the game, please check out the Official Website!

What I've learned: This was my first time working in a professional game studio. Accordingly, I have learned many things about the structures and processes behind the making of a game with such a scope. I strongly improved my teamwork and communication skills, as well as my ability to work in a more hierarchy based environment. Furthermore, working with the proprietary Fledge Engine gave me the chance to increase my ability to familiarize myself with running systems and unknown tools. The work on the game's enemies allowed me to learn a lot about combat and AI design, particularly regarding the stages of polishing and fine tuning their behavior.