More coming soon.
Download demo (PC)
Download demo (Mac)
WASD - Move player
Mouse - Swivel camera
Social is a collaboration between myself and sound designer, Geoff Belcher.
Please play the game (appx. 5-10 minutes to finish) before reading the rest of this post.
Social is based on the concept of the looking glass self, translated into gameplay. The game intentionally obfuscates this information from the player. A mysterious story and environment is integral to the player’s experience, given that I had to rely on programmer art, limited scripting skills and a small development cycle.
Talk to every NPC, read every bookshelf, sniff every tree, play all the arcade games… try everything!
Arrow Keys - Move Player
Enter - Interact
Escape - Menu
A JRPG-style roleplaying game created in RPG Maker VX Ace. Pibble must leave her cozy town to stop the destruction of The Orange Ball Factory. On her journey she will meet many companions (my current favorite: Corndog, a hedgehog who eats corndogs exclusively) who will help her cause. Her journey is not only for the benefit of other dogs, it’s for self-discovery. Pibbles have mysterious powers, similar to Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians, that allow them to see time and space in a non-linear fashion. Her powers are activated through The Orange Balls, of course. Pibble will learn how to harness these powers to help save the Orange Ball Factory.
I spent two summers in a small town in southwestern Colorado. As a result, I spent a lot of time with my dog, Lele. The experience, like Pibble RPG, was child-like. I hiked, biked, read, played games, journaled daily and worked at night with Binary Solo creating a prototype for Game of Games. The natural conclusion from those extended vacations is the Pibble RPG prototype.
My original intent was to create something a bit harsher than the graphics suggest. Reading through my initial notes, I found “Blood Meridian for children” written in the margins. Though there are definitely heavy themes still present in the story line (genocide, racism and sexism to name a few), my intent was to mask it in a Pixar-esque way by only allowing those themes to stay completely under the surface. This in turn would make it accessible to all ages.
One player could see Pibble as a sweet, if a bit clueless, character who happens to have a rash of bad luck. Another player might see that Pibble is being subjugated to different pressures than other characters as a result of institutionalized restrictions, fear mongering and ignorance.
By using Pokemon and Earthbound-style graphics, it immerses the player in a comfortable setting before subverting their expectations of the genre later in the game. One example was to have traditional JRPG-style combat but without violence. Instead, Lele uses Cuddle, Slorp and Snoring Powers to pacify potential enemies.
Note: These demos are specifically programmed for use with an Xbox 360 controller. Some functionality will be missing when using mouse/keyboard.
Left Stick - Move
Right Stick - Camera
L3/R3 - Zoom camera out/zoom camera in
A - Attack
X - Interact
Y - Jump
This prototype was created alongside Chad Stewart of binarysolo.com. Game of Games (tentative title, I think) was planned to be an action-RPG. In case this project is revisited, I won’t divulge any large-scale design ideas to respect their privacy. Below are my contributions to the project.
Future, a dystopian future heavily influenced by Blade Runner and William Gibson. Video game influences were Mass Effect, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and Phantasy Star Online 2.
The sense of scale is meant to oppress and disempower the player. Given more time I would have added more verticality, so the upper regions of the city are not lost to the player. Note that since this game was planned to have a combo-based fighting system similar to the Devil May Cry series, the streets are left abnormally wide to allow for combat encounters.
Japan/Medieval, a small rural town 1,000 years in the past. The location was never decided but I knew it had to be small, had to have mountains and probably had snow. I exported the Google Map data for Rico, CO, and imported it to Unity. I used the terrain tools and this Unity construction kit to further exaggerate the mountains. Then added water, trees, grass, shops, houses, ruins and a ridiculous rock bridge to round out the world.
For this system I used the Unity plugin, PlayMaker, a visual scripting tool. The AI in its current state has the ability to recognize, chase and attack a player. If the player runs out of range, the AI will stop in place. Also, the AI will choose to walk, run or idle depending on the player’s relative location.
CAMERA, ANIMATION AND GAMEPAD CONTROLS
For reference, I used this series of tutorials as a baseline to script a 3rd-person camera and simple animation system using C# scripts. My changes were made to reflect a faster, combat-action camera, smoother occlusion and gamepad use. For animation, I added custom animations included in this Unity character package.
-Fixed floating models.
-Fixed bug where camera would spin uncontrollably when backed up against a tall surface.
-Moved player spawn location to something a bit more sensible.
-Fidgeted with some area lights to get a more natural look.
Download it here.
-Added revamped combat system.
-Added new enemy encounters.
-Changed economy to restrict the player a bit more.
-Fixed a conversation bug.
-Added starting items for character (Classic Cola, Sniffs)
-Added Exploration spot (player gains a small amount of experience for exploring).
-Tweaked Pibble’s starting traits. Player should have a reasonably easy time getting through the forest area.
-Combat is now completely optional for the starting area.
-Fixed conversation inconsistencies.
-Pibble language updated.
-Added new animations to Granny, Mo Hawk, and Po Leece.
-Changed background music for most areas.
-Added new shopkeepers.
-Fixed bug that broke quest flow.
-Compiled RTP data for player client.