1st Person Puzzle Action / Adventure
1 Academic Year
Prototyped (Request Build)
About the Project
The Adamant is a first person exploration and puzzle game, based on shooting objects to manipulate their position, rotation and/or attributes within a 3D grid.
The goal of the game is to navigate through an abandoned alien facility and solve puzzles in an effort to unveil its mysteries while a compelling narrative unfolds itself to the player.
Game poster concept art
Concept art of the Pool Room of the Water Wing
Combining timing with exploration challenges
Game poster concept art
My Role and Responsibilities
Level Design Proposal (used internally)
Level Design Proposal Results
Together with 2 others, I came up with the core gameplay concept and created a prototype to prove its viability. Due to the appreciation amongst NHTV supervisors and peers, we chose to fully develop the game as a DreamPunks production.
During development, I take on the role of Creative Director. My responsibilities are to oversee the entire project's design as the project's 'vision holder' and manage a team of level and game designers.
I am to clearly communicate the overall design plans for the game both internally to the rest of team, and externally to parties like Sony PlayStation and Tobii through Level Design Proposal Videos, written Client Design Documentation, Presentations and by participating in various meetings..
In the mean time, I also design, prototype and playtest my own gameplay areas, like the Water Wing, which contains the 'Pool Area,' discussed in the top video.
For more information about the iterations of this area, please see my Level Design Reflection Document.
Key Lessons Learned
This is easily the largest student project and team I've ever been involved with. The size of the team and scope of the project makes it particularly challenging to coordinate and optimise the work efficiency of the (design) team. It took me a while to find the balance between working on my own levels as a designer, and finding the time to also lead the other designers, monitor their progress and manage their efforts as lead.
Other than that, this project has taught me a lot about the importance of proper whiteboxing and playtesting, before moving on to the art application phases of game development. This really prevents major issues from arising later in development, as the level designs are more flexible and can be changed relatively easy during the whiteboxing stage.
Perhaps the most insightful lessons were the ones we got from our playtesters. Analysing their gameplay decisions and following reactions provided us with valuable insights regarding all the areas of the game that needed improvement. The key principle behind designing a puzzle game like this is 'helping' the player without them noticing.
This makes them feel like they have found the solution completely on their own, when in fact the design has subtly hinted them towards it through sounds, lighting, other environmental cues or haptic feedback. This rewards the player with the proud feeling of having mastered the game. In a sense, this means the best designed puzzle games are those where the design is 'cleverly hidden'. The games that everyone enjoys, without being able to pinpoint exactly why.
The art of this 'guerrilla designing technique' is something I love gaining experience with and hope to master one day.