Hey everyone, you may remember me from a while back when I posted my concept art (https://twohatgames.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/paranormal-objects/#comments). A lot has changed since then, Building 37 has expanded from a narrative focused game to include more action/puzzle mechanics. The game’s demographic is now for two types of players; those looking for a good narrative and uncover the mystery hiding in the depth of the facility and those who want to explore and solve puzzles. Because the game is expanding our producer Dave Beck elected me to become Lead of Game Design. Our previous lead game designer, Jeremy, has taken the role of managing narrative, a role he has been playing all along anyway.
Last semester I proved myself based on my concept work, being a primary teammate in the Mechanics focused group and seen as hard worker among my teammates. I am excited and honored to be a lead on this project. It is my goal and a promise to always keep the player in mind. Since this is the second semester of the project a lot of the pre-production decision have already been made so the remaining time will be spent finalizing and polishing.
As first step as Game Design Lead I created a small group that would focus on getting game design specific items in the game. We started by concepting player centric mechanics such as the hud and menu system. The team looked for inspiration from other games and decided what would be best for Building 37. We are looking forward to the end of the sprint to see how this goes over with player feedback.
The biggest challenge the Game Design team will face is redesigning one the games main puzzle systems: The twine boards on each level that allow you to gain enough knowledge to unlock and use items such as the Lektrax. The player collects redacted documents throughout the game and must connect these documents to un-redact the information. The team looked at the feedback from our playtests. We are feeling out possibilities as to why people didn’t enjoy this feature or why they may have become confused and frustrated. The new prototype system is about to be put into the build and we hope to see if people will enjoy it.
Current Twine board
The Game Design team is also in charge of making the builds at the end of each sprint. Luckily our producer has changed things up a bit and sprints are now 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks. This will give us more time for polish and get everything that people created in the game. The artists will focus on creating game design specific assets first. These things will be due in the middle of the sprint so that the programmers can implement them into the build. These assets include objects that need some love from the programmers and images that will be going in the Ai. Programmers will be focused on taking what we concepted mechanics meetings and bringing a prototype of it to the game. For now the game design team is making sure these new mechanics will available earlier in the build and expand to the other levels of the game once we get feedback.
Again I’m excited to be a lead on this project and look forward to seeing what we accomplish on the game as a whole. I have high expectations and I know we can reach them.
Game Design Lead