Project allo – Entry 2

My team and I came up with a movement mechanic for the cooperative gameplay we are aiming for. We are now building prototypes to test the mechanic, as well as different applications of it. Players will move by stretching and releasing different parts of their in-game avatar in order to produce a net force that propels it in their target direction. The first prototype will allow us to test the movement system when applied to goal of getting from point A to a choice of either point B or point C.

Prototype 1

The second prototype will allow us to test the movement system when applied to the goal of pushing an external object from point A to a choice of either point B or C (similar to the concept of pool or billiards).

Prototype 2

Project allo – Entry 1

Introduction
Project ‘allo’ is the game I’m co-designing for my final semester at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University (in the spring of 2015). I am working as part of two student teams with Electonic Arts’ Office of the Chief Creative Officer under the direction of Richard Hilleman and Tom Corbett. Together with team Thunder Egg in Redwood, California, we are creating a connected game experience. Our challenge for this project is to create a game-within-a-game in which players must balance multiple gameplay mechanics simultaneously. We will be targeting players who don’t fall in the category of “core gamers” through simple mechanics that allow for an easy-to-learn and fun experience.

Challenge
Our challenge has been distributed across two teams, my 8-person group in Pittsburgh and our 6-person group of classmates at EA’s campus in Redwood, California. We have been charged with creating the experience of a game-within-a-game. Using an un-announced platform, we will create a game that tasks players with balancing multiple game mechanics that affect and control each other.

Brainstorming
The very first thing we needed to do was to figure out what it means to be ‘a game-within-a-game’. I’ve struggled to come to a workable definition. So far, to me it means an experience where players interact with characters or a world that inherently possess some level of autonomy. In other words, the player produces stimulus (which could be in any number of different forms) that affects the state and actions of the characters and/or game world. However; myriad other interpretations exist. For example, in Settlers of Catan™ players must mine resources in order to achieve the win objective; however, to do so most effectively they have to work with and inhibit each other in managing their resources. So the experience is a board game with an economical game inside of it. At the end of the day I suspect there is no actual definitive answer, which is presumably the point of assigning it as our design challenge. My design team will do its best to come up with something that fulfills this challenge.

In order to create a game-within-a-game, we have been focusing on mechanics that involve cooperative multi-player interactions, i.e., players have to work together in order to perform the tasks that the game demands of them. Some ideas include players controlling parts of a the same in-game avatar, working together to construct and deploy items, and working together to defeat in-game opponents. Others involve teams of players working together to defeat each other.

Introduction

This is a blog of my activities on my game design journey. As I move through design projects, I will chart my journey: decisions my team and I have made, reasoning, retrospective analysis, etc. I hope it will provide an interesting cross section of my experience as a designer, as well as a reference for my future consultation. This is an ongoing personal pursuit.

CMU ETC: Music in Motion

Team Skylight
Collaborators: Hwang Youn Kim, Prajwal Manjunath, Ziyu (Judy) Zhu

Timeframe: October 2014 – December 2014

Music in Motion is a game designed to help middle school students practice identifying and interpreting note symbols when positioned on a staff. The game tasks players with identifying notes that stream towards them, and matching them with their corresponding letter names. The letters appear on little monsters who eat notes that they correspond to.. For more information, please visit our website.

Roles: Creative Director, Producer, Sound Designer

 
My contributions:
– Designed game and wrote design documentation
– Project management, e.g., goal-setting, deadlines, communications (internal/external), etc.
– Directed art style
– Created cover variants of popular songs for in-game play
– Wrote and published weekly newsletters
– Created and maintained project website

CMU ETC: Natural Rhythm

Team Skylight
Collaborators: Hwang Youn Kim, Prajwal Manjunath, Ziyu (Judy) Zhu

Timeframe: October 2014 – December 2014

Natural Rhythm is a game designed to help lower school students practice identifying the following note symbols: eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. The game tasks each player with identifying multiple instances of these symbols and producing sounds that correspond to each note’s beat length. For more information, please visit our website.

Roles: Creative Director, Producer, Sound Designer

 
My contributions:
– Designed game and wrote design documentation
– Project management, e.g., goal-setting, deadlines, communications (internal/external), etc.
– Directed art style
– Created music for in-game play
– Wrote and published weekly newsletters
– Created and maintained project website

SCEA – PDSG Music Department

This is a short compilation of projects that I worked on during my time at Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC as a music intern. I edited the video clips to make this reel as well as the music and vocal cues contained within it. The song used during the latter half of the video is a cue I worked on that was implemented into inFAMOUS: First Light.

This video contains visual and audio content owned by Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC and Sucker Punch. I am a former employee of SCEA; however, I am not and have never been an official spokesperson for SCEA. I do not represent the company. As such, this video is not an official SCEA release. I contributed to the development of the interactive entertainment software depicted and the audio content contained within the video; however, I do not claim ownership of any content contained in this video. The content is in the public domain and is not necessarily representative of the final products. It is uploaded for the purpose of portfolio display only.

Dev Team Newsletters

As a member of two student semester-long projects, I was responsible for multimedia creation, management, and deployment. One of my responsibilities included design, writing, and deploying weekly newsletters on the development team websites.
 
My contributions:
– Content generation
– Design and layout
– Site deployment
 
Timeframe: August – December 2014 (ongoing), weekly, 1 hour creation time
– Used Adobe InDesign
 
Skylight Week 3 Newsletter
 
 
My contributions:
– Content generation
– Design and layout
– Site deployment
 
Timeframe: January – May 2014, weekly, 1 hour creation time
– Used Microsoft Word
 
Transcendence Newsletter Week 3

inFAMOUS: First Light

inFAMOUS: First Light
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
 
Role: (Intern) Music Editor & Tester
 
Timeframe: June – July 2014
 
My contributions:
– Edited source cues, derived cues, and created new music assets for in-game implementation
– Test-played multiple builds to verify music playback, levels, ducking, audio image, etc.
– Logged bugs and incorrect music execution instances

The music in the first minute of this video clip is an example of a derived cue that I generated and mixed from its respective source cue for gameplay integration.