Wake From Death is an ability-based 3rd-person shooter that takes place in a Traditional Japanese Cyberpunk setting. I serve as Creative Director and Design Lead. My responsibilities include maintaining a cohesive vision, and leading our team of 2 designers.
This game idea is something I’ve had in my head for a while, so I’ve created the bulk of the documentation for this project. This includes the original pitch, and 2-Page Design documents, as well as the Game Design Document and Art Style Guide.
The most difficult part of this project has been constantly changing teams. For this project, teams were allowed to swap members after every milestone. After our prototype milestone, we swapped 2 of our members, and gained 8 more. This requires leads to quickly figure out the workflow of each team member, to create a successful project.
I originally conceived level 2 on paper and then constructed it as a whitebox. Currently, I’m adjusting the level to feedback, and tweaking the combat encounters. During this process, I’ve conducted playtests and adapt my level to feedback. Additionally, I am overseeing production of level 1, having the designer going through the same process as I have and critiquing the designs.
The original prototype was created in 6 weeks by a team that started with 3 members and finished with 5 members. All other team members were artists, so it was my responsibility to handle both the design of the game and the implementation of basic features. Unfortunately, due to these dual responsibilities, I wasn’t able to create the level featured in this prototype.
However, all featured gameplay functionality was designed and created by me. This gave me a great working knowledge of how the game works moving into full production, as much of the core logic of the prototype systems was expansive enough to still power the core of the game!
Still under construction, Level 2 is the level that I am fully responsible. The goal of this level is to introduce more exploration for players, while also providing interesting areas for combat to happen. Additionally, the navigation of this level must be intuitive enough for players to allow them to intentionally decide when to not follow the critical path.
This level has some navigation problems in its current form. Wake From Death is a game with a high density of emissives, so it’s easy to distract the player with too many. By being smarter with the location of emissives, as well as taking advantage of leading lines with assets like vehicles, pipes, and street clutter, I intend to fix this issue. Additionally, the combat areas haven’t proven as dynamic as we would like. Constant playtesting and tweaking is how we intend to tackle this issue as well.