ReSTART was a 1st-person 3D puzzle game based on Mars. In it, the player must solve three puzzles to restore the station back to full operation and survive. This was the first video game I ever created with a team.
This project gave me an opportunity to exercise my design skills, designing the level layout and puzzles. I also managed my team, making sure that the artists and programmers knew what needed to be done and were communicating with each other. After the game jam, I worked with some other teammates to fix bugs and to add overall polish to the game.
My main role for ReSTART was designing the puzzles. This was a difficult task, as I had never designed puzzles before. The theme of the game jam was space, so we decided to have every puzzle directly relate to an aspect of surviving on Mars. This resulted in the puzzles all having a cool attribute associated with them, such as atmospheric pressure changing and directly effecting the audio of the level. However, I don’t think some of the puzzles were obvious enough with their attributes, as some players questioned why the audio kept changing, not understanding that that was representative of the atmospheric pressure.
I learned much about the importance of playtesting with this project, as one of our puzzles was so hard, that we had to add a clipboard that explains the solution to the puzzle. This is something that I have tried to address in all of my subsequent projects.
I constructed this level prototype before the rest of my team arrived the first morning of the game jam so we could all have a concrete idea of what our game would look like. This was enormously beneficial to our team, as it helped us figure out sizing issues early. Our programming team was also able to use this prototype to begin coding in an actual environment..