My Thesis: Discovering Gameplay By Iterative Removal of the Visual Component

I thought it'd be nice to post some of the findings of my thesis, now that I've graduated. Originally, it was supposed to be just one game, Jojo's Adventure. But my ideas expanded, and new games came out of them. My final thesis ended up being an critical analysis of the 3 games I created, and how I identified problem areas. I will write about my process and conflicts developing the first 2...

Polish on Dual Perspective 05/01

It was difficult, but I changed the way the DP loads levels. Instead of just fading to white, now each part of a level elegantly floats on-screen and assembles itself. When you finish, the current level disassembles and floats off to the left, as the new one is flying in. It really works to keep the player hooked and immersed.

I dun goofed... 04/10

I thought my thesis date was April 9th, when it was really May 9th. Well, at least I'm done with most of my work. Now I have a chance to add some more polish to them.

Spring Show/GDC! 03/03

I was told my games were going to be shown at the AAU Spring Show as well as the AAU's booth at GDC! I'm totally psyched about that, hopefully it'll catch someone's eye and land me a job :)

Level 3 Progress 02/25

All visual "holes" are now plugged up. The player path is complete and playable, and the enemy "slammer" has his proper mesh and animation.

Level 3 Progress 2/10

Its been a while since I posted but I've been busy! Current progress on the 3rd Level. The white block is going to be an enemy, which I'm currently putting the finishing touches on. I still have a bit of work to do on the background though.

Rapid Game Dev: Blind 11/28

A variation on Dual Perspective. In Blind, the only things visible to the player are: the goal, the player and whatever surface the player is actively touching. The gameplay is simply to feel your way around a partially visible game and find your way to the goal. The lack of vision creates a sense of mystery and suspense, because you never know what you can bump into. I also reused the character script from Jojo but not much else.

Jojo Is Animated! 11/08

I finally finished Jojo's animation cycles! Idle, idle 2, running, jumping, falling, and ladder climbing. It was pretty easy updating the scripts to work in Unity. Its pretty great, adding an animated character really makes the game feel more like a "game", if that makes any sense.

Rapid Game Dev. Project: Dual Perspective 11/05

One of the games I made during Rapid Game Development. I managed to recycle a some of the code from Jojo (the character controller script, and the left/right switch). In this game there are only 2 colors, blue and white. The background changes colors depending on the direction the player is facing. Platforms and obstacles become visible/invisible depending on the color of the background, but they are still there. The player has to remember their locations even when they can't see them.

Jojo 3D 10/27

It took a bit longer, and some character changes, but he's done. The eyes had to be changed because the concept art was from a 3/4 perspective and they didn't look good in side-view. So I borrowed a bit of inspiration from Marvin the Martian. His pupil will be added in Unity since it will have a script that makes them blink.