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Since being laid off from Propaganda games....

Posted by Stuttering Billy, 01 December 2010 · 269 views

So my first job in the industry has come and gone: I worked on the now canceled Pirates: Armada of the Dammed. Lay offs are part of the industry so I guess its best to get used to them early in my career (Hopefully the "sting" will get less and less each time).

For me the worst part of working on a canceled game is after all the hard work and ALOT of late nights I legally can't show anything I worked on...

While at Prop, I was working so much(loved every moment) I didn't have time to work on anything for my portfolio.

So now that I have time, here is what I have been working on -

Kinect Trivia


Responsibilities:

  • Created design proposal for trivia game using both the Microsoft Kinect and Zune marketplace
  • Designed basic systems
  • Evaluated feedback from industry professionals and iterated design
About: Kinect Trivia is a down-loadable game that uses both the Kinect and Zune Marketplace. Trivia questions are generated with data from the Zune Market place. Players use the Kinect to navigate and answer the trivia questions. 2 player local multiplayer along with 4 players via Xbox live is supported with leader boards
Key Features:

  • Zune marketplace meta data used to populate quiz categorizes
  • Categorizes:
  • Movie title
  • Actor/Actress
  • Famous quotes
  • Genre
  • Themes – Growing up 80s, Best of Sequels, Horror Nightmare, etc


[*]Pose Off
  • Players need to match the poses of classic movie scenes
  • Match characters in movie posters
  • Pose downs mechanic based on Japanese game show – here

[*]Scoreboards track the top players (must be connected to Xbox live)
  • Top players for the week win prizes
  • Players are gifted Microsoft points for discounts on games and movies

[*]Body movements for ringing in
  • Users make the motion of ringing in a buzzer (think Jeopardy)
  • Players able to verbally answer questions
  • “Cheering” after a correct answer adds a score multiplier

[/list]
View Design Doc – Design Doc

Mini game design “Boogie Down” for Top Bar facebook game

Responsibilities:

  • Created design proposal for an mini game to be integrated into Top Bar facebook game
  • Designed basic systems and gameplay state machine
  • Evaluated feedback from industry professionals and iterated design
About: “Boogie Down” is a module mini game design to be integrated into the Top Bar facebook game. Players must trace “dance moves” as they appear on screen. Correctly tracing consecutive moves increases the players multiplier along with game speed.
Basic Rules:

  • Use the mouse to trace the symbols as they appear on screen
  • Tracing the symbols correctly increases the players multiplier and the rate that new symbols appear
  • “Mis-tracing” or not completing the shape before the symbols disappear, results in losing a life and re-setting the multiplier
  • When the user’s lives equal 0, the game is over

Posted Image


View Design Doc – Design Doc

"Action RPG" Early Game Boss Encounter

Responsibilities: Create high level design doc proposal for an early game boss encounter set in an action RPG.

About: The boss encounter is a culmination of what the player has been taught up into this point – Use roll to dodge hazards and use abilities along with ranged attacked to stun enemies to manage the flow of combat

View Design Doc – Design Doc

OVERVIEW
This is an idea for a early boss battle for an action RPG. The Boss (let’s call it Priestess) encounter is a culmination of what the player has been taught up into this point – Use roll to dodge hazards and use abilities along with ranged attacked to stun enemies to manage the flow of combat. The outcome of the encounter would give the player a sense of accomplishment “I just whooped up on Priestess, that she had to run away, I’m a badass!”.

KEY ELEMENTS
Multi-stage battle

  • Priestess scenario changes when the boss reaches a certain amount of health.
  • This battle will have X waves
  • Priestess will have 2 different states throughout this battle; offensive and defensive.
  • On offense Priestess will engage the player in melee combat with the help of minions
  • On defense Priestess will engage the player from higher ground with grenades


[/list]
  • Priestess’s defensive state will be triggered whenever her loses 25% of his health. For example at 75% health, 50% health…
  • Battle will have 2 endings
  • Ending A
  • Ending B


  • Offense State
    • The player battles minions fighting alongside the boss.
  • Defensive State
    • Player needs to react to grenade patterns in order to survive boss encounter
    • The player needs to defeat the bosses minions before Priestess will engage the player again in the offensive mode
XNA “Grapple Game”

Responsibilities:

  • Create high level design doc along with design basic systems.
  • Organized and maintained project documentation.
  • Work with team to evaluated feedback and iterated design.
  • Track project progress and amended design when required.
High Concept: Jump, wall climb and swing (using a grappling hook) to reach the exit of each level . Finish the level in the fastest time.
Fans of Super Meat Boy or Cut the Rope will find the demands of quick flex platforming and quick but challenging levels addicting.

Download current design doc – GDD



So that's what I have been doing (work wise). I have sent my resume out and hopefulyl will hear back from some of the local companies in the Vancouver area (Working at Capcom Vancouver would be super fun). Postions should be opening up in the new year, If I can't find anything now.

Other then that I hit the Bad Company 2 multiplayer bottle HARD. I picked up the game when it was released and really enjoyed it. I can't remember but I think I jumped onto Borderlands and forgot about BC2. Well now I'm back and hooked bad.

Coming off of Modern Warfare 2, what really stands out for me is the slower more deliberate pacing of BC2. The CoD formula is great, but maybe because I'm older and my brain can't keep up with the speed of MW2. I don't feel I have enough time to react to situations in the game.

The slower pace, large maps, multiple classes along with the destructibility from the frost engine really makes my experience like a sandbox where I can direct, change and react to the action as I see it.

The games emphasis to be part of a squad and work as a team is great:

  • Pretty much double xp for anything you do with or for your squad members
  • Able to spawn on any member that is alive
  • Synergy between classes
The text and audio feed back is great after gaining xp. Chaining together moves feels great - spot an enemy, kill a enemy while defending a flag, heal squad mates, etc

One major problem is their is no in game prompts or tutorials to tell new players of theses "rules to the game"

Since this game was marketed on the coat tales of Modern Warfare 2 - new player's mind set is "Run around and get kills, pay no attention to the other people on your team and who cares how many deaths I have".

Now if will excuse me, I need to play some more squad rush.




So my first job in the industry has come and gone: I worked on the now canceled Pirates: Armada of the Dammed. Lay offs are part of the industry so I guess its best to get used to them early in my career (Hopefully the "sting" will get less and less each time).

For me the worst part of working on a canceled game is after all the hard work and ALOT of late nights I legally can't show anything I worked on...

While at Prop, I was working so much(loved every moment) I didn't have time to work on anything for my portfolio.

So now that I have time, here is what I have been working on -

Kinect Trivia


Responsibilities:

  • Created design proposal for trivia game using both the Microsoft Kinect and Zune marketplace
  • Designed basic systems
  • Evaluated feedback from industry professionals and iterated design
About: Kinect Trivia is a down-loadable game that uses both the Kinect and Zune Marketplace. Trivia questions are generated with data from the Zune Market place. Players use the Kinect to navigate and answer the trivia questions. 2 player local multiplayer along with 4 players via Xbox live is supported with leader boards
Key Features:

  • Zune marketplace meta data used to populate quiz categorizes
  • Categorizes:
  • Movie title
  • Actor/Actress
  • Famous quotes
  • Genre
  • Themes – Growing up 80s, Best of Sequels, Horror Nightmare, etc


[*]Pose Off
  • Players need to match the poses of classic movie scenes
  • Match characters in movie posters
  • Pose downs mechanic based on Japanese game show – here

[*]Scoreboards track the top players (must be connected to Xbox live)
  • Top players for the week win prizes
  • Players are gifted Microsoft points for discounts on games and movies

[*]Body movements for ringing in
  • Users make the motion of ringing in a buzzer (think Jeopardy)
  • Players able to verbally answer questions
  • “Cheering” after a correct answer adds a score multiplier

[/list]
View Design Doc – Design Doc

Mini game design “Boogie Down” for Top Bar facebook game

Responsibilities:

  • Created design proposal for an mini game to be integrated into Top Bar facebook game
  • Designed basic systems and gameplay state machine
  • Evaluated feedback from industry professionals and iterated design
About: “Boogie Down” is a module mini game design to be integrated into the Top Bar facebook game. Players must trace “dance moves” as they appear on screen. Correctly tracing consecutive moves increases the players multiplier along with game speed.
Basic Rules:

  • Use the mouse to trace the symbols as they appear on screen
  • Tracing the symbols correctly increases the players multiplier and the rate that new symbols appear
  • “Mis-tracing” or not completing the shape before the symbols disappear, results in losing a life and re-setting the multiplier
  • When the user’s lives equal 0, the game is over

Posted Image


View Design Doc – Design Doc

"Action RPG" Early Game Boss Encounter

Responsibilities: Create high level design doc proposal for an early game boss encounter set in an action RPG.

About: The boss encounter is a culmination of what the player has been taught up into this point – Use roll to dodge hazards and use abilities along with ranged attacked to stun enemies to manage the flow of combat

View Design Doc – Design Doc

OVERVIEW
This is an idea for a early boss battle for an action RPG. The Boss (let’s call it Priestess) encounter is a culmination of what the player has been taught up into this point – Use roll to dodge hazards and use abilities along with ranged attacked to stun enemies to manage the flow of combat. The outcome of the encounter would give the player a sense of accomplishment “I just whooped up on Priestess, that she had to run away, I’m a badass!”.

KEY ELEMENTS
Multi-stage battle

  • Priestess scenario changes when the boss reaches a certain amount of health.
  • This battle will have X waves
  • Priestess will have 2 different states throughout this battle; offensive and defensive.
  • On offense Priestess will engage the player in melee combat with the help of minions
  • On defense Priestess will engage the player from higher ground with grenades


[/list]
  • Priestess’s defensive state will be triggered whenever her loses 25% of his health. For example at 75% health, 50% health…
  • Battle will have 2 endings
  • Ending A
  • Ending B


  • Offense State
    • The player battles minions fighting alongside the boss.
  • Defensive State
    • Player needs to react to grenade patterns in order to survive boss encounter
    • The player needs to defeat the bosses minions before Priestess will engage the player again in the offensive mode
XNA “Grapple Game”

Responsibilities:

  • Create high level design doc along with design basic systems.
  • Organized and maintained project documentation.
  • Work with team to evaluated feedback and iterated design.
  • Track project progress and amended design when required.
High Concept: Jump, wall climb and swing (using a grappling hook) to reach the exit of each level . Finish the level in the fastest time.
Fans of Super Meat Boy or Cut the Rope will find the demands of quick flex platforming and quick but challenging levels addicting.

Download current design doc – GDD



So that's what I have been doing (work wise). I have sent my resume out and hopefulyl will hear back from some of the local companies in the Vancouver area (Working at Capcom Vancouver would be super fun). Postions should be opening up in the new year, If I can't find anything now.

Other then that I hit the Bad Company 2 multiplayer bottle HARD. I picked up the game when it was released and really enjoyed it. I can't remember but I think I jumped onto Borderlands and forgot about BC2. Well now I'm back and hooked bad.

Coming off of Modern Warfare 2, what really stands out for me is the slower more deliberate pacing of BC2. The CoD formula is great, but maybe because I'm older and my brain can't keep up with the speed of MW2. I don't feel I have enough time to react to situations in the game.

The slower pace, large maps, multiple classes along with the destructibility from the frost engine really makes my experience like a sandbox where I can direct, change and react to the action as I see it.

The games emphasis to be part of a squad and work as a team is great:

  • Pretty much double xp for anything you do with or for your squad members
  • Able to spawn on any member that is alive
  • Synergy between classes
The text and audio feed back is great after gaining xp. Chaining together moves feels great - spot an enemy, kill a enemy while defending a flag, heal squad mates, etc

One major problem is their is no in game prompts or tutorials to tell new players of theses "rules to the game"

Since this game was marketed on the coat tales of Modern Warfare 2 - new player's mind set is "Run around and get kills, pay no attention to the other people on your team and who cares how many deaths I have".

Now if will excuse me, I need to play some more squad rush.
Jeeze, they already canceled Pirates: Armada of the Dammed? I guess they're afraid of making a good PotC game. There really is a lack of good pirate games out there, sorry to hear they canned this one. I was really looking forward to it.
Sorry about the layoff. Looks like you're working on some really cool stuff though.
Bummer man! I was actually stoked for that game. Sorry to hear about the layoff as well :(
Thanks for sharing your design doc. I'm a software engineer and I'm always curious how other people do their design plans.
Yeah that sucks. I was really looking forward to the Pirates game as well, I thought it was looking good.
Sorry to hear about the layoff. I work for Sony as a GM and love every waking minute of it. I completely understand just how much it must have sucked to receive the bad news :(
The silver lining was that Disney paid out my contract