Game Designer/Programmer on a Sophomore-year game at DigiPen / 4-person team / single player / C++ / DOWNLOAD HERE
FreeFall is a 2d action game where the player is perpetually falling down a passageway filled with obstacles, traps, and enemies.
Designed and built levels. Each level in FreeFall was designed by me to give the player around 5 minutes of gameplay – perfect for quick pickup gaming sessions. The difficulty curve was in full effect – players would first learn how to dodge obstacles, boost to increase their speed, then shoot enemies, and finally do everything at the same time. It was important for me to make every level feel different and offer something new to the player, yet nothing too crazy to stray far from the fast-paced, reflex gameplay.
Designed and programmed user interface, menus, and HUD. Instead of going with regular menus for FreeFall, I decided to do something different. I really wanted to give the player the feeling that they ARE Noa, our main heroine of the game. In order to more easily make this connection, all the game menus are navigated by controlling Noa just like players would in an actual level. The players would make Noa fly through portals, which would act as menu destinations. Everything from lowering the sound volume in the options menu to selecting a level to play would be done in this style.
In a fast action packed game like this, taking your eyes off the main character could mean death. Because of this, I linked Noa’s health directly to her particle trail color instead of a regular meter in the corner of the screen. Noa needed to get hit 4 times to die, and her particle trail color reflected that. Blue equals full health, yellow means Noa has taken 1 hit, and red means that if Noa was to get hit one more time, she would die. Health rings scattered in strategic spots throughout levels fully refilled Noa’s health.
Created a soundscape and programmed sound using the FMOD API. The music needed to be energizing and fast yet have a memorable tune to it that would stick with the players. Trance and techno was a little too much as it all just blends in at the end of the day. I found specific tracks that would complement the game.
Sound effects were action packed and fit what was happening on the screen. Many were edited in Audacity by me to give it a little something it was lacking.
Both the music and sound effects were programmed by me using the FMOD API. I wrote the code that would allow us to do basic things like play, pause, increase/decrease volume by calling the corresponding FMOD functions through my own framework.
Programmed XBOX 360 controller support. I incorporated the XBOX 360 controller support into our input framework using Microsoft input libraries for the controller.
Managed team. Managing a team is important – no matter how big or small it is. I was the producer of the team and was responsible for weekly schedules on Google Docs, emailed status updates, held Scrum meetings, and wrote milestone reports. I was also in charge of reporting my team’s progress to our DigiPen professors and managed team morale.