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City Building Card Game: Stadsbouer

The game can be found on itch.io. It is only a prototype and a mere proof of concept and because of that, there are still things missing and parts left unpolished.

I have worked on this game for around 6 weeks. Mainly focussing on the programming side of things this time around.

It all started with a very basic game concept, I wanted to combine the card game and city builder genres. This would be done in Unity, making use of local turn-based gameplay where the players could play cards and throw a dice to activate said cards.

First gameplay sketch

The gameplay would be based around earning money through activating your cards/buildings which would then lead to more money etc.
I also thought of a prestige mechanic which is currently not being used but I plan on using it as a general currency to unlock more cards in the future.

The GDD can be found here.

Geometry Nodes in Blender

In the winter of 2022, I started working on Geometry Nodes in Blender. This topic looked really interesting to me and I had seen multiple artists creating the most beautiful models by using this feature in the correct way.

LEGO Geometry Node

Planet Generator Node

When I make my way through more nodes they will be on this page.

LEGO Geometry Node

I created this geometry node with the help of a tutorial from Joey Carlino. Then I applied it on multiple projects I have previously worked on as well as a brand new project I made specifically for this node.

Lego Geometry Node Setup
The node setup

What I’m trying to do here is replace a certain amount of points in the mesh’s volume with lego blocks. Based on the variable quality there will be more points and thus more lego blocks. Then I’m applying the old UVs to see what color is nearest and applying said color on the brick.

Examples

Planet Generator Node

I created this geometry node after being inspired by this post on reddit. I then researched a few techniques and started working on this project. After about a week I finished and this is the end result.

The node setup

void

Examples

First-Person Simulator: Coffee Creator

For the last month, I have been working on a first-person simulator in which you buy, roast, process, and sell coffee. To make this project successful I will be using my knowledge from my work experience and my love for coffee.

A big thing for this project is to make sure it works with both a mouse & keyboard as well as a controller. To do so I have used Unity’s new Input System.

The very basic movement uses both m&k as well as a controller.
When aiming at an interactable the prompt and name will be shown.
This computer will be the center to accept quests, obtain rewards and spend them in a shop.

After the basics were done it was time to start working on a quest system, my inspiration for this was PC Building Simulator in which you accept emails with quests, complete them and get your rewards.

The quest system with quest tracking, the active email (red text title) will be tracked.
The finished quest system, if all objectives are completed the player will be rewarded.

Obviously, this is nowhere near a finished game loop, I plan to implement a way of obtaining ‘raw’ coffee beans to roast them and pack them up as shown above soon. This would also give the currency an actual purpose.

Also I plan to implement a lot of user feedback soon as you currently don’t know if you actually completed the challenge other than the money coming in immediately.

Isometric Room: Bedroom In The Attic

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at an isometric room design. This one got heavily inspired by one of our old bedrooms.

I started by creating mood boards using Pinterest. Then I followed a quick tutorial to get started and mostly went on my own from there. I worked on this project for several days, documenting the progress I had made at the end of each day, combined with rendering a final image for the day.

I also took the time to learn more about the material node system in Blender as I previously only used base colour- and normal maps.

After this project, I have learned how to add controlled randomness (for example for books or clothes) as well as use built-in textures to add relief to the floor for example.

An example of a node setup for a random book cover material.

Chicken Party Game: Eggsplosion

This game was created during a semester-long project in which I led the project and contributed with design and programming.

Eggsplosion is now on Steam! You can click the button down below to add the game to your library!

I have taken the lead role in this project since it started but even more so when we decided to put it up on Steam. Since then I have worked on the following things:

  • UI/UX programming and implementation
    • In-game pause menu
    • Options screen
    • Leaderboard UI handling
    • Various smaller improvements
  • Content creation
    • Gameplay trailer
    • Short video content (Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube shorts)
    • General social media (previous + Reddit, Twitter(X))
  • Steam
    • Store page
    • Game builds
    • Announcements
    • Steam Features
      • Steam Input
      • Steam Cloud
  • Project lead (and lead designer)
    • Keeping things on track
    • Managing a trello board
    • Version control
    • Communication with team
    • To-go for any issue
    • Game design

Now about the game, Eggsplosion is a local multiplayer fighting/party game in which you play as a chicken against chickens.

The gameplay is quick and short but a lot of fun. There are different powerups spawning around the various maps that can change your projectile type or give your character certain boosts.
Down below I will go into further detail regarding the design process and UI/UX and level design implementation.

The game/level design

Specifying our chosen concept
Sketching out the first level

Our first brainstorm session

Coming up with the initial game concept

The powerup design

Brainstorming about powerups
Prioritising and categorising the powerups
Combining powerups and balancing

These sketches and brainstorming documentation eventually led us to the first real prototype of which I, unfortunately, do not have footage.

I do have a before and after for the level I worked on

I also worked on the user experience which was not my best work but I have made major improvements since my first try, at the time I did not have any knowledge of Unity’s new input system which held me back a bit.

Since then I have tested and received feedback which resulted in some big improvements. The majority of the complaints were about bad menu flow or confusing things happening.

  1. There was no prompt indicating which button the player had to press to join the lobby.
  2. Also, the players had to navigate upward and click the buttons to raise the number of rounds. As our game is for controller only this was unnecessary and thus I removed it and replaced it with the shoulder buttons.
  3. I did the same for the ‘return’ button, this no longer has to be navigated to but instead the player can just press the east button on their controller.
  1. The navigation felt confusing and too responsive. To fix this I limited the navigation to the three main buttons on the left.
  2. I then opted to add button prompts and check for those inputs which would in turn invoke the button events instead.
  1. This screen was visible between rounds to show the current score. However, a lot of times the players clicked the quit button which instantly took them back to the main menu forfeiting their progress up to that point. This was really frustrating.
  2. I added button prompts and removed navigation, instead the player can continue with the usual south button (X) and can return with the usual return input (O).
  3. After clicking the east button there now is an extra prompt asking you to confirm to leave the game. For the protection of the player’s current progress.

After making these additions along with several others, I felt it was time to get this game up on an actual storefront so more people will get to play it.
I then set up a team meeting and the game has since been released on Steam! Check out the trailer below.

Streaming Site Mock-Up: CMGTwitch

Introduction

This was one of the most fun courses I had this year, I really like working on UI/UX in general so getting to do that for another subject is great. Last year I scored a 9,5 for UI/UX Design. This course builds upon that one so I knew that I wanted to try and get the 10/10 this time around.

Documentation of this whole process can be found here (evaluation report) and here (product report).

Requirements

The necessary elements for this assignment were as follows;

  • Find past, current and upcoming lectures, and join them if possible.
  • Find specific topics covered in recorded lectures so they can skip to what they are looking for.
  • A built-in chat function that encourages constructive discussions rather than spam.

Research

  • Twitch
CMGTwitch

Lo-Fi Prototype

In the end, I analysed the CMGT logo to create a colour palette and based on that created a style sheet.

Then I created the first lo-fi prototype. Said prototype can be found here.

This home screen is present in my lo-fi prototype.
CMGTwitch Style Sheet

The next step was to user-test my first prototype. I did this with three other students. The main things to take away from the tests are:

  • The top bar is weird, it is incorrectly spaced and the elements feel out of place.
  • The icon for a teacher on the lecture page is too big.
  • There should be a filter to find the right module/teacher faster.

Then I worked on the hi-fi prototype. For this, I included the improvements made based on feedback from the user test, an A and B versions and a brief user functionality description.

  • The homescreen present in the hi-fi prototype.


The prototype can be found here, the form used for testing can be found here.

After letting users test my hi-fi prototype it became clear that the hypothesis was right.
Version B was in fact easier to use in terms of navigation than version A.

Creating the final prototype using HTML, CSS and Javascript. This one can be found here.

In the end, I managed to score a 10/10 on this course. It was a great subject and I really enjoyed working on UI and UX again.

Management Simulation: Food Frenzy

Personal portfolio was a rather difficult subject for me. I had so much that I wanted to do but I did not know where to start. I had many ideas, one better than the other and another way too ambitious. Not knowing better I chose the latter. One of the games I have always wanted to make was an economic simulation game with food trucks.

I created a basic setup for my game in Unity. The main things I wanted to implement were good-feeling camera movement, an object placement system and basic UI. These were the iterations that I made:

The core thing I learned from this was that functionality is more important than visuals when prototyping. This is obvious but it is something I have struggled with before as I like to make everything look decent first.

I also wanted to create three different low-poly 3D models. A food truck, a picnic table and finally a tree. As shown in the videos above already.

3D modelling is something I really enjoy, it feels as if I am drawing digitally.

Finally, the last thing I did was document the general idea of the game. The document I wrote can be found here.

Time to move on to the next part where I continued my work on food frenzy.

Interactive Storytelling: G.E.N.I.U.S.

For immersive storytelling, I was tasked with creating a story that deployed the basic elements of storytelling. This whole process was documented to justify the choices I made and explain how all storytelling elements were implemented. The said document can be found here.

To do this, I used Twine. I created over 50 passages, wrote over 8000 words and used over 10 different variables to create a highly interactive story.

The story structure for “The G.E.N.I.U.S. Facility”.

I wanted to write a story that actually had a little bit of meaning to it, while also trying to make the most out of the subject. In the end, I created this story. It is about a boy, named #13, he has been locked up in a facility for as long as he has known. Tasked with creating a solution for global warming he and a dozen other kids just like him have to go to school to work on the Great Invention every day.

As it turns out, he has been working for G.E.N.I.U.S (General Enablers of New Inventions in Uprising for Sustainability) since he had been taken away after kindergarten. When in kindergarten, the children have to take a IQ test on Save The World day. If their score passes a certain number they were transferred to one of the hundred facilities all around the world. Here they were tasked with coming up and creating the solution for climate change.

In the story, I implemented 8 different endings, with the use of variables I made it so that every choice has an outcome somewhere in the story. For example, when you decide to stay in bed at the beginning you will be reprimanded and lose free time privileges for the day. But if you manage to try and escape through the office you get a chance at reading your own file. This file contains an evaluation of the trouble you got in. If you didn’t stay in bed that morning, nothing will be there. If you did, however, it will say that you showed rebellious behaviour on that day.

These little things are what make the story so interactive. There are a lot of different things just like this in the full story, I could list them all here but I think it would be better if you just read the story yourself. Click the button below to do so.

Golf Game: Golf Without Your Friends

At the end of the first year, we finally started with Unity. In my free time I had used Unity a bit before and in comparison to Processing, GxP and Flowlab.io it allows you to do so much more. I was really excited to start working on this subject and I had a ton of ideas.

I went ahead and started working on a golf game. I called it “Golf Without Friends” (a parody of golf with friends) as it is a single-player game.

During the process I followed some tutorials, the most important one being this one. After watching that I was able to implement the movement of the golf ball and the action of controlling it. I then went on to 3D model all of the different holes (levels) I wanted to create.

Some of these levels I based on my recent mini-golf experience. Others were based on inspiration I found on Pinterest. After 3D modelling them I looked for materials that would fit them well.

The final step was to use post-processing, this is where the visuals were improved a lot just by tweaking some image effects. I also added a motion blur to improve how fast it felt to hit the ball and a custom skybox as I wanted real clouds and better environmental lighting.

If you want to play the game yourself, you can click the button below.