Project Final Approach: Spit Happens

The trailer for “Spit Happens”.

I got to work with a great team of fun but hard-working people and we delivered a game we called “Spit Happens”.

The goal of the project was to create a “physics-based” game as the Engineers had just finished a subject related to physics. We came up with the idea of creating a game in which you have to control a llama. The main mechanic is “spitting“. We took inspiration from games like Where’s my Water and Cut the Rope.

As a designer, I mainly focused on gameplay design and merchandising. I did this with one other designer. We started with some level design concepts.

The first low quality level concept.

The goal of the game is to take down a hay bale that is hanging from the roof so that you and your Llama friends can eat.

FanBlows the spit further.
CrossbowShoots down the hay bale.
ButtonTakes down the hay bale.
CannonShoots the spit further.
PipesTransports the spit.
All actions that each object can perform.

Then I worked on the target group. For this I had to do some research and use the theory taught in the previous term. This resulted in the following target group:

The target group for ‘spit happens’ is all ages but we focus more specifically on the ages of 7-12 and a male audience. Reasons for this are: Mastery which gives them pride, mastery is created by letting a man play against himself. Males experience pride in artificial goals, such as achieving a level 100%. 

Then from the age of 7 kids are able to think things through and solve hard problems., at the age of 10-12 boys are more passionate about games and they want to prove themselves. So we mainly focus on that group where the problem solving starts until the more mature age of gaming starts. And our game will be good for mastering which speaks more to men. 

As the project progressed further we got our hands on some of the assets made by our artists which we then used to further work out some level designs.

  • Level one.

Soon after we created the levels in Tiled. We created three different levels with a new component being introduced at every level.

  • Level one.
  • Level one.

Then finally the art was finished and we finished the levels with the new sprite sheet as well as some small updates.

The only thing left to do were the promotional solutions, as this is generally not a very serious part of the assignment we went all out. From t-shirts to socks all the way to an exclusive pringles can.

In the end, I look back at this project with gratitude, I enjoyed working on the game, working with the team I got to be working with and we received a good grade as well. The game can be downloaded through the link below.

Side Scroller: Mud & Madness

Game Design was the first subject for which I had to create a real game on my own, work out the mechanics, the collectables, the setting, the theme and everything else. All of this was documented in a Game Design Document which you can find here.

If the embed doesn’t load or if you want to see the logic behind it, click here.

During the process, I carefully thought about what I would want the game to look and feel like. I first started documenting my thoughts, giving the main character a small backstory, creating my own pixel art and finally implementing the core aspect “capture” (which was the aspect that had to be in there to be graded)

The theme was not so hard to come up with, I had quickly decided I wanted to make a 2D platformer. I am quite fond of M&M’s and thus I chose to go with them as a theme. For the character, I created a little backstory.

He is called “M” because the second M was taken from him when the King banished him. Now your mission is to help M regain his dignity and replace the corrupt King.

This is done by finishing the three levels present in the current game, Mindful Meadow, Magical Mountain and Mythical Museum. Notice how all of these levels result in M&M when abbreviated.

To make sure that the “capture” element was present in my game I implemented a few things. According to the dictionary, capture means to collect or take control of. This is shown in all the collectables scattered around the levels. Each can be collected and award the player with a different amount of points. These points will be shown on the UI and a sound will play.

The logic behind the collectables

This subject was also the first time I made UI for a school project. I struggled a bit because I had never done pixel art before. In the end, I am quite happy with the results. I wanted to go for something inspired by wood, I wanted it to be subtle and see-through so as to not interrupt the gameplay too much.

The final UI that was implemented in Mud & Madness.

Another part I really enjoyed working on was the sound design. I found three great background tracks.

The hardest part of making this game was getting the character right, the movement was difficult to program. How high should you jump? How fast should you run? These questions were all answered during the review and feedback part of the subject. People played my game and told me what they think is good, what could and/or should be better and more.

Background music for Mindful Meadow
Background music for Magical Mountain
Background music for Mythical Museum

This subject was really one of the best subjects I had in the entire first year. I enjoyed it thoroughly because I had a lot of creative freedom and I was creating a game as an assignment. Who doesn’t like that?

If you haven’t already, please play the game and see what you think!

  • All the art assets I made for my game.

Board Game: Hammer Slammers

The first project of my study, CMGT. The goal of the project was to create a board game inspired by one or more digital games.

We thought of fun ideas and eventually came to the concept of creating a board game inspired by fall guys, the player(s) would have to throw a dice to reach the top to finish as fast as they could. We worked out different obstacles that the player would need to pass.

The board would be divided into three layers, each more difficult than the other. The gameplay would feel a bit like “Ganzenbord“, touching the wrong cell will see you being moved back and getting lucky would see you jumping in front.

The first few steps of designing the board

We asked one of the artists to create different tiles which we’d place on the board to show what action needed to be taken. I made the board in Blender 3D, and during the two weeks, we made three different iterations.

  • The first iteration with basic colour-coded mechanics

The first iteration was just to test if the game worked and if the cells were in the right place, and then we moved on to the second one.
This also was not yet what we wanted and it didn’t look that great.
Also, the artists were done with the tiles and so I decided to work on the final board, one with different stones as cells. Each cell that needed a visual tile on top of it had one and the game played well.

During the process, we also thought of a little backstory. Basically, princess pineapple was captured and the pawns (each with their own little backstory) had to try and save her. The first to reach her would win her hand and thus, the game.

The only thing left to do was to create an imaginary box in which we’d sell the game and create a game trailer which you can find below.

Maze Game: The Search

In 2020 I decided I wanted to study CMGT, and this led me to Saxion. To get into the study I was tasked with creating a game, this could be a game based on one of three themes out of which I chose “Maze“. As the coronavirus was just starting to reach Europe and the Netherlands I decided it would be fun to make it relevant to our situation.

The first thing I wanted to was to draw some ideas that I had, so for example I had to think of different player models/outfits, different obstacles/decorations, different backgrounds/places and different textures I’d need.

As you can see I went with an absurd one and then chose two others that would make more sense. I didn’t really like the doctor in the end so I decided I’d do something with the hazmat suit.

The goal of the game was to find a cure for the virus. I placed this at the end of the maze and created obstacles in the shape of coronaviruses that would kill the player if they’d touch them. I rigged the character following a tutorial and I used a free asset from the store to get the third-person movement I wanted.

The last, and possibly most important part, was the maze itself. I made this in Blender 3D and then UV unwrapped it so that I could put a material on the walls in Unity.

All of this resulted in the game I called “The Search“. I was pretty happy with what I accomplished in the two/three weeks that I worked on it. I passed the intake exam with a “good” (on a scale of insufficient, sufficient and good)