Beyond is a top-down, twin stick shooter where you play as a little girl trying to put her father's soul to rest. Help her defeat the possessed gems and find a final resting place for her father.
About This Project...
This game was created for our GAM200/GAM250 class using a custom engine for 7 months from September 2018 to April 2019.
This project was made with 14 people, the team breakdown being:
2 Designers (BAGD)
3 Designers/Programmers (BSGD)
3 Programmers (RTIS/BSCS)
5 Artists (BFA)
1 Sound Designer (BSCSDA)
Player Weapon Design
Concept early ideas for weapons
Scheme weapon attainment for progression purposes
Balance weapon strength to match game state
Concept enemies to be implemented by programmers
Balance enemies to match game pacing
Create levels to break-up gameplay
Test levels to ensure design quality
SFX Creation & Implementation
Source & edit SFX
Implement SFX w/ WWISE & C++
Working on Beyond
Beyond, for me, was eye-opening to the collaborative development process and taught me a lot about working with a multi-discipline team to ship a successful product. Not only was this a project I joined onto late, but when I did they were in the process of a redesign of everything. In hindsight, I applaud out versatility and am in awe of the final product we were able to create.
Combat & Enemy Design in Beyond
My goals for the weapons in Beyond are to create weapons that both provided combat and navigation benefits. This would give players interesting decisions in levels (ex. damage vs clearing debris) and add to the feeling of having an arsenal. This is why how the weapons rolled out was a focus of mine as well, as giving players enough time with the previous arsenal to know what they have and create excitement and interest when earning a new weapon. I was actively involved in selecting the weapons that shipped in the final game.
Balance goals for the weapons focused on game feel and decisiveness. Immediate cause and effect was my primary goal to simplify learning about the weapons and incentivize using your entire arsenal. Since the tools to iterate on the weapons were not added until later, along with me getting other tasks I need to complete, the weapon balance is not as tuned as it should be. Further balance passes are always wanted.
Enemy design faced similar development issues when it came to tools. Once we had the tools though, I dove straight into getting more ideas out and churning. My goal was the same with the weapons, create combatants that make players use their whole arsenal by challenging the in specific ways. I concepted the rapid-fire enemy, the medium shotgun gem, and the fast-moving orange gem. After getting these mechanics to our programmers, I could work on fine tuning the details to get that exact combat experience I was looking for.
Level Design in Beyond
I also got to help create some levels as we started to fall a little behind there during production.
Zone 2 | Level 3
Goal: What does a level with no combat look like?
Zone 2 | Level 6
Goal: How can we provoke players to slow down?
Audio Design in Beyond
Another area I ended up doing a ton of work in was the SFX implementation. I was surprised with how much I actually enjoyed this task though. Because I had may hands in levels, weapons, AI, and so on, I had a really good idea on what things should sound like in my head, along with a good instinct on what all needed sounds. This is especially so when thinking about tuning the weapons and my stated weapon goals above.
I sourced all my audio from the SFX library at DigiPen, where I got around 25 different sounds to use. I then edited/modified SFX to better fit the game using Audacity, trimming bits long, pitching up/down, etc. Once I had all the sounds, I then went into the C++ code to add the SFX hooks to the different actions. This process was a lot more involved than I thought it would be, as I had to navigate the code base to add the sounds into the gameplay code in a contextual manner.