My job: Game Designer, Product Owner
AnteGods is a recently announced 2.5d twin-stick steampunk shooter currently in the making by Rotterdam based and seasoned game studio CodeGlue; the guys (and girls) behind the infamous Rocket Riot (Xbox 360), Ibb & Obb (Steam version) and Terraria (on mobile). Set in a space- & mayan inspired universe, gods face off in a 2d battle arena where players fight for precious godly silk. Once enough silk is gathered, your god spawns and allows you to mount your god’s weaponry for total destruction!
Coming to current-gen consoles and Steam when it’s ready for early access, which by CodeGlue’s respectable dev-standards means “when it’s really ready” … And they move fast!
Hired as a free-lance game designer and developer for a 3rd party-game they were developing, Peter de Jong (co-founder of CodeGlue) asked me if I wanted to give a go at designing a sequel to Rocket Riot (then dubbed GlitchForce) that would fit todays market, preferably FTP. We had a talk about it and I pitched this concept I had for a twin-stick MOBA based on RR gameplay and Titanfall. After showing it to the team I was hired as product owner and designer for the prototype of AnteGods. It was showed at GamesCom in August 2014 and got great reception by the comunity, and in 2015 got funded by the GameFonds, and is one of 31 Creative Europe’s backed projects.
My job: Game design and development, PR and marketing, business development
Catch22 is a multi-award winning relaxing and frustrating one-button arcade game where you play against yourself endlessly… The game’s name is borrowed from the book Catch22 by Joseph Heller, for the solution to the problem creates the problem in itself.
It was concieved during the Global GameJam together with Roel Bartstra and Marlon Etheredge, and won the national GameJam award. We wanted to create a game where the only enemy is you, and we stretched this design principle through every element of the game. We deliberately chose a soothing art-style and soundtrack (by ijsf) so that the only thing you will get frustrated about after dying is your own mistakes, not the game pumping you up and forcing you into mistakes. It’s this unique combination of gameplay and aesthetics that made the game succes when it grabbed the attention of the media.
As the initial game design was pretty much done after those 48 hrs I quickly took on the role as “the guy” that does the PR and marketing for the game, and hopefully get some funding. It got succesfully funded by the GameFonds and I spammed my way into getting it featured by the biggest game sites and competitions. Throughout it’s lifetime Catch22 has won numerous awards and accolades, such as PAX10 and IndieCade, and was one of the 25 top rated iOS games of 2012 (87/100 score, Metacritic). A full list of articles and awards can be found here.
We still want to re-release the game in glorious HD & VR, as we still feel the mobile version was stripped of it’s 3d technical art awesomeness which gave it that unique feel of softness and endlessness.
My job: Game design internship
I started my Internship when the game was still called “Hiko” and it only existed on paper.
The challenge for this game was that both characters are controlled actively, much like the SNES game Donkey Kong Country, with distinct characteristics in gameplay in both characters.
The last Inua is the story of a father and a son, set in an arctic innuit environment, that is about to pass his son’s rite of initiation to become a man. Little do they know the TonRar is awaking and is after Suka’s life.
The game took three years to complete and saw release in late 2014 on Mac, PC and iOS
My job: Game & level design
Clarks Racer Worlds is a 2.5d racing game that was one of the 3rd party games I designed and developed for and with CodeGlue. It’s part of a national UK advertorial campagn to promote Clark’s new line of shoes for fall / winter 2015. Art was provided by Design Works who ran the entire campaign.
This 2nd installment of the series was challenging from a design perspective, as most elements of the game were constrained by the campaign and Clarks’ guidelines for their beloved Jack & Daisy IP (it’s huge amongst kids in the UK). They already had toys produced which were hovercrafts that launched, a storyline how the game rolls out, and a very short deadline to deliver the first prototype which they wanted to show to Clarks. We altered the game idea they had and I developed a new concept for the gameplay.
After showinng the initial prototype to Design Works, the project was a go. I was hired to do the game and level design.
It’s available on iOS and Android, but i.m.o. plays best with keyboard (Z + X - keys)
My job: Game & level design
Conflix is an applied game that focusses on solving conflicts over territory and resources between rivaling groups. Your goal is to distribute them evenly and prevent a conflict from erupting. The game features over 40 levels that are about actual conflicts in the world today, which gave inspiration to the level design and cause of conflict for each level.
The game was made for Upact, an organization that supports peace, and was backed by Oxfam Novib, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the USAT. As a team we were tasked with creating a casual game that could be played online and on mobile devices, and had to bring across the message without sacrificing fun and gameplay.
The game was hosted by Upact on conflix.nl and released on Android in 2012, but are currently no longer available.
Luckily I keep very good back-ups and you can run the game locally in your browser :)
Download > unzip > open index.html
My job: Game designer
Lost in Time is a geo-location game in which you discover a city’s history through it’s old maps. The city streets are your playground as you navigate, get chased and wonder in search of your quest’s items. You play as Thijmen, a young hacker, who together with the professor (played by Freek de Jonge) needs to travel back in time to prevent certain historical events from ever playing out.
I designed the games and quests for the Amersfoort aan de Eem version of the game. It’s only playable in city’s by hiring an ipad from the VVV travel agency.
My job: Game designer, 3d art and animations
To simply explain the game’s mechanic; Imagine a box and you look at it from above in an isometric perspective…
from a 3d angle ,where I can see three sides of the box, the box has height and depth.
In a 2d angle, where I can only see two sides of the box, the box is flat.
I came up with the concept when I was modelling a character and imported it into Unity. It bugged because of backface-culling, a visual bug which describes as something like;
when you don’t see a piece of surface on a 3d model while it should be there, because you’re looking at that piece from behind.
That realization of something not being there when you look at it from behind sparked the idea behind Blink’s core-mechanic.
After we showcased Reflection to Microsoft, we were asked by them if we wanted to create a game for their newly announced Windows Phone 7. I pitched them the idea I had and the USAT granted us to replace the upcoming semester’s project with our own. Created together with Sonja van Vuure (concept art and 2d art) and Oscar Orton (programmer) we had 3 months to pull off a proof of concept. I still saved the video presentation if you’re interested in the initial concept…
My job: Game design, 3d art and animation
Reflection was the first 3d game we made at the HKU as a part of project Design for Space. The goal was to use the 3rd dimension actively in the game’s core mechanic. We came up with the utility of reflecting world objects in a mirror, after which the player could go into this mirror to use them. The project won 1st prize for most innovating game at Fun and Games.
It was my first dive into 3d modeling and animations, and after many stressful days of figuring out how to import and play animations properly in the XNA engine (manually altering the animation data files…) I fell in love with it. Later on when I created Blink, I got a lot better in modelling, rigging and animating resulting in a dedicated love for 3d art.
The game never saw release, but if you’re interested in how the tech works or see something you like to use, then download the .rar file which contains the entire XNA project (50mb).