Worst of Both Worlds

Worst of Both Worlds is a horror platformer where you progress and avoid threats by jumping between 2D and 3D worlds. I created it along with Ysidro Hartzell. The main goals in creating this game were to subvert expectations and constantly surprise the player with interesting uses of the 2D and 3D switching mechanic. The main challenge is was to successfully teach this mechanic to first time players and even more difficult to get them think about how to use it intelligently. 

Tools: Unity, Visual Studio (C#), Maya, Photoshop

Isolated 2D and 3D spaces in the beginning allowing the player to get comfortable with the control schemes.

Tutorializing dimension switching by giving the player no choice but to jump into the wall.

Player using dimension switching to escape monsters.

Interaction between the 2D and 3D worlds. Box pushed up against a wall to create a 2D platform indicated by black lines.

Some playtesters weren’t able to figure out that there are 2D platforms in the far wall that can be used as escape routes. Incorporating crawlers in the background using these platforms was a clue that also added more creepiness to the level.

Unexpected cross dimensional interaction. The monster chasing the player knocks the player out of 2D into 3D by smashing the wall.

Cinematic Stealth Game Prototype

This was a personal project where my goals were to convey information about the world through environmental storytelling and to invoke a sense of uneasiness and dread in the player through level design. I created all of the models and did all the scripting with UE4 Blueprints.

Tools: Unreal Engine 4, Blueprints, Maya, Photoshop

Changing camera angles for visual variety and a cinematic feel as well as keeping the player thinking about how to navigate the level safely.

The player is forced to use paths where the character and enemies are seen through glass panes. Visibility is limited to make the player feel unsafe.

Changing camera angles for visual variety and a cinematic feel as well as keeping the player thinking about how to navigate the level safely.

Threat and scale increases throughout the level. Environmental storytelling is used to ramp up the stakes.

1. Player walks through a desolate street.

2. Player witnesses a few robots and dead bodies.

3. Player sees the city in flames, squads of robots everywhere, and bodies lining the streets as far as the eye can see.

Level Designer

Wavebent is a USC student project made by 8 students. It is a 3 v 3 third person shooter where you can shoot at the ground to create rippling waves that knock your opponents off the level. I worked with others to design levels focusing on accentuating the unique mechanics of the game to provide players with an engaging team-based multiplayer shooter experience. I also created nearly all the environmental art and three animated characters.

Tools: Unity, Visual Studio (C#), Maya, Photoshop

I modeled the assets for one of our initial map designs. It takes place on the inside of a sphere broken up into eggshell-like fragments. Initially, the idea of a full spherical map with 360 degree combat to take advantage of being able to walk upright on any platform was appealing. However, playtesting showed that it was confusing and chaotic to new players.

I designed the next iteration of the map. Switching to a half bowl shape limited the angles players had to worry about being shot from. Overall, the symmetrical design and distinct platforms made it clear where you were in relation to other players while the overlapping portions provided cover (but not enough, according to playtesting). The design also reflected the lore that Wavebent is an spectator arena sport in the game’s universe.

The next iteration of the level features central pillars that block line of sight across the level allowing players to take cover. The central platform turned from a deathtrap into a zone of relative safety that players fought for since the pillars and connecting ring can save players from being knocked off.

Proposed iteration of the level featuring rotating platforms that offer new ways of traversing the level as well as risky flanking routes. Not yet implemented.

Zombie Pinball Defense

Zombie Pinball Defense is a personal project where I put a unique spin on pinball. Stop the increasingly large horde of zombies by striking them with the ball. My goal was to create an addictive, mobile-suitable, experience where players would constantly try to beat their own high scores.

Tools: Unity, Visual Studio (C#), Maya, Photoshop

Player is rewarded with extra points for direct hits and combo kills to encourage skillful aiming rather than spamming the paddles randomly. The ball speed, paddle strength, zombie speed and level size are also tweaked to ensure that this is not a viable strategy when aiming for a high score.

There is satisfying visual and audio feedback for using the paddles and scoring points.