TEAM

Ayesha Khalid - Lead Artist

Brendon Le Count - Code
Eunice Lim - Artist, FX, Code

Jia Kai - Lead Coder, Producer

Yu Peng - Level Design, Sound, Code

MY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Led the team and guided overall creative direction.

    • ​Maintained macro design document.

    • Identified weekly sprint goals.

    • Improved pipeline between artists, programmers, and designers.

  • Scripted world gravity, collisions, animation, effects, feedback, underwater level.

  • Implemented FX.

  • Ensured visual clarity.

Dreamwalker: Tilt Puzzle

Enter the dreams of children and protect them from their nightmares in this 2D tilt-puzzle mobile game.​

  • Every child is based on a true story.

  • Every level is different.

 

Drop into their subconscious and discover the deeper reasons behind their fears.
 

A game about Fear and Hope.

GENRE

2D tilt-control mobile

Puzzle, Action, Strategy.

GAME ENGINE

Unity, C#

In The Beginning: Greenlight Prototype

Early Concepts

VISION: Design Pillars

  • Digital tilt maze meets pac-man in dreams, feels like a darker Alice in Wonderland.

  • A game about overcoming fears, based on true stories.

  • Evoke emotion of Empathy.

  • Heavy & Surreal.

  • Control via tilting

  • Storytelling through gameplay.

  • Levels are alive

Dropped pillars: Control the world, not the player

MY GREATEST CHALLENGE

My greatest challenge and main role was managing the team and communicating the vision. Every day, my respect for creative directors and team leaders grows.

Using the Cerny method, we remade the same level each week, tackling new concerns. But this meant each level was filled with holes since the level design, balance, onboarding weren't being tackled until more fundamental questions like player controls were resolved. The team grew stressed and felt we weren't progressing. In response, I spent all my energy stabilizing the stress in the group by making progress tangible, while simultaneously solidifying the vision and improving workflow. I printed out weekly screenshots pasted it on our wall to remind them of how far we've come. 

Five weeks in, and it all paid off. We're in a much better place now! The team is confident enough that they can now declare to me "I can be the creative lead too!". Can't wait to show you what we've got!

WEEKLY BLOG

Learned how to pitch a game in 3 minutes to industry experts!

  • Greenlit out of 24 solo pitches

Week 0: Greenlight Pitch

I talked to everyone and chose people who chose Dreamwalker. With passion, we can do anything!

  • Scaled project's scope to match team composition

  • Took on roles suited to goals & interests.

Week 1: Forming the Dream Team

From early playtests, I found players experienced motion sickness when rotating which could invalidate core gameplay. The team did flawless work porting it to the phone!

  • Outlined and prioritized experiments for the 3 months on a scatterplot.

  • Taught concepts on visual clarity.

  • Learned about the accelerometer & mobile game pipeline.

Week 2: Do you feel dizzy?

Distinguishing this was critical to the vision I had: Fears are hard to overcome alone, sometimes you can help.

  • Scripted a Level Maker tool.

  • Added a dreamer npc.

  • Wrote a user story

Week 3: Will players realize they aren't the dreamer?

"Storytelling through Gameplay" was core to the vision. We had gameplay, but it didn't evoke empathy. Players were too confused, so we focused on improving feedback.

  • Taught visual clarity concepts - density, saturation, values.

  • Scripted camera panning.

  • Learned to facilitate pipeline between specialized Artists and Coders.

Week 4: Storytelling through Gameplay

"Storytelling through Gameplay" was core to the vision. We had gameplay, but it didn't evoke empathy. In the previous prototype, players were confused so we focused on improving feedback.

  • Taught visual clarity concepts - density, saturation, values.

  • Scripted camera panning.

  • Learned to facilitate pipeline between specialized Artists and Coders.

Week 4: Storytelling through Gameplay

I focused on finalizing narrative and design, hoping a playable prototype of the story's ending would clarify the vision.

  • Prototyped three levels, focused on communicating core ideas.

  • Finalized scope in a Macro document.

    • Map size

    • Difficulty

    • Theme

    • Goal

    • Horror rating

    • Critical story beats

    • Combat encounters

    • Puzzles

  • Scripted different gravity modes.

Week 5: How many levels are there?
A major change. Split the linear story into multiple short stories - Vignettes. Although we're sad to chop up the story, this change was also exciting since it allows exploration of all genres and points of view!
  • Redefined playtest success cases.
  • Prototyped a new level.
  • Scripted gravity, collisions for an existing level.
Sprint 6: Vignette VS. Linear Storyline
Learning points:
  • Serializable objects as a code structure.
  • Saving and loading to a binary file.
  • Hinge joint rope physics.
Sprint 7: Vignette

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