Designer / Producer

I Scry

 
 

I Scry

 
 
 
 

I Scry

Inspired by a love of social couch multiplayers I Scry is an asymmetrical multiplayer, designed for digital release on the PC market. You are invited to enter our arena as either a cheeky toddler Wizard or the devilish babysitting Familiar. As this formidable duo you must coordinate your movements and attacks to defeat the opposing team in an all out battle of sorcery-fueled projectiles, devious spellcasting, and brotherly rivalry.

Gameplay revolves around 3 stages:

  1. Grabbing the Artefact
  2. Placing the Artefact under Shards
  3. Protecting the Artefact while it captures the Shard

Wizards fight over the Artefact until one grabs it, Shards then become highlighted, and the Wizard with the Artefact needs to take it to one of the Shards. If the Wizard holding the Artefact runs underneath a Shard, the Artefact is dropped and starts to capture the Shard. That Wizard and their Familiar then need to protect the Artefact until the Shard is captured. The first team to capture 5 Shards wins the game.

Familiars are tasked with keeping the opposing Wizard away from the Artefact, until either their Wizard grabs it, and then protecting them or shooting the opposing Wizard, if they happened to grab it, to make them drop the Artefact.

A Wizard not carrying the Artefact can use a chargeable push spell to launch their opponents away from the Artefact, Shards, and off the map. Being thrown out of the Arena causes a Wizard to drop the Artefact.

Familiars can charge up and launch fireballs which damage the opposing Familiar, stun the opposing Wizard, knock enemies out of the arena and, most importantly, can make the opposing Wizard drop the Artefact.

This project was my graduating major work at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.


My Contributions

Lead Game Designer

  • Created and maintained our Game Design Document
  • Mechanics Design
  • Level Design
  • Narrative Design
  • UX Design
  • UI Design

Production Manager

  • Created and implemented a testing plan and schedule containing periodic milestones
  • Assigned tasks to the appropriate party
  • Created product backlog
  • Dealt with any internal conflict
  • Made all executive project decisions

Scrum Master (Kanban)

  • Created and maintained a Trello Board
  • Conducted daily stand-up meetings
  • Maintained team morale

Project Information

Project Length
14 weeks

Engine Used
Unreal Engine 4

Team Composition
1 Artist, 1 Programmer, 1 Designer

My Roles
Lead Game Designer, 
Production Manager,
Scrum Master


The Challenge

Apart from trying to conduct effective internal testing of a 4 player game with a three person team, the main challenge we faced was how to make our game an enjoyable individual experience for two different characters that was an even more enjoyable experience when they worked cooperatively. 

The ultimate aim was to make it feel like neither character was considered the "main" character and the other the "support" character.

Balancing

Throughout this production I Scry went through 3 major pivots, all with the aim of balancing the gameplay and enhancing the user experience.

The initial couple of ideas all revolved around splitting the arena in 2 and having the Wizards face off in one while the Familiars face off in the other. While this severely limited the interactions between teammates, player's still had to rely on their partner to mark objectives for them. While this was fun it didn't feel enough like the co-operative experience that we were aiming for.

The camera perspective also differed between the Wizard and the Familiar. Wizards, focused on more platforming gameplay, were played from a 3rd person perspective, while Familiars, focused more on ranged combat, were played from a first person perspective.

These two systems, the separate arenas and the differing camera perspectives, were considered to be integral throughout the first half of production. That being said, we quickly realised that no part of the game could be considered "unsacrificable" when attempting to make I Scry the best it could possibly be.

So that led to putting both Wizards and both Familiars in the same arena and lo and behold the game increased exponentially in both the cooperative feel and general enjoyment. We then decided to try the game with both players having first and third person cameras. Through testing it was quickly ascertained that first person didn't really work and detracted from the user experience, but with both characters being third person really increased the feeling of being part of a team. We figured this was due to actually being able to see the colour of your character, and hence your team, at all times.

With these two drastic changes, along with many others, I Scry ended up a balanced and complete experience.

For more details about the other changes made please take a look at the Game Design Document linked below.


Outcome

This was easily my favourite project to date. I was blessed with an amazingly talented team and ended up producing a game that I am proud to show off to anyone who asks. The challenges I faced throughout allowed me to grow my abilities and really reaffirm my love of both the design and production aspects of game development.