Project Data
Project Date
Company
Tools Used
My Role

Rite of ilk Game Design

During this project I was the main game designer, responsible for creating pitches, prototypes and level design. The main goal was to make a game that was build from the ground up for couch co-op and our main mechanic, the rope that binds the two players together, became the representation of that. To aid in this process I established three design pillars:

- Communication: Our mechanics and puzzles are set up to envoke communication between the two players, encouraging them to work together to solve them.

- Approachability: Keep the game approachable to as wide a range of audience as possible, and focus on non-gamers specifically.

- Discovery: The main characters and the world encourage you to seek and explore, leaving you with that child-like wonder of discovery.

Rope Mechanic

The rope that binds the two players together is the main mechanic of the game, and from a design perspective we sort of viewed it as the combined strengths of the two players. I created a lot of mechanics and puzzles where to players would have to use the rope to activate levers, topple giant pillars, pull minecarts or even swing from one ledge to another.

The interesting part of the rope is that it is not infinite and actually restricts the players movement once they reach the end of it. This allowed for some cool puzzles where the players need to really pay attention as to how they manoeuvre.

Quite early on in the design I also came up with the idea to allow players to teleport to one another through the rope. This allowed for a lot of cool moments where as one player would fall down, the other player could shelp them back to safety by teleporting them back up. Through this mechanic the players would only die if both of them failed instead of only one of them. For more examples of mechanics I prototyped, please visit the Actions Sequence or Blueprint sections.

To see all these mechanics in action, you can watch the gameplay section below:

Level Design

I was responsible for all Whiteboxing and Grayboxing for this massive project, making use of the quick iteration times that the Unreal Engine 4 allowed me to do to constantly switch between building and creating to ensure the best possible result.

My main goal in level design was to make the linear levels feel very open and diverse and to create alot of interesting places to discover. By creating multiple routes in both the paths as in some of the puzzles the levels support a lot of different playstyles. To endorse the feeling of openness even further, some of the puzzles would be so called "Hub Puzzles" where players have to find and solve a couple of small puzzles in the area.

In the gifs below you can see the transition from blockout to setdress:

Rite of ilk VFX Rite of ilk VFX

As showing is always better then telling, here is some gameplay of the levels I created:

Environmental Puzzles

As the players progresses through the world they will encounter numerous puzzles. These can range from simple puzzles where the players have to create a new path for themselfs, to more complex puzzles where the players have to use ancient machinery and objects to open a mysterious door.

The core design that I have used for these puzzles is that the players must always know what needs to happen in order for them to continue, and then backtrack from the answer to the solution. By keeping these solutions open for interpetation the players will start to communicate about the possible answers and feel smart and empowered when they find the answer.

I also worked on a couple of huge and unique puzzles that emphasize important moments in the game, like entering a new area. These puzzles were designed to be enormous in scale and feel rather complex in contrast to the other puzzles. This helped setting them appart from the other puzzles and also to provide a change in pace.

To break up the level pacings, I also worked on action packed sequences. To learn more about those you can visit the "Action Sequences" page from the menu below.