Final year project
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch [Read more]
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - Title Page / Main Aims
The document opens with the core aims of the game - providing accessibility to disabled gamers, establishing a connection between players and encouraging positive feelings through environmental exploration.
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - Game World / Game Roles
The game world is built with the game aims in mind, creating a guided open-world experience. There is no immediate plot to follow, rather the players will participate in emergent storytelling.
A key challenge of the project was to conceptualise engaging gameplay without fostering unhealthy competition between players, which can lead to frustration. Our solution to this is an asymmetric play where players will form teams and co-operate to reach their goals.
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - The Player Experience
While we had many specific ideas on game mechanics, we distilled them down to the key components of a player's user journey. I established the layout in the form of a trail and created concept art which demonstrated the game's visual language. These were then overlaid with the UI elements and paired with the map illustrations to complete the journey presentation.
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - Gameplay Features / Companion App
Further important aspects of the gameplay are discussed here, as well as the companion app. The app is a crucial part of our concept of creating connections and encouraging exploration.
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - Gameplay Loops / Accessibility Features
Using the aforementioned gameplay features, I created a nested gameplay loop to show the core actions of the player and how the different aspects of the game feed into them. This loop provides a focus to the game, showing how rewards will lead to progress and therefore player retention.
As we aim to make accessibility an integrated part of the gameplay, not just the settings, we detailed several features and demonstrated the voice commands in an animation. I created music and used sound effects that would establish the intended atmosphere of the game. The animations are also intended to be used as social media stings to promote the game, both subtitled and voiced to adhere to the theme of accessibility.
Animation 1 link: https://youtu.be/pNoIxnh2b74
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch Document - Game Development / Marketing
We specified the game's visual language to show how it is a playful experience rather than a realistic walking simulator. The animation offers an example of an in-game puzzle, for which I drew the environment assets and animated the river.
Additionally, we were cognizant of the role of gaming personalities in video game marketing and how they are already fostering connections between people, creating an ideal scenario for this cooperative game. The animation demonstrates the feature of route sharing.
I created music and used sound effects that would establish the intended atmosphere of the game. The animations are also intended to be used as social media stings to promote the game, both subtitled and voiced to adhere to the theme of accessibility.
Animation 2 link: https://youtu.be/NElT8qWGzJQ
Animation 3 link: https://youtu.be/RTKhmCjieFU
'Trails: Companion World' - Concept Art
My illustrative contribution to the pitch document - these pieces of concept art are featured in 'The Player Experience' pages. I wished to showcase a variety of environments in different lighting, using primary source photograph references as I drew to present a collection of in-game scenarios.
'Trails: Companion World' - Prop Design
I created orthographic sheets and material callouts for two props that were 3D modelled, which can be seen on the 'Companion App' and 'Game Development' page. I designed both while heavily inspired by natural materials, making them distinguishable from the environment without making them look out of place on a hike.
I took on the role of game loop designer, concept artist for props and environments and animator in this group project.
I have a great interest in creating games that go beyond their basic purpose of entertainment. To that end, I worked with Luke Trower and Nix Newton on the D&AD New Blood Awards brief set by Rare, which asked us to make a game that is a force for good.
We identified that in current circumstances, many people are feeling isolated and stuck indoors. With this in mind, we designed a co-op game that evokes the feeling of hiking outdoors with others. Here, people can play empathically and build communities in a game that reflects Rare's playful ethos. We also identified that people with disabilities may feel particularly isolated.
One problem in the gaming industry is that not all games are designed with accessibility in mind, so to make sure that everyone is truly included, we focused on utilising accessibility features from the start. This includes designing the game to work with the Xbox Adaptive Controller and allowing players to use audio commands to control the game.
Final year project
'Trails: Companion World' Game Pitch