Past Memories (2D Platformer-Runner)

Project Overview

Roles: Level Designer, Writer, Marketing & PR
Genre:
 2D Platformer
Engine:
Unity 5
Team Size: 3 Developers, 1 Composer

Past Memories is a 2D Platformer for iOS and Android about a girl remembering her past before she passes away. It was our first opportunity at Give Me Five to work on a new IP, so we decided to explore a genre we were really interested in (runner games), but including our own bits into it. I was responsible for designing all levels, as well as the use of environmental storytelling to show the locations the protagonist goes through until the end of her life. You can check it here.

Project Details and Challenges

For Past Memories, we didn’t want to create an endless runner. We loved platformers, but also the idea of keeping the controls easy to learn and not create a difficult UI. To solve this problem, we decided to let the protagonist always move forward, and the only inputs the player would use were jumping and using items to escape from their enemies, since she couldn’t fight back. We still wanted players to end levels, get a description of their performance, and get a designed difficulty progression, so we kept what we did for previous projects in terms of level conventions, such as rewards for going on a different path and collectibles.

We shipped the game with 4 levels and included 4 more after as free additional content. Because of that, I had to keep an idea of creating the difficulty progression in a way that felt fair throughout the game. After all, the post-launch levels were designed to be placed before the last original level, not after it. I had to constantly iterate on the first four to make adjustments and correct any bugs as each new version included a new level for players to try.

For the story, we tried to keep it minimal and simple by design, as our main pillar for Past Memories was play whenever you want, however you want. This meant that sometimes they could be in a crowded place, without any way of hearing the game’s audio. The story was there for places who cared about it and wanted to invest time on it, but in a subtle way. Each location represented a different part of the protagonist’s life, such as her home, school, park and ultimately ending up in a graveyard. Her memories were the only colored part of each level, representing the only happy things she could grasp on to from these environments.

Challenges: In Past Memories, our main challenge was the lack of an office. All developers were from the same town, but we either had to work remotely or they came to my apartment often to continue developing the game. Communication and proper management were difficult, but it did help that we knew each other for a while and understood how to do that effectively. Additionally, as our new IP, it was the first time we couldn’t rely on others’ marketing to promote the game. I planned the press releases, as well as the press kit and constant communication all around the world, in both English and Portuguese, to showcase the game.

Roberto Guedes