Clowntastrophe (Game Jam 2D Platformer)

Project Overview

Role: Level Designer
Genre:
 2D Platformer
Engine:
Unity 5
Team Size: 7 Developers

Clowntastrophe is a 48 hours Game Jam project using the theme “Red Light, Green Light”. It’s about a girl who had a Halloween Party, except that the scary clowns infest her house and she needs to escape. I collaborated on the level design, dividing sections of the house with another developer, making sure we alternated properly and kept a cohesive vision with a fair difficulty curve. The game can be downloaded here.

Project Details and Challenges

For Clowntastrophe, we really wanted to make sure we kept the scope in check, so we could polish what we had as much as possible. It was the first Game Jam experience for everyone in the team, but since we had a pretty good mix (one person taking the role of Project Manager, two as programmers, two as artists and two as level designers), we could divide the tasks properly and effectively. My philosophy for the level was to have three floors in the house, each with more obstacles. I coordinated with my design partner how we could progressively introduce different mechanics, and combine them along the way. We followed the logic of A, B, A+B, C, A+C, B+C, A+B+C, and so on.

We then divided the floors. I created the top floor, he was responsible the middle one and we both did the ground together. We still collaborated, iterating and giving a few more passes on each other’s part so we could keep everything cohesive and fun to play. We collaborated with the artists and programmers, asking and giving what they needed, and keeping a workflow that made sure we had the design they needed to test specific things or provide art assets.

Challenges: As it was the first Game Jam experience for everyone in the team, we had the scope in mind all the time. We wondered at some point if we wanted to create a second level, since we had time, but we decided not to. Which was definitely a good decision, since just a couple of hours after that decision, we had to change a few things in the level to make it better. We couldn’t test the game before we presented it, which means we found some bugs and polishing fixes that we wanted to solve. At the end of the day, though, we decided not to do it because it would mean work after the Game Jam, defeating the purpose of showing what we could do in just 48 hours.

Roberto Guedes