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Role(s): Designer, Artist, Programmer

Team Size: 1​

Development Time: 2 months​

Engine: Unity

Rolling Sun is a 3D, marble-like physics platformer. You play as a stag beetle, tasked with the job of rolling a ball of light to its destination to act as the sun every morning, you must speedily roll to your destination and clock out before the day starts!

CONTRIBUTIONS

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  • This prototype was solo designed by myself

  • This was programmed by myself

  • All art assets are original creations of my own

DESIGN INTENTIONS + PHILOSOPHY

Linear level geometry, branching segments


Long or short, Rolling Sun's levels should have a clear goal in sight, accompanied with a few branching paths for risk-takers that like shortcuts.

Rewarding speedsters, without discouraging other players


Part of the game's scoring system is influenced by the player's speed, thanks to the in-game timer. On top of the base score for finishing the level the player is also awarded:
 

  • Time bonus - Any remaining time is put through a multiplier and added to the base score; when time runs out, the timer hits "overtime" where the player can still finish the level but won't receive any score bonus

 

  • Size bonus - The current size of the sun is also added to the base score - the bigger the sun, the bigger the bonus!

Using size to bypass certain obstacles

Players experience the same levels in different ways depending on the size of the sun. This creates an natural union between the level and system design
 

  • Smaller suns have an easier time maneuvering around certain obstacles quickly, whereas larger suns can traverse thinner, riskier paths as well as awarding score bonuses - the added use of score vs manoeuvrability results in dual purpose design as it adds a more meaningful choice when changing size.

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RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION

Game Design Document Lite!

The light design document I made to gather and illustrate my ideas 

into a cohesive, digestible piece to keep referring to.

REFLECTION

This was the first of many small solo projects I plan to do in order to broaden my knowledge of key elements in game design. This one in particular has given me a lot to think about for future projects as a whole let alone the future of this particular project.

What Went Well

  • Visually pleasing, as simple as it is. Where the minimal art style and level geometry makes the fast paced game digestible  - the colours and shaders give the levels a more lively atmosphere!

 

  • This project was small in scope and easy to manage to more complex parts of the prototype. It also makes it easier to build upon you I continue this specialist practice prototype

 

  • Structurally sound and cohesive level design - even if a little lengthy. The level's end goal is easy to identify as well as the paths you can take to get to it

What to Improve

  • Due to a few time restraints I didn't have any plans for adding sound effects or music - just a bit of audio would've gone a long way in making the game feel more alive however

 

  • Utilise the growth/shrink mechanics more - taking more advantage of the size mechanics in levels' designs would've given the prototype more of its own voice from other similar games

 

  • A little more agency in faster paced sections of the game - an additional mechanic like a slow-down could've helped alleviate the stress that might have come with gaining a lot of momentum. I also could have built shorter levels with a more slope-like or declining structure so falling doesn't immediately mean the end as there's a chance for more level beneath them

(The itch page for this prototype is currently in the works so keep an eye out!
In the meantime, feel free to view my itch account or look at other projects I've worked on.) 

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