Internship - Meelfoy Games

Summary

I worked for 5 months on the game “Dogs Den” as the acting design lead and as a game designer. My main tasks were developing and testing the games systems and mechanics as well as managing the design team and planning the different sprints together with the project lead.

Roles:

Timeframe:

Engine:

Platform:

Tools I used:

Acting Design Lead

Game Designer

5 Months

Unity

Mobile (Android & iOS)

Unity Engine, Trello, Powerpoint, Excel

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My Contribution:

Acting Design Lead

My tasks mainly revolved around managing tasks and planning for the design team as well as assisting the project lead with other management tasks when required.

We worked through a combination of Microsoft Excel and Trello to organize the tasks and plan each sprint. I also did a preliminary validation of the design tasks that were up for review before passing them on to the project lead and project Owner for final validation, or giving feedback to the designers about complimentary information needed. I also acted as a scrum master and held the daily standup-meetings.

Game Designer

Early Concepting

Starting at the Internship my main task was to develop the main gameplay component of the game. A lot of time was spent studying the top downloaded games on the storefront to see what they do successfully and what we could adapt and then put our own twist on. 

 

We made 3 paper prototypes with different mechanics that accomplished the desired game play goals and fit the genre, after that we evaluated them and picked one that we felt the most confident in and made a Unreal prototype of it, that we presented to the product owner and the rest of the team.

LIA Flowshart.PNG

Early Concept Gameplay loop

Early Gameplay Concept

Character Design

My second task was to research and design the main “characters” of the game, the dogs.

The goal was to find dog breeds that were visually distinct from each other while also fitting a general size and popularity requirement for the game. I also researched their general behavior to get a feel for the average personality of a breed.

 

I compiled my findings in a presentation and after some revisions and feedback made a list with visual references for the artists to work with when they create the art for the game.

Developing Mechanics

After that much of my work was in developing the various mechanics of the game. First concepting them, then getting them reviewed and then creating a presentation file for the other team-mates. The concepting part usually started with going back to researching the top downloaded games to see how they solved similar issues and then where applicable adapting those solutions to fit in the game.

Balancing

My task was to develop the details of one of the main system as well as the balancing it, I started by looking for inspiration in other games, since there weren't really anyone using a similar system I had to start out by making educated guesses which I den tried and evaluated in the prototype and then iterate on to narrow it down until i found a system that both felt balanced and fun to play with.

Quality Assurance

I also did some testing of the game in the final stages of the internship. I mainly did general testing, playing the game trying to find bugs and balancing issues, but also to figure out other ways the game could be improved. Secondly I tested previously reported bugs and issues to see if they had been fixed or needed another pass.