Game Summary

Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse is a top-down dual-stick shooter game set on the brink of the apocalypse! You play as Lathe, an inventive young woodling, and Roguard, a towering, powerful stone giant. As Lathe rides Roguard into battle, you’ll need to use Roguard’s immense strength, and Lathe’s gunplay to fight back hordes of zombies and other twisted creatures corrupted by an ancient curse.

This game is in still in development, as such I am under NDA and cannot discuss detailed aspects of development

Game Design

As Game Designer on Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse, I led a close-knit team of designers and developers. I pitched weapons, enemies, encounters, bosses and level ideas, designed them on paper, prototyped them, and then worked on and owned them until polished.

 

After several years of prior development, internal testing revealed that the project was neither engaging to our target audience nor within scope given our budget. I led the project’s redesign team in pitching and prototyping a new direction for the game. My focus was to design a game that was engaging, market viable, within scope, adhered to the original vision of the narrative and used many of the completed tools, assets, and systems that had already been developed. After a month of intensive prototyping and testing, I identified a new principle design vision, overhauled the core gameplay loop, and successfully pitched the redesign to our investors. 

 

I’ve designed the player mechanics to satisfy our core design principles.
 

  • Immersive Fantasy: The player controls a gun-wielding shooter riding atop a powerful stone giant. To satisfy the fantasy of playing an incredibly strong giant, enemies are numerous, the player is durable, and each melee swing should send a dozen zombies flying back. While melee keeps the player from being overwhelmed by the ever-present hordes, the player must use their ranged arsenal to focus fire on more dangerous combatants. Enemies, bosses, weapons, and levels are designed to quickly introduce and reinforce this playstyle.

  • Stay Calm and Think: To excel, the player must keep a level head in the face of chaos. Playtesters have called the game a frantic test of focus, similar to rubbing your tummy and patting your head. Increasingly challenging combat encounters, simple puzzles, and platforming sections help build up and wind-down intensity to create a saw-tooth flow to the stress of gameplay. Without this, players would numb to the non-stop action, or simply struggle to remain focused during peaks in difficulty.

  • Creating a Legend: From the very beginning, the game was conceived as a powerful tale of friendship, loss, and overcoming adversity. While our game focuses on satisfying action, we want players to feel a growing bond between these two characters both narratively and mechanically.

Game Trailer
 Concept Art 
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Role

Game Designer & Lead Level Designer

Platform

PC, Mac, Xbox One & Playstation 4

Tools

Unity, ProBuilder, uNature, Cinemachine, Jira, Confluence, Plastic, Plastic

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