Links

GitHub
  • Google Play

Engine: Unity

Artwork Tools: Photoshop, Piskelapp.com

Role: Team Leader & Lead Artist

Team size: 3

Development Time: 2 months

Synopsis:

"Ice Slider" is a 2D mobile game developed for use on Android devices and published on the Google Play Store. The user must help the Inuit navigate their way to the exit on each level by swiping on their screen in one of the cardinal directions: up, down, left or right. The Inuit begins in a specific location in each level and investigates the planning, strategy and resource management aspects of a mobile game with the help of senior King developer Juliet Colman.

 

There are a total of 11 levels: a tutorial level plus 5 early game levels (1-5), and 5 late game levels (31-35). Crystals are introduced as bonuses for the player to collect, which would function as in-game currency if the project saw further development. When testing with a Samsung Galaxy S10, all contents displayed on the device correctly, however the above video has cut-off the edges during recording.

Demonstrable Skills:

  • Leadership:

    1. Created initial Unity project and ensured all members could access it via GitHub

    2. Setup and maintained team documentation

    3. Setup and maintained GitHub repository

    4. Created, maintained, and organised Trello board

    5. Managed team members by issuing and chasing up on tasks

    6. Organised team calls to discuss progress and next steps

    7. Maintained team morale and assumed diplomatic role when issues arose within the team

    8. Creation and ownership of project items such as feedback surveys, bug reports, Google Play Store account for publishing app, and organising the store page and creating visuals for it

    9. Presented the app at various stages, including when demoing to Juliet Colman from King Studios

  • Lead Artist:

    1. Completed creation of all requested art assets by fellow team members

    2. Designed art assets to be as friendly and simple to use as possible by the level designer, which includes making example images when combining different sprite tiles

    3. Created early concept images to visualise the idea clearly

    4. Created graphics for the Google Play Store page

Skills Breakdown:

Leadership

As the team leader on this project, I held many responsibilities to ensure that we would successfully deliver a prototype mobile game. To that end, I created and maintained all team documentation, the team's Trello board, GitHub repository, the bug report, and created the Google Play Store account needed in order to upload our game to the app store for Android phones. I also created the feedback survey for the team so that we could identify strong and weak areas within our project and highlight areas in need of improvements.

Additionally, I played a diplomatic role when team relations were strained. Since different members had different beliefs for what they wanted to get out of this project, I eased tensions by identifying practical solutions to the problems that we were facing. In doing so, a happy medium was reached that left everyone feeling more reassured about what they would be working on and how it would contribute to their portfolios. With this sorted, I went on to assign roles and responsibilities between everyone. We would then frequently have team calls to discuss our progress, what was next to complete, and to chase up on outstanding work.

 

Towards the end of the project, our team's Level Designer had fallen short on the work we expected from them, with many elements of the levels being passed over to our programmer not working. For instance, many of the UI elements had not been checked since not all of them were displaying information at all, and some levels were not appropriately designed to allow the playable character to navigate through them without getting stuck. As a result, myself and our lead programmer worked together to resolve all these issues to bring the levels up to a higher quality and ensure they were all fully functional. As our submission was slightly delayed, we took it upon ourselves to fix the issues as it would be completed faster.

Throughout the project, I needed to update our module leader on our team's progress. This includes pitching the game idea to both the module leader and Juliet Colman, a member of King Studios who would join our classes every 2 weeks to provide guidance, advice, and feedback on team projects. My explanation for our game idea and justification for the art style to be used were well received by both the module leader and Juliet, giving my teammates greater reassurance that the work they would be completing would be worth the effort. During the lifecycle, I would update our module leader on our progress and present our work during workshop hours for examination and feedback. This continued until the final day of presenting, where we showcased the final product to the class and to Juliet Colman.

 

Lead Artist

As the Lead Artist, I took responsibility for how to stylize the game, from UI elements to environment designs. As most of my experience has been in making pixel art, the team were happy with me to go forward with this style for our game. With the gameplay focused on navigating out of a maze, I went with an icy theme to justify how the sliding mechanic would exist in the game world. I took inspiration from some classic games I played growing up, particularly from the Pokémon franchise. I then set about creating a gender-neutral playable character based on the Inuit people.

 

All art assets were drawn personally and have been organised into 2 groups. The first gallery highlights all the assets that I drew and incorporated into the project, with some examples of how to tile the sprites together to form seamless images. These examples were created to help the level designer understand how they should and could use these assets in a non-restrictive manner. The only exceptions are the arrow images, which were part of plans to introduce a new feature in later levels, but were not added to the build due to time constraints.

The second gallery shows development from my very early concept drawings to the first early prototype level, then the first store page graphic and main menu screen, before finally showing some levels and the app icon. The early concept design were used when pitching the game idea.