Unity 3D, Probuilder, DIscord, Dungeon Scrawl, Plastic
Backfirewall is a First Person Narrative Puzzle game about exploring the User's phone and completing the new update! You play as the Update Manager, a program tasked with carrying out the new update for the phone you call home. This causes the end of the current OS (OS 9) and the rise of the new OS (OS 10), but something in the update has gone awry.
Make your way through the phone with both OS's on your shoulders. Solve puzzles, learn about the User, and complete the update to save the phone!
Concepted levels in 2D, and then converted the concepts into 3D whiteboxes using ProBuilder
Worked with the Narrative lead to create Levels that helped guide the vision, flow, and mechanics of the project while in the Prototype stage
Used components and visual scripting to script puzzles, hazards, and environmental events
React, adapt, and iterate based on frequent changes to prototype design
Participated in design meetings and discussions with a team that is spread across the world
Worked with my lead to make sure tasks were done efficiently, thoroughly, and on time
Environments draw from real world concepts fused with components of the phone
Puzzles make the player feel like they are changing or fixing the world they move through
Narrative events have far reaching effects on both the main story and side story
Mechanics support and influence the main and side narratives
Batteries rely on manipulating particles to create electricity. To fuse it with a real-world location, I used nuclear power plants as references to create a space that feels dangerous and industrial. Pipes, catwalks, and deadly liquids provided a base structure to expand upon.
I built Battery to be a quicker level, one that takes place during a high-action narrative moment. Because of this, the player doesn't stay on each island for long. Puzzles are quick and relatively easy to solve to keep up the pace.
One of the challenges when designing The Battery was how to introduce two new concepts in the same level: a new set of Interactables, the Plug and the Outlet, and a new "hacking command" called Duplicate. Both of these mechanics will be seen throughout the game. They are taught on this first contained space, even though the player only has immediate access to the Plug and Outlet. Players will find two pressure plates, but nothing to weigh them down with. After they grab the Plug from the small outcropping and plug it into the nearby Outlet, the player can ride the platform to the upper area to meet a personified character, Battery. She demonstrates Duplicate by duplicating the cube she has, and players can then proceed to the next area. The player will then obtain the Duplicate command later in the level already understanding how it functions.
Wi-Fi at its core is a way for phones to grab file packages so they can sort and present data. A perfect real-life counterpart was a space similar to a post office, filled with luggage-sorting equipment.
I wanted to give the feeling that the facility was still operational, but only just, with significant inefficiencies due to a problem with the update. Stuff was still getting done, but with the place held together by duct tape and digital bubblegum.
Wi-fi is a chaotic place and the crossing, winding pipes, and places for packages to drop from one to another helps give it a sense that one thing out of line would cause everything to explode.