A game about exploring an abandoned city, finding magical plants, and fighting bandits.
Team Size: 5
Development Time: 3 months (2019)
Tools Used: Unreal, Blender, Adobe Suite, Maya
Wanderlust is an exploration puzzle game focused around player discovery. Gameplay revolves around solving multi-solution environmental puzzles by crafting different potions from reagents the player has discovered in their environment. The player takes the role of a novice alchemist looking to expand their recipe book by scouring every corner of the world for strange ingredients and the knowledge that can come from them.
I got to work as an Environment Artist, Animator, Level Designer, and Systems Designer on Wanderlust! It ended up being an opportunity to do a little bit of most things on the project -- splitting my time between design and art equally! It was a fantastic opportunity to learn a bunch of skills really quickly. For example, this project was actually the first time I ever tried animating, and now it's one of my favorite things to do even if I'm no expert!
I spent my time on creating environment assets/terrain, blocking out the level, animating the character, creating post processing effects, and helping to create initial game systems.
At the RPI gamefest we got a chance to test Wanderlust on a wide audience. What we found was an interesting split in feedback --kids loved it but adults weren't fans. Wanderlust has a serious problem with player direction --finding ingredients was a chore rather than an exciting moment, puzzles were fun to solve but too difficult to find, and the player's end goal was confusing. Which was understandably noted by the older audiences of our game. For kids though just getting to walk around the world, pick up new items, and stumble their way through the level was plenty enjoyable. Wanderlust simply ran out of time in its development cycle so polish and serious playtesting never ended up happening, but we all learned a lot from the project --especially about the value of strong core gameplay and the importance of keeping scope in check (we were originally aiming to have two levels and a boss fight!)