Writer / Narrative and Level Designer
Assisting game designer
Made in 2017 (5 month project)
Group of 9 team members
2D Zelda-like game
Created with GameMaker Studio
Themes: Family | Adventure | Puzzle
Pitch: Under the breath of a terrible blizzard, Nam-Kha, a young child loses sight of her older sister Tomiko, before she faints of sudden tiredness. When she awakes, she finds herself alone in a village where strange phenomena seem to take place...
Will she manage to solve the mysteries which encompass this fantasy universe in order to retrieve her sister?
(Recommended to play with a controller.)
Polaroïd is a 2D Zelda-like game in which the player plays as Nam-Kha, a young child, who after have lost her sister in a blizzard, awakes in a mysterious snow-covered village...
Its dark past, seems to be related to the disappearance of her sister.
During her quest, Nam-Kha only has her camera which allows her to duplicate photographic elements, as well as her sword and lantern, to defend herself from danger and overcome the puzzling situations encountered.
Gameplay & Level Design
In Polaroïd, as much the gameplay as the universe, we focused on respecting the Zelda series’ codes, whether it is on the gameplay or the level design: the player needed to feel an accomplishment, a feeling of gaining experience through his journey, without having a “level up” system. As a consequence, she progressively obtains new equipment as the player masters his equipment.
It is with the help of her camera, which allows her to capture and duplicate elements that Nam-Kha can take pictures that permits the player to succeed in his tasks.
I also contributed to the creation of some puzzles/level design (feel free to have a look at the document above) for the dungeon that in the end didn't get implemented as the main mechanics of Nam-Kha's equipment evolved through the production. However, they were still used as intention references for the levels implemented.
One of our main intentions was to concentrate our efforts on exploration and puzzle-solving.
As a Zelda-like game, I created puzzles in which there were many interactions between several rooms of the dungeon and combination use of Nam-Kha's equipment. The level design invited the player to come back to previous rooms visited in which he could solve a new puzzle, thanks to the new equipment acquired or an element present in another room. It is with his observation, logic and exploration skills that the player can go further into the dungeon.
I was primarily in charge of the creation of the universe of the game, as well as the global scenario.
I contributed to the definition of the different elements/worlds of the game, from fauna and flora to the creation of main and secondary NPCs.
I wrote some extracts of private diaries, epistolary exchanges from NPCs, as well as some tales and legend stories. All these can be found in the environment of the game. These further help the player to understand the curse that surrounds Nix'Tala and its surroundings, as well as its distressing past through environmental storytelling.
Feel free to have a look at our global scenario, as well as at our worldbuilding just below to get more intel on the work I did on this project (only available in french).
This project was my first major videogame project with a large team. One of the most difficult problems encountered was to motivate the group as the ideas of everyone couldn’t be implemented, for the good of the project.
A good management (Agile method) at an individual/team level is essential in order to keep good progress on a project. Therefore, communication is important.
Playtests are vital in order to verify that the players understand perfectly what they have to do, especially with the puzzles they encounter.
It was also the first time that I worked on the "narrative design" of a game (which I found enjoyable!)
What I've learned...
Game/Level designer/ Programmer
Special thanks to Theophile LOAEC and Samuel PUSZKAREK for their help
respectively on the art and soundtrack of the game.