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 a 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.
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.
One of our main intentions was to concentrate our efforts on exploration and puzzle-solving. In a calm and melancholic atmosphere, the player is encouraged to observe and try new things on the elements that surround him in order to advance in this fantastic world.
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.
Combat is not a main intention in Polaroïd: indeed, Nam-Kha's sword and cryobeak (a gun which shoots ice) is only used as a last resort in combat. Her equipment mainly helps her in the resolution of the puzzles she encounters.
Finally, the wildlife of Polaroïd wants to be realistic. As an example, if Nam-Kha goes into a fight with aggressive predators, they would change their attention to other pacific preys if they're close to them, letting an opening to Nam-Kha to flee the fight or take advantage of the situation.
I also contributed to the creation of some puzzles/level design for the dungeon that on 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.
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.
“Family" has a strong value in "Polaroïd". Orphan since she was a newborn, Nam-Kha finds a second family with the different NPCs that she saves/meets in Nix'Tala. Brotherly love and conflicts, as well as unique encounters, play an important role in the plot of the game.
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.
Here, you can read about the world design of Polaroïd.
(Only available in french for now.)
You can also find the global scenario right here.
(Only available in french for now.)
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.