SPOOKWAVE

Team Size: 2

Role: Game Designer | 3D Artist

Dev Time: 1month 2 weeks
Published: July 19, 2020

 

OVERVIEW

Spookwave is a single player, first person narrative game where you play as an unnamed employee of an online media company called 'SpookWave' that specializes in horror content.
The game was made for the 'Two-Minute Horror' jam by Infinite Noodle on itch.io where the only rule is to create a horror game that lasts no longer than two minutes.

DEVELOPMENT

With full control over 'SpookWave's' art direction  I was responsible for how the game would look and feel from the ground up. My duties included:

  • Environmental layouts

  • 3D model sheets

  • Modeling and texturing

  • Rigging

  • Animations

  • Lighting
     

When it came to the gameplay, our ideals for the narrative aspect of the project were at odds with the two minute playtime restriction of the Game Jam. The solution was to design two different ways to play:

 

  1. You can quickly talk to all of your co-workers so you can progress to the next scene. An action that takes 30 seconds.

  2. Spend as much time as you want exploring the office. Interacting with items gave you additional insight into the personalities and habits of your co-workers and the player character.

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 In this way, player could technically beat the game in under two minutes, thus satisfying the requirement. If they choose to replay the game, Players can take the time to explore the studio and gain additional information about the co-workers and Player Character through item interaction and Easter Eggs within texture maps. 

For visual development I went with the 
'chibi' style because of it's efficiency for asset creation and for how uncommon it is for horror games to feature an adorable cast of characters. While this meant that I couldn't rely on character design to scare the player, it opened up the opportunity to build tension through lighting, environmental design, and dialogue. For post processing I wanted the game to look as if it were plucked right out of an obscure PS1 games archive. The 'PSX Effects' filter and the 'Flatkit Shader' provided the most comprehensive, user friendly tools to achieve this effect. Additionally the dithering function within the PSX filter was instrumental in making the player feel uncomfortable in the space they were navigating.

POST MORTEM

This was my first time in the role of Producer and solo Visual Artist. Thanks to the experience of working on smaller games prior, I didn't have any issues scoping the game to fit within the one month deadline. Being responsible for the visual identity of the game was stressful at first, but I found myself enjoying the process of iterating on ideas and experimenting with different approaches to design I wouldn't of gotten the chance to explore otherwise.