Team Size

Team Role

Genre

Platform

Project year

Engine

~35

Lead Designer

Narrative Designer

System Designer

Action Adventure

PC

2017 - 2018

Unreal Engine 4

Project description

Arboreal is an open-world farming & adventuring game where you save the world and its ancient giants from a spreading corruption.

Main Responsibilities

Combat / System design: Combat systems

I was set on combat to improve it and make it more reactive. Besides designing systems such as a lock on system, backstabbing and the ability to have certain enemies "stunned" after dodging their attacks at the right time I also tweaked the attacks of the player and the enemies to create a ebb and flow rhythm during combat. I also increased the amount of feedback the player would get during combat and created some placeholder assets together with some of my teammates that were later replaced by the work of one of our artists.

Bossfights

The game features several dungeon areas where the player will magical tools to help them on their journey. They need to use the tool to delve deeper into the dungeon.

 

Concepting

The bosses appear at the end of each dungeon and should represent a mastery level of challenge to the player. Besides testing the player's skill in reaction and positioning I also incorporated the use of the magical tool they can find within that dungeon.

Another thing I had to take into account is scope. Our combat system relies on animations and we were not able to safely set the time aside to create the different animations necessary for a bossfight. As a response I came up with a system based on bullet hell shooters that would allow us to use the same animation but still have it be a different attack. 

Narrative Design: NPC backgrounds

The game has NPCs that the player can talk to, receive quests and barter with. I created several high level personalities and backgrounds. Afterwards I discussed them with the other narrative designers and made a choice. Below you will find one of these NPCs.

Name: 

Cydel Ceps

Occupation: 

Mayor

Social behaviour: 

  • Loves to talk, but does not like it when other people butt in during a conversation she’s having.

  • She can be patient, but does not tolerate people knowingly disrespecting her.

  • Can sometime be a bit overly analytical.

  • Likes to correct people.

  • Can be a bit dense when it comes to the more emotional side of things.

Daily habits

Walks around the village checking up on people, visits the tavern to talk and listen in to conversations, work in office. Will sometimes read books later in the day if she has time.

Awards & Recognition

Play the game

You can download the game for free on the steam page