Client: Utomik
Role: Game designer & 2D/3D artist
Team: Chris van der Linden (Project manager), Rob van Gulik (Programmer)

Designing and making a 3D puzzle game from scratch

For my bachelor’s graduation project I designed and made a 3D puzzle game together with a programmer. I designed the entire game from scratch, made an elaborate Game Design Document, made almost all of the 2D & 3D assets and designed all the (81) levels/puzzles.

First I designed a proof of concept and a prototype with the programmer, after approval I started expanding the game design with all the possible puzzle objects, keeping the ones that worked best and removing the ones that didn’t. The levels are designed in such a way that no more than one new obstacle type or puzzle gets introduced per level for the first 40 levels, and a combination of different obstacles per level is gradually built up during the last 40 levels of the game.

After making a working proof of concept that was user tested to be understandable and fun to play I focussed on defining the story and art style. Since this is a casual puzzle game and I only had 5 months to finish it I went for a happy, but simple abstract art style. After testing how the art style clicked with the target audience I continued to make all of the 3D assets that make up the different levels/puzzles.

In the game you control a cube that rolls over in the direction of the arrow keys you press on the keyboard. The cube can roll over the edge of a giant cube and you need to land on objects sticking out of the sides of the cube, otherwise you’d fall off and die. The camera will focus to the side of the cube you’ll land on and you need to collect all the stars on different sides of the cube/level to finish it. We managed to finish and release the complete game during my graduation period. Play it for yourself here.