Last december I was given the chance to participate in a Game Design workshop organized by Eduardo Millán from Gamevelop. It took place in the Madrid on Rails center, one of the places that La Catedral de la Innovación has in Madrid to promote the Innovation, and the R&D.

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During the whole day, and the assistants had to design a game on paper with several restrictions: setting, game mechaninc and an additional requirement. All of them were selected randomly by numbers picked by the assistants. There were several results and they had to pick one of each category. That ended in weird and funny restrictions:

  • Setting: The past, business or horror
  • Game Mechanics that had to do with: music, darkness or shooting.

We divided the assistants into 4 groups, and they had to write a high level design document and explain it to the rest of the groups. The projects ended up being very interesting and we encouraged the assistants to keep working on them and keep learning about this amazing world that is the Game Desing.

It was truly a fun and rewarding experience.

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Finally, Deadlight will be part of the Summer of Arcade releases!

 

 

And check out this story trailer too:

Video  —  Posted: July 16, 2012 in Deadlight, Professional, XBLA
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Hello Pocoyo! was an adventure game for Nintendo DS based on the kids TV show Pocoyo by Zinkia Entertainment. There were four playable characters, and you had to combine their abilities to solve the puzzles. The hardest part of designing it was to have in mind the target audience (kids aged 4 to 10 years old). But it was also an enriching experience. I will explain our approach in a future series of posts, and the challenges we faced.

I was the speaker for the press conference, and AXN interviewed me for their TV show “A Fondo”. Here you can find the video that was aired at that time.

You can also find a version with Englsih subtitles here

The game I’m currently working in has been announced! Deadlight

Deadlight, a puzzle platformer set in an apocalyptic world developed by Tequila Works, will be published by Microsoft Studios and is coming exclusively to Xbox Live Arcade in the summer of 2012.

At this point I can’t reveal too much but here you cas see some screenshots and the teaser trailer.

Portfolio

Posted: December 26, 2011 in Me

My name is Tatiana Delgado and I’m a Game Designer. In this blog you will find the games I’ve been working on, as a professional game designer, and those games I just made for fun.

You’ll my find my Game Design portfolio in this link, and a bit more about me hereAlso check my linkedin profile!

Pocoyo Racing hits the stores!

Posted: December 13, 2011 in DS, Pocoyo, Professional, Wii

Finally, the Pocoyo Racing game for DS and Wii is at the stores! I worked at these games as a game designer. My tasks were designing game mechanics, different vehicles for each character, game modes, editing the tracks…

We paid a lot of attention to details, having in mind that was a racing game for little kids, and trying to keep the spirit of the Pocoyo TV show.

In this game the cars didn’t had an engine, so all the tracks went downwards and we were able to take rid of the accelerator button. We only kept a turbo boost that the player had to collect along the track to fill a bar. We also implemented a guided movement along the track, to help the players to be able to drive the cars smoothly even if they made sudden movements with the wiimote.

In further posts I will talk about the design decissions we made along the project and the problems we encountered. Meanwhile, enjoy this video!

Continuing with part 2, we are going to add objects to our map. What were “objects” for our editor? They were everything that was over the terrain and wasn’t interactive. We had two categories:

  • Vegetation: trees, bushes and grass.
  • Props: houses, benches, fences…

Some objects were just placed in the map selecting them from the editor and adding them on the terrain (they were automatically placed at ground height at any point). Other objects had special tools to help deploying them. I have to admit that most of the times I didn’t use them because of the unrealistic results, but that was up to the level designers to use or not. They were:

  • Brush to add trees
  • Lines and squares to add fences
  • Brush to add grass
  • Masks to add grass

We learnt that was very useful to group objects into clipboards. That is, we were able to select a group of objects and save them separatedly. It was very helpful because we were able to load, copy and paste them whenever we needed. Of course, you had to be very careful not to place them too close, so the player might notice them. And you could always add a detail or remove something to make it look slightly different.

When adding houses to the terrain, we had to be careful. Soldiers were able to enter the doors and shoot through the windows, and that means that the doors should be always at ground level, and it was hard to find a place flat enough. We found that the easiest way to deal with this was to use the flat brush of the terrain editing tools to lay a flat surface were we can place the houses.

Other things that we should keep in mind when lying objects in the map are:

  • The amount should be enough to make to map look nice but not too large to load the engine with too many polygons.
  • Large objects block the path of the AI. Small objects in large amounts can slow down units, like forests.
  • We should place the objects in a way that there are nice looking corners everywhere… the best thing would be that if someone wants to take a screenshot of the game, it will always look good.
  • Realism vs gameplay. We need to have references to place the objects in a realistic way, but keeping in mind that sometimes too realistic layouts Are bad for gameplay. For example, streets in little towns should be wide enough for the AI of the troops to cross them.

We had a tool to know how many objects of each kind were set on the terrain. We could export an image that has a color for each kind of object, and it was very useful for two things:

  • To see the load of each part of the map.
  • To have a fast way to add the final touch in the map texture. Using this image, we could edit a texture mask adding darker colors under the houses and the trees to help them integrate better on the terrain.

Object distribution in the map

The last step will be the creation of a Landscape that will increase the deepness of the map and will enhance the feeling of horizon. Since we have planes and a camera with few constraints, it would be a problem to see the “end” of the terrain. A landscape is a new map of low resolution that will have to be painted and filled with objects as the playable map. We have to be careful not to add too many objects or the performance of the engine could be affected.

And we are done! The map is ready to play. Here you can find several screenshots of the results.

In future posts I will take a deeper look in some of the steps, like how we made the terrain passable to the units, or the process of building a landscape. Hope you enjoyed it!