Death Escape

 Production Time: 09/2017-12/2017

I was the only programmer in this game, which was developed from September 2017 - December 2017. Death Escape is a puzzle/ adventure game released for Windows, and, for being one of the earliest games developed, I am so proud and grateful for what was able to get done that development cycle. It was developed in Unity with a team of four people. The final game ended up with 5 levels, multiple traps scripted for specific action moments, a switch mechanic, and a life system that felt fair and responsive.

The core idea for the game was a simple, Indiana Jones/ Tomb Raider style adventure. The key difference was instead of being an experienced explorer, the player would take the role of a young child who stumbled on the ruins. Originally, we wanted the game to be broken up into 3 main areas: Jungle, Dungeons, and Mystical Tomb. However, as there was only one Modeler on the team, we decided their efforts would be better focused on traps and basics rather than elaborate set pieces.

We did our best to make each death feel fair and deserved, but, in hindsight, some of the traps do feel near impossible to avoid and unnecessarily force a death on the player. However, the traps in the game were certainly a highlight. I thoroughly enjoyed making every trap with basic shapes, then see it come to life every time our artist finished the models. Looking back over my code, there is certainly improvements that could have been made. I feel I gave the level designers too much freedom, and instead of allowing them to set the EXACT speed of traps, and instead something like 3 options (slow, medium, fast). This would have given the player more familiarity with the rhythms of the game, as oppose to each trap feeling chaotic and random. My favorite trap is the falling floor. It was a late addition to the game, but, hands down, I love the simple effectiveness of the trap mixed with how well it fits the rest of the games aesthetics. In level 3, there is a moment where the floor falls and the player can see the spikes across the chasm beneath them. That moment was the exact feel I was going for with the game.

Even though the team solely contained myself, two level designers, and a modeler, we made a pretty fun game that, although rough around the edges, is reminiscent of puzzle adventures like Portal or Mirrors Edge.

As A Programmer, I worked on:
-Player Controls
-Health/ Game Over System
-Trap Mechanics
-Lever/ Locked Door Event Systems.

Early on, the team wanted to add a swinging axe, but do to time and my knowledge of Unity/ C#, was unable to be made. I could definitely make that trap now, as my skills have grown since development on this game ended. The best part of Death Escape is it helped refine my skills with a player controller, triggers, and live management. It also pushed me to learn and improve on UI programming.

If I were continue to work on this game, I would have loved to add more traps for the team to add throughout the level. The 5 traps get a little repetitive towards the end of the game. Ideally, having a specific trap for each level would have felt great, given each level a sense of uniqueness, and would have given players a nice break from the repetiveness of the reoccuring traps.

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