Hello! It's me Daniel aka Melon. This page is a semi portfolio / semi design info page for some of my games.
I didn't always want to design games. It was only after a long road that I found my way here. A friend once said games are about self-expression, but I think its more like self-construction. We play games to become ourselves. As a designer the hard part is getting out of the way, so that players find their game within your creation.
There are two Ozwomp games so far. The first game was made for the Ludum Dare jam, and the second was made during a college jam. They were created around a design language that had been in the back of my mind for a while, a form of rapid 3D development for lone developers.
The games also use a custom engine made with Three.js. The engine was really exciting to work with because it took the games out of the typical Unity style setting, it became much more freeform. The limitations of that engine were also great design challenges.
Working on Ozwomp was the first game where I really felt I understood how mechanics, world building, audio, goals and a players presence all come together to create a whole picture. That was an amazing moment for me.
This is a MONSTROSITY of a game I worked on with some friends at the Global Game Jam. The idea was to create a simple genetic evolution simulator. Have you seen those kids books where you can turn the page separately for a head, body and feed to make funny looking creatures? This is basically one of those books. It was a pun on the theme “Repair” as in pair and re-pair different body parts…
Shitao Fan was heavily responsible for the art style. All I can say is we had so much fun working on this project. We didn’t win any official prizes; however, the game code is being preserved by GitHub for 10,000 years. In 10,000 years, future civilizations will be in awe of this masterpiece.
This was a four-month four-person team project we did in class. The spec was to design a boardgame around the theme of “Willful Ignorance”. Designing educational games is much harder than entertainment games and designing boardgames is much harder than video games. So, we had our work cut out.
We had a lot of discussion about what willful ignorance even meant, long before we started looking at game mechanics. When we did start to “gameify” our ideas we ended up with four separate designs. After playtesting, we trashed two designs and made a new game out of the best features of the others. Say what you will about the design approach, the game is fun!
You find yourself as an ape climbing the pyramid of civilization, faced with moral dilemmas that will help or hinder your fellow apes. You still want to be the first to win though. So, do you make fair choices? Or just throw bananas at everyone who’s doing better than you?
It’s possible that every game dev tries to make a synthwave game at some point, it’s a rite of passage. This was a class project I worked on with Christian O’Brian over 2 weeks. In terms of mechanics, it’s a fairly standard capture the flag with a couple clever additions.
We both wanted to try procedural generation, so it was planned with that in mind. I also wanted to try multiplayer gaming in unity, so we did that, AND we also wanted to try the HD Render Pipeline. It was also the first-time either of us had worked on a game as a team. All around too many firsts.
The multiplayer was never finished, and the gameplay is a little underdeveloped. All that said, with a bit more work I would be happy shipping this as a small indie game and I think a lot of people would enjoy it.
I made this in the first weeks of college as a “Get back to Unity see what you can do” type project. It seemed like a fun idea to make a tornado in a jar. I also wanted to explore Unity’s new entity system.
You play as a kind of god creating and destroying tornados that swoosh around dark gems. A little bit of SimCity and Black & White inspiration in the controls. I’m really quite happy with the style that evolved. There are some nice development tricks that I describe in more detail in the dev log.
Created as my final year project in undergrad. I wanted to design a 3D modeling program that could be used by people without any modeling skills. In particular I wanted it to be like matchstick modeling that I enjoyed as a kid.
At the time 3D printers were a big buzz word, so it was created with 3D printing in mind. I also tested it with VR, and it adapts well. Despite being my first ever 3D program (and first Unity game) it’s quite successful. I continue to use some models created with it in games today.
While I was an intern at SAP I was asked to create an internal game to teach company environmental policy. It had a budget and a project manager, so quite a serious way to start my games career!
I created this flappybird-esq quiz game. Scores were sent to an online scoreboard to act as proof employees had completed the quiz. You’re a bee, who avoids toxic junk. As you progress the environment around you improves.
It was made in Construct2, which at the time was the only engine that could do web exports that worked in Internet Explorer. As an educational game, I would do it quite differently today. Visually though and as a first attempt at gameplay, I’m quite proud of this project.