Role: Technical Designer
Genre: Action Platformer
Development Time: 4 Months
Team Size: 9
Play now with two players on Mac or Windows
Verdant is a 2D action platformer where the player fights to protect their home, the inside of a giant tree, from a swarm of poisonous insects. The player must use their phasing powers and their trusty shovel to defeat enemies and heal the tree!
The game was made as part of MSU's GameDev Capstone course where the team was mentored by their industry partner Iron Galaxy Studios throughout the game's development. Verdant received runner-up for Best in Show at the annual MSU GameDev Student Showcase.
Initial code base
Camera design and implementation
Cleaning and debugging code
Level iteration and design
Running team meetings and managing sprints
Communication with Iron Galaxy
I was also responsible for the original code base for our 2D Character Controller, as well as helping refine it throughout the project. Instead of using built-in Unity physics I used simulated gravity, to more easily control jump height and speed, and used a series of raycasts for collision detection.
Over the course of the project I played many 2D sidescrollers, including Celeste and Hollow Knight as main inspirations, to help tweak our character controller to feel easy and natural to use. With the help of the other programmers on the team we designed the character controller to be easy to iterate and work on and ended up with solid movement for the player.
One of my most important jobs on Verdant was designing and coding the camera that follows the player. I researched and took inspiration from various games' cameras such as Super Mario Bros. and Hollow Knight. The camera leads the player and has different offsets for different parts of a level. It also has a delayed movement so it only starts moving when the player is at the edge of a boundary. I was very happy to get the camera seamless enough that no one would mention it during playtests except when specifically asked about it.
I served as Project Lead on Verdant and was responsible for running meetings, assigning tasks and goals, and communicating with Iron Galaxy who mentored us throughout the project. The team used a Trello board to keep track of weekly tasks that were given an importance rank (Green, Yellow, or Red). We met weekly with Iron Galaxy who would play our game and offer advice and mentorship. After each meeting with them, I would head a team meeting to plan our next week.