Shifter
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Shifter

Anneka Dinham
by AnnekaDinham on 16 Mar 2021

A personal project to develop the narrative and world of 'Shifter' - a game initially created at University. My aim is to work on this project long-term as a form of skill development. Focusing on learning Environment and Level Art, but also maintaining and developing my game and narrative design skills.

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Update - 16 Mar 2021

The Underground City

APPLYING UDEMY TUTORIALS TO DEVELOPMENT

Currently, I am self-teaching Game Environment Art through the 'Learn the ART of Video Games' course on Udemy. Using the foundational skills and the workflow outlined in the tutorial, I applied these to creating the concept art for Shifter. I used Adobe Photoshop and my Wacom Graphics Tablet to create the digital images and also incorporated speed-painting techniques. 

The images above were the original scene concept for the focus area of the map. However, after feedback flagged that you wouldn't find such established vegetation/trees underground, I researched more into what you would find and decided to go with vegetation such as ivy and limited patches of grass/weeds (below).


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Update - 16 Mar 2021

The Prison

INITIAL CONCEPT | UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT

'Shifter' is a game that I worked on independently for the entire second year of my degree. It ran over two modules, allowing me to take the project from conception to 3D prototypes. The game was born from an idea I originally had for a novel. It was an interesting and enjoyable experience turning my story ideas into game mechanics and playable levels and watching them come to life in one of the most interactive ways possible.

Shifter 2D

As part of my first module, I created a paper prototype to test my chosen mechanics, 'Shift' and 'Draw', in multiple playtests. Once I had drafted a solid Game Design Document, I moved onto creating a 2D prototype in GameMaker Studio 2. The level I decided to focus on was referred to as 'The Prison'. This is the first main level after the initial tutorial, where the Player Character learns how to use their shifter ability and how the mechanic interacts with the narrative and world. 

Click here to play the prototype of 'Shifter 2D' ▪ Password: ADPort

Click here to read a news article on the creation of 'Shifter.'

Shifter 3D

During the second module, I further developed the narrative of the world and created 3D prototypes in Unity. This challenged my basic coding skills as no matter how many rubber ducks I spoke to in an attempt to 'Rubber duck debug', C# just wasn't playing ball. Thus, I created 3 separate prototypes, the world/level, the shifting to unlock an area mechanic/code and the object pick-up interactions.

It was this module where I first discovered my passion for set-dressing and world-building, spending hours visualising my story world and incorporating narrative hints. Though I will always have a love for writing, for me, being able to walk around and interact with my fictional world is a more rewarding experience than seeing a world brought to life through words on a page.