AO SHU SPELLSLINGER
Role | Game Director Duration | 8 Months Tools Used | Unity, C#, Maya
Ao Shu SpellSlinger is an isometric action RPG set in an ancient China thrust into a magical industrial revolution caused by the invention of arcane alchemy. The game explores this revolutionized world and how one girl must defeat those who seek to use this wondrous discovery for evil.
The experiential goal of this project is to allow the player to explore a new take on a fantastical Chinese setting while staying true to the cultural themes and messages that we are referencing. Key motifs prevalent to Chinese Culture including invention, revolutions, and immortality are paired with strategic action combat to create a gameplay and narrative experience that illustrates how a wondrous discovery can result in both great innovation and destruction and horror from gross misuse.
Ao Shu SpellSlinger is an Art Center capstone project chosen for continued development with a current team size of 15+ people.
DESIGN PROCESS - INITIAL PROTOTYPE
The development of Ao Shu SpellSlinger began with a collaboration between two concept artists and I in which we produced a fully realized game prototype, art bible and game design document. These deliverables were then pitched to a panel of industry professionals where the project was chosen for continued development where the team would grow to include 15+ individuals covering disciplines involving design, concept art, production art, programming, and audio.
Prototype Sizzle Reel
DESIGN PROCESS - Game pillars
The foundational game pillars making up the design of Ao Shu SpellSlinger are :
1. Strategic Spell Weaving Action Combat with Destructive Combinations
2. Real World Inspired Locales Transformed by a Magic Fueled Technological Revolution
3. Influential Role Playing that Modifies your Expanding Safe Haven
DESIGN PROCESS - STRATEGIC COMBAT
I wanted to design a combat system for AoShu SpellSlinger that would allow for adequate skill growth and expression as well as one that would yield different interesting combat scenarios through a variety of enemy types. In our initial game prototype I designed and implemented a combat system revolving spell casting and combinations through a Transistor-esque time stop mode known as Meditation Mode.
Following the project entering continued development and critique from the panel of industry professionals, I decided to shift the combat system for the game towards a more fast paced action combat style where the core loop revolved around the player parrying enemy attacks in order to then gain a resource that allowed them to cast devastating spell effects. The primary reason for this shift was to allow for a combat system that would highlight both the magic the populated the world of Ao Shu SpellSlinger, as well as the technologies and devices that utilized the magic that were invented as a result of the discovery of magic in this world.
DESIGN PROCESS - LOCALES & EXPLORATION
Drawing from and staying true to prevalent Chinese culture and themes was key to the experiential goal we wanted to capture in Ao Shu SpellSlinger and this extended throughout in our second design pillar of the game's locales and world discovery. The source of magic in our world draws from heavenly meteors that fall upon earth through a phenomenon know as the Celestial Rain and we wanted to highlight this core motif aswell as how magic has transformed the landscape and environments of this Chinese setting. Referencing the fantastical themes of magic-tech and steampunk, we wanted to create a visual style for our game that would highlight the ongoing magical industrial revolution and key themes of progress and invention.
DESIGN PROCESS - HARMONISTIC PROGRESSION
I felt as if the world and setting for AoShu SpellSlinger held great opportunity for a cast of memorable characters which we wanted to explore further through the role-playing gameplay moments of the game. The primary role-playing element of the game takes the form of the player's ever-growing hub and home base which will expand and develop as gameplay progresses. This progression is done in harmony with player combat as they progresses through combat levels encountering different displaced NPCs that they will be able to recruit to gain upgrades and tools. These NPCs are then brought back to the hub where the cycle of progression continues with skill and gameplay for combat and roleplaying both progressing alongside one another.