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Game Design
Character Design
Stephan Church - Game Design / Artist / System Design / Level Design / Storyboard Writer
Vincent Williams - Programming
2014 - Present
Animate | Illustrator | Photoshop | Unity
This project is my entry in 2D game design. There are many components that make up this project (Storytelling, Gameplay, Game Theory, Menu Design, etc.) but for the case of this presentation I will only be focusing on the gameplay. This is also the only project in my portfolio that is not complete as it is a project that is currently on hiatus. Thanks goes to Vincent who saw the potential of this project and decided to take the role of programmer.
pond level hud world
hud library island level
city level hud bedroom
cave level mountain level
Game Design
Being a platformer, the protagonist has access to basic control options such as jumping and attacking. along with additional attack and dodge options to allow for freedom of movement.
This video just shows some of the implemented movement and attack options programmed in as well as some slight platforming.
I wanted to create a game where you felt like you had multiple ways to engage with the environment. This would create a system where the world felt more real and substantial. In response we made the action system. Vincent coded over 30 actions that the protagonist could perform given the right circumstances. This is shown on the action keys to the right.
Level Design

Levels are created with a focus on three elements: speed, exploration, and platforming. I wanted the stages to have a sense of breadth while remain intriguing for speedrunners.

The below pictures show development of the one the art style of the third world alongside some iterations of the level design layout.


For the protagonist, the animations had to be smooth and feel right for play. The animations have little start up lag (using presumed wind up) and quick follow through to create a sense of control and fluidity.

For the movement I used different running animations to show when the protagonist is picking up speed.


I went through three version of the kick. the first animation has too much anticipation and not enough range. For the second, it felt right and conveyed more character but it didn't fit in a gameplay setting. Ultimately, I went with the third kick as it conveyed character, had no anticipation lag and had versatility.

Enemy Animations

For enemy animations, I created readable anticipation for an attack or patterns to the attack. Here I have three enemies from different worlds using attacks that follow different tells.

Character Design

To fit the narrative, I needed to make a protagonist that seemed larger than life, idealized on a superficial scale, acrobatic, and cosmic. The idea was to create a seemingly perfect superman archetype who was morally ambigious. I decided to create something of a cosmic ballerina, to create this false sense of perfect deification that I could then deconstructed and examine as the story went on.

To emphasize that the protagonist is an acrobatic powerhouse, I made her mostly bottom heavy with very tiny hands and legs. I did have to modify the design a bit to be more rectangular in pose. This was to help better identify her hurtboxes. Thematically I took designs elements from ballerinas, knights, and added what I felt were cosmic motifs to create her design.

This project created many unique problem sets that forced me to become more comfortable with designing around various unexpected user interactions. I was also pushed to grow with my animation work.