Drone.ESC

 

Client: Little Chicken Game Company
Software:
Unity, Blender 2.8
Platform:
PC
Role: Gameplay Designer & Level Designer
Duration:
09/2017 – 01/2018

Drone.ESC is a re-imagining of the original Drone.ESC concept and prototype made by ‘Little Chicken Game Company’. Not having the time to make it but seeing it’s potential, Little Chicken gave us the opportunity to take the concept and develop it further. In Drone.ESC, you play as a Core, one of thousands in the factory opressed by the System. However, your core is slightly different, being able to take over not only the standard drones, but also factory machines. Using your ability, you work your way through the factory towards the System while experiencing it’s cruel treatment of the Cores.¬†Eventually you will have to decide through gameplay between taking over the system, essentially becoming a god but having to oppress your fellow Cores, or shutting it down sacrificing yourself in the process. The goal was to non-verbally tell about the story and the world to the player, paired with engaging puzzle gameplay.

During the development of Drone.ESC the re-imagining I had the responsibility of Gameplay Design & Level Design. One of the challenges was to create a factory hall that seemed giant while not actually being all that big to save on development time and utulize our space better. This involved lot’s of cutting and re-designing parts to eventually get to the smaller but more engaging and detailed experience we have created. Having peeks through windows or tunnels that were closed off managed to still create the feeling of a massive world within our players. Early on we decided that as a Core you could take over other machines, but you would be quite useless without them. This opened up interesting gameplay scenario’s and puzzles that were able to ellicit those classic ‘Aha! I get it!’ moments within our players. Every machine would have it’s own ability, all needed in some way to face the challenges to come.

 

  • My early gameplay sketches. Going from Drone to Drone as a Core.
  • My early gameplay sketches. Taking over factory machines, like a lift.
  • My early gameplay sketches. Blending in with other Drones to avoid detection.
  • My early gameplay sketches. Moving as a Core on a conveyor-belt towards an empty Drone.
  • My early gameplay sketches. Moving a box to avoid camera detection, this was later done by taking over a moveable magnet.
  • How the level blockout size shrank through development time but became more detailed.
  • The changes in the level layout through development time.