Video Horror Society | 2019-2023
Unreal Engine 4, 4v1 Asymmetrical Action
Role: Lead Backend Programmer
Firstly, I don't want to claim any serious design credits on this project. I was a backend programmer on this project, you can read more about my technical work on the project, as well as what this actual project was here. I was not a game designer on this project.
One of the main benefits to working at a game studio is that you're working on a game! You get to talk about games for a living. You get to playtest it. And- if the studio is any good- you get to suggest improvements to make the game better. Obviously in your own area of expertise you should be making improvements almost daily; writing better code or making better art. But while writing backend code is about the farthest thing away from gameplay at a game studio, I endeavour to improve the user-facing experience as best I can. I'm a passionate gamer and will go out of my way to become as good a player as I can at whatever game I'm working on, so as to be able to make gameplay improvement suggestions from the most informed position possible. You don't need to be good at a game to make suggestions to improve it, but things like balance changes often need to be considered from a highly competitive perspective, aspects of which are difficult to see from unskilled or unpracticed players.
I enjoyed improving at this game, and eventually being considered one of the better players at the studio, enabling me to play in the competitive playtests and level design playtests.
Aside from playtesting and giving balance feedback, which was often expertly received by our fantastic gameplay and level designers, I also came up with some designs for new monsters and new gameplay features. I'm not about to start listing features and claiming credit for them, because everything was a team effort and every change was iterated on many times. I guess I just wanted to make a design page about this project because I felt like I had a non-insignificant impact on the final product, and it was an absolute pleasure being able to participate in design outside of my main technical area. I sincerely hope my future projects will offer the same level of input.