Dennis Bagstevold
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Game Projects

Games Reel

by Dennis Bagstevold

Game Projects 2013-2015

The video shows some of the projects that I've been working on during my time at Södertörns University. In all projects I was a Level Designer and Project Manager. I also got to experience being a Game Director and main Game Scripter. The projects were developed using iterative processes techniques and tools like Scrum, Trello and Jira.

Click on the titles below to read more about each project!

Kodomo Kurasshaa

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GAME SUMMARY

A one button side scrolling platform game made in 4 days, where the player controls a character in the shape of a snowball which rolls down a hill. In the level there is a goal at the bottom of the hill with points to gather on the way, and obstacles to avoid by using the spacebar to jump. If the snowball hits obstacles, it loses health which it has three of, and if it loses all health the player dies. When the snowball hits special targets, it grows and becomes heavier, which affects speed, momentum and tactics.

4 Days -|- Unity 3D -|- Game Project -|- Level Design & Project Management

WHAT WENT RIGHT
Despite the short development time, we managed to create a concept for game that caught people's attention with its simple mechanic and absurd style and humour.

WHAT WENT WRONG
As first game project for most of the team members, the development process was slowed down because lack of knowledge with the working tools. While the concept is good and simple, every part of the execution and programming behind it is severely flawed and could be improved immensely.

WHAT I LEARNED
The difference between concept and execution. While the concept seemed simple, we bumped into issues on every step which was very eye-opening. I also learned about the challenges of maintaining a games entirety when it comes to look design and feel, as so nothing feels misplaced or not fitting to the rest of the game. Oh and that level design is really fun.

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Happy

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GAME SUMMARY

In this on rails shooter created in 3 weeks, the player controls a character who uses 3 different elemental powers to wipe out the targets which the player passes by. Each abilities has a charge meter which is depleted when used, and recharged either after a set cool-down or by hitting a charging point with the correct power. Before reaching the end the player needs to gain at least enough points for a Bronze medal before succeeding, with Silver and Gold medals also being possible.

3 Weeks -|- Unity 3D -|- Game Project -|- Level Design & Project Management

WHAT WENT RIGHT
The teamwork was great and something that I was proud of as the project manager. The concept and planning was more realistic and based on the teams skills. This meant that we were working and learning at a good pace while staying true to the initial concept for the majority of the project.

WHAT WENT WRONG
As the level designer who put together everything, there were a lot of struggles to implement the graphical assets who were made differently by different team members. There was also an incident on the last day where a team member accidentally loaded a unity package which caused my previous 6 hours of work to be erased, which prompted me to remake everything I had done previously in about an hour before the deadline.

WHAT I LEARNED
USE BACK-UPS! And don't load Unity packages in before saving everything before. Make sure that all graphical artists are working by the same measurements. Make sure to take a break now and then and to talk and reflect on the project with team members.

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Space Bubbles

GAME SUMMARY

A small one versus one concept of an arcade game made by me and Milla Isaksson where the players are floating in space with the goal to survive with the most health until the time runs out. Both players lost health while outside the randomly spawned reciting air bubbles, and will take damage if they get hit by incoming projectiles. If one player loses all health, the other one wins!

5 Days -|- Unity 3D -|- Arcade Game Concept -|- Game Scripting

WHAT WENT RIGHT
Although being a ugly looking game, the controls were very interesting to play around with as the physics based movement was used both for position and rotation but on a two dimensional plane. Creating a very float-y space type like feeling.

WHAT WENT WRONG
The objects and the bubbles that were spawning in the level were feelt very random and could instead have some more interesting patterned behaviours. Now they felt mostly random.

WHAT I LEARNED
How to work with randomly generating objects and a bit more of the importance of the player movement.

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Recycling

GAME SUMMARY

Another small concept game made in 5 Days by me and Milla Isaksson. The concept was for the player to recycle the correct trash in the right bin. If the player fails to catch the trash in time, it will go into the container in the bottom left corner and eventually overflow, which affect the globe spinning in the bottom right corner. The Globe works as a health bar and changes appearance depending on players progress in the game.

Unfortunately we didn't have enough time and was not able to switch out the graphical assets in time before the deadline, which is why the game looks like a candy sorting game.

5 Days -|- Unity 3D -|- Environmental Game Concept -|- Game Scripting

WHAT WENT RIGHT
The concept hit right home and people seemed to enjoy the game for it simple mechanics, even though the art assets didn't fit with the games message.

WHAT WENT WRONG
The focus! We spent too little time on fine tuning the mechanics (which would eventually spawn infitiy amounts of bakery), and making it more obvious that the game was supposed to be about the environment. Instead we put too much time into smaller details such as the globe becoming worse when losing points, or the assets getting into a container that would overflow. Details such as these mattered, but when the main mechanics and art assets weren't there yet, it took the power out of the message.

WHAT I LEARNED
First things first. Build the base, then work on the details. And simple mechanics can be stupidly fun.

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Arbetsintervjun

GAME SUMMARY

As a part of a course to make serious games, we made a game based on a study about discrimination of minorities during work interviews. The name "Arbetsintervjun" means The Job Interview in Swedish, and the gameplay is about a player controlling a character trying to successfully pass a job interview. At the beginning the player is a White Male who can basically walk in and get the job straight away. After passing it, the player takes the role of a new character, this time a minority, who faces more challenges to pass the interview. The game replays the scenario 4 times, but gets progressivly more difficult as the player takes the role of more and more discriminated minorities.

2 Months -|- Unity 3D -|- Serious Game -|- UI, Game & Level Design

WHAT WENT RIGHT
We managed to make a game were we were able to conve a strong message about discrimination based on studies and facts. Coupled with a realistic scoped, we also managed to make the entire game cycle and reusing one level in which each itteration could be played and completed in multiple ways.

WHAT WENT WRONG
As we had a lot of focus on things like inventory systems, point systems and replayability, there was little time spent on belivability of the world that was supposed to be realistic. While the experience is enjoyable, the world doesn't feel as alive as it could have been made to be.

WHAT I LEARNED
In this project I worked a lot on the point and inventory systems along with the structure of each game cycle. Alongside me I had a very talanted programmer which gave me a lot of insights as to how to make reusable and redable code.

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Harken Cabin

GAME SUMMARY

In this game we worked on creating a narrative experience from a first person perspective, with horror and puzzle elements. I was the lead game designer and programmer and made the system for the games puzzles and events as well as structuring the gameplay design.

2 Months -|- Unity 3D -|- Narrative Game -|- Game Scripting

WHAT WENT RIGHT
Within a relatively short timespan we were able to create an atmosphere and story which captured players attention and curiosity to explore the tiny world we had built. We also tried not using Scrum in this project and instead went with task cards in Trello, which opened up a lot of needed time for development instead of discussion.

WHAT WENT WRONG
As a few team members were trying out new positions (including myself) while some had a ranging set of skills within their own area, there were a lot of time spent working communication instead of actual development. In my case this meant explaining certain aspects of level design and game scripting, when I should've focused more on learning to program a stable base for the games system.

WHAT I LEARNED
A lot of about programing and structuring code and game puzzles. Also, while it's good to try new things when starting a new project, one should be careful to not change up too many things. It should also be given an extra thought as to why a change is being made, instead of just going through with something for the sake of "change".

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