Sprint Review
Level Building

Escherreal MShooter


Escherreal Logo

Escherreal is my capstone project at FIEA. It is puzzle/platformer where the player navigates the world by changing gravity and by manipulating the perspective to 2D and back again to 3D. These mechanics posed quite the challenge to our design team. If you are not yet familiar with the game then head over to the Games page. To download the game and find links to all things Escherreal, click here.

Lets start with changing gravity. A good example is VVVVVV which is a strictly 2D gravity flipping game. Another game that plays with this concept is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess where Link can walk perpedicular to a magnetic surface. Both however only change the orientation of the character, as opposed to changing the player's orientation. In Escherreal, the player camera changes gravity as Raffi does. This can be disorienting, but with 3D spatial puzzles the player needs to be able to look and plan before they make their next move.

Now with the perspective shift from 2D to 3D, people are reminded of a game called FEZ in which the player solves puzzles by rotating the world. Both Escherreal and FEZ have 2D platforming, however, Escherreal mixes this with a real 3D environment as well.

Below is a 2-part video talking more specifically about our design process and several of the level design challenges that we faced on this project. I will also speak specifically about my work in the Havok Vision Engine and in Maya as the primary level builder on the project.

Part 1 - Level Design Process and Modularity

Part 2 - Furnishings and Puzzles

Escherreal Maya Overview



MShooter Main Menu


MShooter was a project that I worked on for several weeks with Kevin Rucks, a fellow Producer at FIEA. It is both a top-down and side-scrolling schmup game built in Cryengine 3. All the assets we used were stock assets with the exception of the ships. We borrowed those models from a few of the artists in the cohort. The interesting thing is that there were no artists or programmers on the team. My role was level design, level building, and enemy placement. Kevin built the game with Flow Graphs and handled the "scripting" for the game. The video above has a brief synopsis of what went into the level design from my perspective.

MShooter Game Screen