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DUNA

  • Role: Design Lead / Level Design

  • Genre: Action Brawler

  • Engine: Unity 3D

  • Developer: Option 7 Games (DigiPen Institute of Technology)

  • Total Dev Time: 2020 - 2021; 9 months

  • Platform: Windows

Duna is a 3D action brawler inspired by titles like Dynasty Warriors and Bayonetta. The player's goal is to escort a baby dragon to a mountain to reunite it with it's family, however an evil goblin wizard wants to use the dragon to become even more powerful. The gameplay is predominantly attack combos with tactical elemental finishers against a variety of enemies in small waves within enclosed arenas. This particular project went through many iterations and changes before coming to what it currently is today.

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TASKS / RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Sketching and whiteboxing levels

  • Assisting art team in decorating environment with assets

  • Encounter design, both in each encounter and difficulty scaling

  • Working with the art team and creative direction in trying to maintain the vision of the game through it's environment

  • Directing the design team toward which problems to focus on and goals for milestones

  • Establishing and authoring a standardized user testing survey to collect comparable data that would be used for all tests

  • Conducting playtests and authoring playtest documentation

DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

Prototype Stage
Prototype Stage

I made this are for the programmers to bug test features and give us a way to playtest the character controller.

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Whiteboxing Iteration 1
Whiteboxing Iteration 1

We had a big focus on story, so we started to whitebox those story beats, this was one such area.

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Vertical Slice
Vertical Slice

We did a prototype of the whole experience to figure out length and pacing.

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Whiteboxing Iteration 2
Whiteboxing Iteration 2

Once pacing and length was established focus was turned to designing those spaces, this is one such composition.

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Whitebox iteration 3
Whitebox iteration 3

Due to feedback from instructors we had to scale back and change our direction in a huge way and needed to make more with less. Most of the compositions had to be thrown out.

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Below is a video of what the opening area was going to look like when we were still moving forward with our narrative. The feeling trying to be conveyed is that the player has snuck up on some goblins around a campfire and surprise attacks them for the first fight. The idea of looking down on them from above to give that feeling of superiority is what lead to climbing up the cliff. The mountain visible in the distance was also still established, as I had placed it in the world to plan around it with view points. This sequence was narrative heavy, and with how lengthy it took to traverse it, we had to cut it to something more streamlined.

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