Ally Card Frame Design & Layout

Aeria Games, Gree, Ubisoft

  • I helped coordinate the outsourced art that populated each card and concepted the initial card framework for the mobile game Assassin's Creed: Memories (unannounced).

  • Each card contains game mechanics information presented in an aesthically pleasing and intuitive format.
  • Using the standard "CURE" (Common, Uncomon, Rare, & Epic) system for card rarity, we decided on using the already established MMO colour system to help reinforce those rarities. The images below use the Japanese terminiology for card rarities.
  • Ultimately, the cards were designed to appear tangible and were planned for physical print to be handed out at promotional events.

  • UI/UX Layouts For Mobile Games

    Aeria Games, Gree, Ubisoft

  • I was tasked with replicating the user-interface for a successful Japanese mobile CBG and adapting it to accommodate the licensed IP for the game (Assassin's Creed).

  • In addition to wireframes, I provided some aesthetic support in the form of researching various incarnations of the "Animus" interfaces from the Assassin's Creed console titles and creating several UI treatments using my skills as a graphic artist.

  • The interface had to be scalable as the game was being developed for myriad devices with varied apsect ratios. This meant all wireframes were initially created for the "floor" (iPhone 4) and scaled up to the taller aspect ratios of the iPhone 5s and even tablet devices with incredibly high resolutions (aka the "ceiling").

  • Perks & Promotional Trading Cards

    Trion Worlds

  • I prototyped a system of trading card-style "Perks" for players to augment their Abilities and gunplay.

  • In addition to providing in-game benefits, these trading cards were also designed to be handed out at conventions and other promotional events to inform viewers about the world of Defiance.

  • Some of the physical cards contained special "EGO Codes" that could be used to gain in-game rewards (including extremely rare and epic Perks).

  • Utilities - Complimenting Gunplay

    Trion Worlds

  • I developed the "Utility Slot" system to augment the shooting and Abilities systems.

  • Utilities add diversity into players' "Loadouts" and allow them to further define their own roles on the battlefield (in the absence of "classes").

  • The methods of deployment replied upon the type of Utility the player had equipped. Some were thrown (Grenades) while others were planted (Turrets & Barriers) while still others were simply consumed (Health Kits).

  • Enemy Design

    Trion Worlds

  • While planning events and combat scenarios, I collaborated with the AI and art teams to help create engaging enemies.

  • To better communicate ideas, I drafted up small diagrams explaining the enemy designs

  • The image to the right displays one of these diagrams used in enemy creation and implementation.

  • Weapon Design

    Trion Worlds

  • Since I was the only designer with shooter weapon design experience when I joined the team during the early stages of the project, I helped convey the basics of shooter weapon designs to the other team members with useful diagrams and weapon prototypes.

  • I helped wrangle in weapon designs that originally catered to the more "tab-targeting" style of MMO gameplay to the more traditional hit-scan and projectile-based weapons found in most modern shooters.

  • These early weapon systems underwent iterative designs and can be seen in some of their earlier incarnations in the E2 2012 "Gun Show" video below.

  • I designed the interface for the passenger weapons on the "Cerberus" combat vehicle (also shown in the video below).

  • Content Strategy

    Trion Worlds

  • I proposed a hierarchical system that broke down the various types of content into roughly six (6) layers.

  • It was designed to address both the limitations of content creation bottle-necking (content creation will always be slower than content consumption) and the ability to gradually expand without drastically affecting development pipelines.

  • Using the accompanying image, I was able to quickly and clearly present a viable system of categorically segmenting content.

  • I created a proof of concept "Slice of Life" for this proposal consisting of content from each of the "layers" listed.

  • Remnants & Resources

    Red 5 Studios

  • I created visually striking diagrams to explain the increasingly complex systems that fused competitive and cooperative gameplay into them in order to explain everything in a manner that can be easily understood in a short period of time.

  • The documents I contributed to the Master Design Wiki contained visual aids and helped convey not only my ideas, but the entire design department's concepts to the rest of the company.

  • The Remnant (zone) Capture Lattice system (pictured) along with the Resources I prototyped were complex enough to warrant visually intuitive diagrams in order for all teams to fully understand the asset and code requirements for implementation.

  • The art team tasked me with creating "Environment Kit" diagrams (pictured) to distribute across their depart.

  • Remnants & Native Special Resources Launch Remnants

    Purity of Purpose

    Dynamic, Equipment-Based Classes

    Red 5 Studios

    During the design of the Battleframes (dynamically swappable classes of the game), I took the initiative to lead the discussion in "purity of purpose" and helped define their four roles. This involved the weapons, Techniques (abilities), Shield ratings, movement speed disparities and overall "feel" of each Battleframe. As an avid shooter player, my expertise in gunplay was a highly valued asset. This expertise lent itself to the controls, HUD and even weapons and Techniques (abilities) design and implementation.

    Hybrid Combat - Gunplay + Abilities
    One of the core tenets of Firefall (working title) was the inclusion of combat that was both weapon-based and ability-based. Known as "Techniques", abilities were special powers that players could slot into their Backpacks for rapid access. I developed a system that incorporated a perpetually-refilling Energy Bar into all Battleframes from which Techniques drew their power.

    Though the system bears a resemblance to the conventional "Mana" approach found in most RPGs, the Energy Bar differs in that it is constantly refilling between uses. This eliminates any need for artificial "Cool Downs" as the refill-rate gradually slows down as it approaches its maximum. This allowed less powerful Techniques to draw from the Energy pool more often and force players to reserve Energy for the more powerful Techniques. Other factors that drain Energy include: Movement Abilities, Jumping and Sprinting. The video below illustrates the duality of this Hybrid Combat system.

    Backpacks - Ability Containers Battleframes - Swappable Equipment-Based Classes

    This video illustrates the duality of the Hybrid Combat Systems.

    Outpost Info Menu Outpost Repulsor Diagram

    Open-World & Instanced Gameplay

    Red 5 Studios

    I coordinated with my team to develop a system of "Repulsors" throughout the Remnants (zones) that keep the AI-driven monster NPCs at bay. This system incorporated the use of the Resources design (as fuel) and helped weave two conventions into a single, cohesive system - capture an outpost to expand territory and use Resources to help maintain the captured territory. An intuitive UI design was needed to communicate this to the players and I was able to produce a very useful menu system that was easy to use and understand very quickly.

    Visual Game Encyclopedia

    Red 5 Studios

    I conceived and assisted in implementing a reference encyclopedia/database for Firefall that is both visually appealing and highly functional.

    Dubbed the "V.I.D." (Visual Information Database), this intuitive information collection and retrieval system attracted users to learn more about the world and lore of the game without a barrier in the form of an intimidating wall of text.

    The idea started as an answer to the issue of limited resources in conveying the world and story to the player through art and sound assets. Another issue of players' reluctance to read more than a short paragraph at a time arose. The V.I.D.'s visual presentation managed to capture and hold more players' attention over the standard encyclopedic approach. Aside from world and lore presentation, the V.I.D. also served as a Mission Log, Screen Capture Archive/Gallery, News Bulletin Interface & Achievements Gallery. There were even game mechanics incorporated into the Screen Capture tagging system that ultimately became another form of mission acquisition and objectives.

    The images below display a timeline of progression while searching for the keyword "Brontodon." The thumbnail wall gradually lessens in tiles until all tiles bearing the tag "Brontodon" are what remain. Users can narrow the search even more by utilizing the filters found beneath the text-input field. All "data" (thumbnails) possess a tag that can be filtered: War Report (Quest Log), System/Equipment Information Data, Screenshot, Player/Character Data (WoW-style Armory), Bestiary, Locale Information or Active Mission Data.

    Visual Information Database
    VID Navigation VID Navigation VID Navigation

    SIN Map

    SIN Map

    Shared Intelligence Network - SIN

    Red 5 Studios

    Improving upon a feature originally set by the game "Starsiege: Tribes", Firefall (working title) has a dynamic system for identifying friends and foes as well as keeping tabs on friendly/enemy activity in distant sectors of the expansive game world. The result: SIN.

    Governed by players, SIN is collected by maintaining the player's aiming reticule over a neutral or hostile unit for a period of time, through deployed devices or just keeping a very close proximity. Outposts possess an implicit capability of collecting "SINtel" and thus owned Outposts broadcast SIN to everyone belonging to the allied faction. This creates mutually-beneficial teamwork encouragement by placing the information gathering responsibilities on the players.

    The duration of SINtel gathered by players, Outposts and deployed devices vary based on a multiple factors and the SIN is updated in pulses every 2-3 seconds (when viewed on the world map) and is broadcast in real-time to the player's Radar (Mini-Map) and AAG (At A Glance - HUD element displayed in the players' field of view). The more immediate benefits of acquiring SIN come in the form of increased ranges on the awareness of automated turrets, certain Homing Missile weapons, allied NPC guard alertness and a highly visible chevron placed over units in the AAG (bearing the color of the faction). The images below illustrate the effects of SIN on the world map by depicting the "fog of war" as a grayscale mass that gradually reclaims portions of the map not being added into the SIN by players, deployed devices and/or Outposts.

    Exploration & Dynamic Missions

    Trion Worlds

  • I prototyped and implemented various additional activities to help provide more content in the ever-growing open world zones of Defiance.

  • Some of the activities included: Collections (pictured), Prospecting, Lawkeeper Bounties, Votan Bomb-Disposal, APS Postal Deliveries (Races), Arkfalls, and a variety of Emergencies.

  • The video below accompanied my release notes to the participating playtesters and it displays a very early prototype created for the Collections system where in which I utilized existing code, art and user-interface assets to create a working proof of concept:

  • In addition to the working prototypes, I also created mockups for proposed interfaces and menus for each of these systems. The images below display an early version of the collections system menu.

    The Prospecting system (pictured below) was inspired by the "Thumper" activities I helped design and implement at Red 5 Studios.

    Social Networking Meets Social Gaming

    Red 5 Studios

    Capitalizing on the reach of social media, I developed a system of "Profile Cards" that displays accomplishments, Battleframe rankings (levels) and other useful information on site like Facebook and Twitter.

  • Profile Cards also displayed personality rankings devised to mimic the Meyers-Briggs personal matrix test. It is designed to help pair players of compatible play-styles together while discreetly avoiding potential negative play experience. The personality matrix consisted of four opposing facets of gamers:

  • Casual v Hardcore: These two opposed facets often conflict when paired together and possess negative views of the other. One is viewed as a "min/maxxer" that sucks the fun out of games while the other is perceived as unreliable and unwilling to invest into the game.

  • Lone Wolf v Team Player: Some players prefer soloing their online games while others almost exclusively choose to participate in grouped experiences. This element displays those tendencies to everyone.

  • Mute v Vocal: This category defines how sociable the player is. Some players never bother typing or communicating with strangers while others are boisterous and often flood the chat channels with conversations.

  • Cautious v Aggressive: Though this section often converges with the Casual v Hardcore category, Cautious v Aggressive describes players that prefer to calculate strageties and take their time through experiences versus players that prefer rushing head-on into the action. This is often refered to as "Tactical v Action-Oriented."

  • Profile Cards were three-tabbed, quick-access dossiers that other players could inspect while in game or visiting social media sites. The goal of the cards was not only to promote bragging rights but also to help generate interest using the larger reach of social media.

    Player Profile Card
    A = Battleframe Ranks & Personality/Playstyle Ratings
    B = Medals (Achievements/Trophies)
    C = Prefered Activities