Prism Pistol and the Doom Cube
"Prism Pistol and the Doom Cube" is a 3D first-person puzzle-shooter developed in Unity. Sent to a laboratory to defeat the rogue AI inside, the player must use their sole piece of equipment, the prism pistol, as both weapon and tool to overcome the AI's deadly security systems.
I developed this project as a solo developer over the course of one semester. In this project I focused on level design, specifically introducing, developing, and blending a small set of mechanics in a compelling and rewarding way.
At the start of this project, I knew I wanted to end my game with a challenge that forces the player to use all the mechanics in the game. In challenging the player to use all of them at once, I aimed to create a strong sense of mastery for players, giving my game an engaging and memorable ending. To make this work, however, I would need to clearly define my game's mechanics and build levels that develop each one. I addressed this potential scope problem by building my game backwards, starting with the boss fight.
This approach ended up working very well for me, as my pre-production prototype of my boss ended up containing the four main mechanics in my game: collecting colors and shooting to activate puzzle elements, combat with ground enemies, combat with flying enemies, and platforming. At the start of my production phase, I used this list of mechanics to determine what I needed the player to learn in each level. With each playtest and iteration of my game, I made sure to update both my normal encounters and my boss encounter.
Finally, my post-production phase focused on iterating my puzzles, implementing as much feedback as possible, and testing to make the game's difficulty curve and player guidance more effective.
In the end, I'm proud of how this project came out, given that it was a solo project developed in a single semester. If I had more time on the project, however, I would iterate some of the later levels more. These larger, more complex rooms have less effective sightlines and flow than the smaller ones, which negatively impacts the experience. Additionally, I would have worked on the AI for the ground enemies more, as its lack of sophistication also has a negative effect.
The sections below contain playthrough videos of this project at each of the milestones. The pre-production milestone was at 5 weeks, the production milestone was at 10 weeks, and the post-production milestone was at 15 weeks.