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The Old Manchester Place

Completed: In progress! Started in 2019.

Genre: Story-Heavy Turn-Based RPG

Platform(s): PC/Mac

Description: Luigi's Mansion meets Wario Ware meets The Breakfast Club (focuses on a diverse group of high school students who end up locked in an old Victorian mansion filled with monsters after a school trip goes horribly wrong. They fight for survival and freedom while also confronting their own mortality, relationships, and traumas)

Unusual elements:

- All attacks in the in-game battles are represented by Wario-Ware style minigames

- Play as a disillusioned teen lesbian

- This project is much bigger than any project I've worked on in the past

- Characters get tired when players use them often enough

- Therapize your classmates, with the outcomes of their experience (growth or trauma) directly impacting their gameplay in battles

My roles: 

 - Lead Developer

 - Co-Executive Producer

 - Game Designer

 - Lead Writer

I've been working on this game as a part of Lunarwood Studios, an indie studio I co-founded that I work on in my free time.

As a designer, I've been doing work on leading the game in a direction that follows a premise that's easy to communicate and quickly enticing to potential players, which will hopefully result in exposure and profits later on.

The game features many turn-based where the protagonists face off against various monsters, but each of the protagonists' fight moves has its own minigame, which I'm currently designing. My main strategies have been to design minigames that feel directly related to the fight moves they represent, carry the humorous tone of the game, and can be varied enough to be played many times. I've also been working to design the overall game in a way that encourages players to play as many different characters throughout the game, thus creating a more varied experience.

I've also developed all the code for the battles within the game, which I did in a very modular way, so as to better organize all the different events that make up a battle and arrange them in such a way that we could add/subtract events if we decide that's a good design decision down the road. This also allows different minigames to be inserted into the main game loop at different points throughout the battle.

The other main thing I've been developing so far is the narrative system, which is quite important, since the game has a nonlinear narrative, and we want the game to be able to recall choices players have made at any given point in the game. Thus, I created a system that links together various blocks of dialogue and can easily save any amount of data based on what has been said and done by the different characters in game. I also created an interface for this dialogue system that can be easily manipulated and used by writers on the team without technical background, as explained in a 15-page, color-coded document I made explaining every aspect of the system they would need to know, including naming conventions, complete with example problems of every major task, so as to communicate most effectively how to use the system.

Overall, working on this game has really helped me develop leadership skills as second in command of a team of 10-15 people, sometimes having to act as the leader of the team for short periods of time. It's also made sure that I'm knowledgeable about many different areas of game programming, since I've had to do gameplay programming, backend, graphics programming, tools programming, some File IO, and more, helping my skillset become more versatile.

The game's demo has been completed, and was showcased to the public in October 2021, where we were praised for our novel gameplay, great characters, and engaging storytelling.

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