Divergence (Active Project)
Academic team project - Systems/Combat Designer
Divergence is a high-octane action game where the player uses their high mobility and ability to travel through time to fight giant futuristic-greek mechs. The game pushes the player to be clever and creative in order to take down the giant mechs. The mechs are strong and hard to kill, but through proper aim, the player can take them down.
This project has served as my foray into the fire of designing combat for a team game. And, I have learned a lot already from the process. The combat in our game focuses on making the mechs feel powerful. And this is hard to create as the player should not be able to stand toe-to-toe with a mech. Because of this, I have has to constantly iterate on the combat to find an engaging balance.
While trying to reach the balance of getting enemies to feel powerful and hard to kill, we ran into problems of having enemies be bullet sponges. In order to fix this, I implemented and prototyped the idea of weak points. Weak points are targets on the enemy's body that the player shoots to destroy. Weak points increase the skill challenge of the player, making enemies still feel powerful and hard to kill. This lowers the time to kill, while keeping the challenge.
Enemies are a field I had little to no experience in going into this project. Through constant prototyping, iteration, and research, I learned and explored enemies as a concept. Throughout the work, I had to make many shifts to my design philosophy towards enemies. In the end, I have created four enemies on this project while still needing many iterations. Nevertheless, the enemies have seen leaps and bounds of improvement.