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Con Colony

PRIMARY ROLES

-Game Designer 
-Gameplay Designer

-Lead Artist 
-Systems Designer 
-UI/UX Designer

SECONDARY ROLES

-Level Designer
-
Environment Artist
-Game Balancer
-Item Artist
-Pet Artist

DESCRIPTION

Con Colony was my Game Design and Development 325 team project. It's a top down dystopian sci-fi shop simulator with a fluctuating in-game economy. Play as a wanderer that fell on hard times and is now stuck in a small clueless colony. Convert your ship into a makeshift shop and sell whatever you can to get by. Undercut, steal, and buyout your competition using your wits and companions. Will you make it big and eventually leave the colony richer than ever before, or fall flat as a business person?

RESPONSIBILITIES

• Worked on the project from concept to final product in both art and design.

• Designed and planned out the core systems, gameplay features, and gameplay loop with the team.

• Designed the map layout, all environment assets, the player shop, all items, the player character, and 80% of all pets.

• Created the unique UI/UX and worked hands on with the team to create assets in an organized manner.

• Designed the in-game economy, shop reaction system, shop progression, and stealing concept with the team.

• Led the art direction as well as game balancing and user experience.

• Worked collaboratively in a small agile style team.

• Developed the central narrative, dialog, and voice acted for Maksim Profit (Friend of the Player Character).

• Documented my design and artistic processes.

• Created the title screen, menus, and some marketing assets.

• Finished Con Colony on time for the fall Stout Game Expo 2022 (SGX) and presented it live at the event.

Game Design

Concept to Final Product

Challenges

The concept of Con Colony was pitched by my classmate and team leader, Garret Brown, at our class's pitch session when picking games to develop. It started as a fantasy shop simulator called "What's Yours Is On Sale" which very closely resembled the game Moonlighter. 

I suggested a dystopian sci-fi theme to move away from Moonlighter and embrace creature collecting as a way to steal items from other shops. From here I took a prominent design role on our small team and worked closely with the team leader to design the gameplay and artwork for the game. By our final product I came up with the name Con Colony and the game really stood out on its own.  



 

In the beginning the game was super close to an already existing game and it was no small feat to make it have its own identity and gameplay style. It took a lot of time designing the mechanics, in-game economy, progression, story, and so on. Making art assets for each element also took a lot of time. Along with being a lead designer I also took on the role of lead artist and was in charge of a vast majority of the game theming and art direction. I hadn't worked on a shop or sci-fi game prior to this project. This led me to do a lot of research to better educate myself on the subject.
 

Scope and Development Time

Challenges

Con Colony is a dystopian sci-fi shop simulator with a fluctuating in-game economy with a total of 100 unique items up for sale. It features a vibrant map with 3 unique shops, an in-depth inventory system, a customizable player shop, a day night cycle with a stealing mechanic using collected creatures, and more. The scope of the game became very ambitious as the concept moved away from its Moonlighter origin. It all was completed and presented at the Stout Game Expo (SGX) in Fall 2022.

 

The time we had to make Con Colony was less than 3 months. We also only had a team of 2 artists and 3 coders to make the game a reality. Given that I took up the role as a lead designer and lead artist. I planned out mechanics and worked hard to make sure art assets and designs were optimized and were done in a way that we could deliver on all parts of the game.

I designed the gameplay, economy, UI/HUD, items, stealing mechanic, environment, player shop, player character, dialog, story, menus, some marketing material, and 80% of all pets. Along with designing these elements, I also created their art assets and hand placed multiple items in engine.