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April 2022, 4 weeks   |   Team Size: 5   |   Designer

​​A simple game about collecting space junk using a challenging robotic arm. The game was designed to be controlled with an arcade joystick and 8 buttons.


  • Worked with peers across multiple disciplines (design, art, programming)

  • Met three times a week with team to plan sprints, check in on progress, and give feedback

  • Worked in Redmine to track and coordinate work using scrum principles

  • Collaborated in designing interesting controls and obstacles

  • Developed a tutorial level that introduces the main game mechanics

  • Developed a level with varying terrain and pathways that present interesting challenges

  • Wrote a game design document that covers the games intent, target audience, game states, mechanics and systems, along with other details

  • Planned and advised testing wherein testers played the game and gave feedback through a survey


Documentation & Reflection

SJJS 2222 is one of the team projects I am the most proud to have worked on. The team I worked on for this was stellar, and everyone was able to work well together to make a great final product.

One of my responsibilities was writing our Game Design Document, as seen below. I also worked with my teammates to design general mechanics, created the tutorial level that introduces the mechanics of the game, and developed a full level.

If we had more time, I would have liked to iterate on our levels more. Through testing, it became clear that some levels had too much empty space, and perhaps ran too long. If we had more time to talk about iterating on what we had, we could have improved upon them.

Development Process & Iteration: Level Design

I went through a few different iterations in designing my level for the game. Here was an early sketch that was meant to show what a level would be like.

The gray shapes are terrain that block your path; red dots are pieces of junk for you to collect; the white circle with an arm represents the player, and the two objects at the top and bottom of the map are shredder deposit spots where the player will drop off the junk they have collected. I also made some of my own concept art for what the player might look like and noted the controls on the left.


For my level, I used "gravity paths" that act like rivers that have a current to pull objects in them in a direction. Initially, I came up with this concept for a dual planet orbital gravity path which would be the main focus of my level. The player would be able to swap the direction of the flow with some device in the level, making the figure 8 turn into two separate orbits—a cool consequence of not being a true figure 8. The two different images show the paths going different directions.


While the idea of the faux figure 8 looked cool, I had a lot of problems with how it might turn out in actual gameplay. I felt like it didn't work well with the actual junk collection. Fishing junk out of the long loops wouldn't be super engaging, with the gameplay being similar to grabbing something off of a conveyer belt as it passed by. I also felt like the level offered little navigational challenge, with so much of the level being focused on this one system of gravity paths.

There were some technical issues too. How would the player swap the direction of the paths? And why would they do it? Another part of my original idea was that the level would have big pieces of junk the player could not eat, but rather had to use the gravity paths to help them move it along. These pieces of junk would also need to go to specific dumpsters, which justified having the player control the path direction to control where the junk would go.

Because of the lack of navigational challenge, fishing junk out of paths being sort of annoying and boring, and the level requiring a lot of new specific features, I decided to go with another idea.


The idea I settled on would end up being a lot different.  Junk would be spread out throughout  the map, and you would have to work around these one way gravity paths. A lot of the gravity paths came out and went into the center of the map, making it act as a sort of hub for transportation with a small circular path in the center. This way, it wasn't too hard to get where you wanted to. I've included a screenshot of the final level next to the original level sketch. I actually brought my sketch in engine to sort of trace it while placing down terrain, and then re-tuned it as I saw fit.

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