- Development Time: Jan. 2019 – May 2019
- Technology: GameMaker 1.4
- Team Size: Solo Project
- My Roles: Designer, Artist, Programmer, QA, Producer, Judge, Jury, Executioner
Arcane Plane is a short 2D puzzle-platformer that I created as a solo project for my Intro to Game Design class over about three months. The player, a young wizard trap ped in a magical chaos dimension, explores mysterious portals and collects magical abilities to help them solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and ultimately find their way back home. My main design goals were to blend combat and puzzle challenges into a seamless experience, and to allow the player a high degree of freedom with a customizable moveset and open-ended level and puzzle design.
Level Design Process
Arcane Plane is a semilinear game. As the player progresses, they gain access to new levels in the hub world, and they have some freedom to choose which levels to play. Note the numbered gates which open only after the player has gone through that number of levels, and obstacles such as the bottomless pit under Level 4 that require specific spell abilities to bypass.
Level 2 is a combat-oriented level that introduces two new enemy types and one new offensive spell– a lot to teach in such a small space! The enemies are arranged to present a challenge, but still allow the player a substantial degree of safety to observe their behavior before fighting them.
Level 4 introduces a new spell called Gravity Lock, which briefly locks the vertical position of everything on screen, then challenges the player to solve puzzles using it. They float over wide gaps, fit through passages of dangerous void blocks, and move a push block over a bottomless pit. Every obstacle in this level is an opportunity for the player to learn about their new spell ability.