Project Summary

“Conveyor” is a single-player puzzle-platformer focused on progression, exploration and momentum in a bleak apocalyptic future and set within the bounds of an AI-controlled munitions factory.

The Team

Conveyor was created by a 10-person team in their 2nd year of study at Falmouth University.

My Role

I took on the twin role of Programmer and Level Designer, specifically creating the opening level and introducing the main movement mechanics to the Player.
The Level Design was an especially productive role for me as I was able to use my own love of accessibility and player experience in a practical way to create and tweak the tutorial segment of the game.
From a Programming perspective, I aided our main programmer and did a lot of supplemental programming related to the World (Doors, Switches) while they were focused on the Character controller and more complex systems.
I also supplemented this work with a lot of in-game animation using Unity as our Animator was focused on the first-person player Animations, and with recording/implementing the work from Voice Actors.

Concept

Conveyor underwent a few changes and was actually scrapped twice during early development.
Our first demo was more focused on the use of puzzle elements and conveyors to get through a series of rooms, but our early playtesting demos revealed that it was actually pretty clinical and boring.
With that feedback in hand, we also discovered something interesting – the playtesters engaged more with a puzzle that included using a machine infinitely spawning crates to pass through a fence of lasers due to the open-ended and more chaotic nature of it.
In the end, Conveyor switched directions to be more focused on player movement and momentum-based rather than puzzle solving, relying instead on good level design with puzzle elements than a pure puzzle game.

Design Decisions

When it came to decisions, we prioritised communal decision making over any particular end-goal after the demoralising decisions to scrap two previous versions of the game.
By doing so we kept morale and energy high as everyone was always working on something they were excited about, even if it did cause some mild fragmenting of what we each thought the end product was.

To maintain some semblance of order we agreed on our design pillars early on.

Mobility is a key feature of the game, the ability for the player to create and maintain a sense of momentum and clearly be able to traverse the various movement puzzles within the game.
A sense of Mobility also leans heavily into the stories sense of urgency.

Physics was another key aspect, with a large amount of objects within the game being moveable to create platforms or to solve other problems, creating both pathways and obstacles for the player and giving the environment a sense of fluidity.

Reception

Conveyor was received with high praise and high marks, especially considering the shorter-than-anticipated development time, and displayed as part of the Falmouth Games Academy Digital Expo during March of 2020.

The project overall was granted a 1st class grade, with similar grades received across the board of the whole team. In addition, a large section of the team agreed that they worked so well together as to develop another project together during 3rd Year studies, the multiplayer Dwarf Simulator “Forgery!”