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SWORDSWALLOWER

Genre

Engine

Language

Tools

Roles

Skills

 

 

When

Where

Action platformer, metroidvania

Gamemaker Studio 2

GML, GLSL

Git, Ableton, Trello, Audition, XD, Excel, Photoshop

Creative direction, game design, programming, music, tech artist

Project management, level design, pitching and publisher relations, physics and shader programming, optimization
 

Summer 2018 - current

Play the demo here.

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CONCEPT

Swordswallower is a psych-goth action platformer where you play as a girl who drags around a gigantic enchanted sword. Unlike other platformers, you can't jump--instead, you hurl your sword into the walls and pull yourself toward it with deadly speed.

We're aiming to release the full game on Steam and Switch.

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DEVELOPMENT

I made the prototype for Swordswallower in late 2018 as a personal project. I continued to work on it for my thesis in 2019 and 2020, and developed the concept significantly over that time.

In early 2020 I partnered with an artist and producer and together we pitched the game to the NYU Game Center Incubator. We were unanimously selected among dozens of advisors, and participated in the program for the next four months. The Incubator invested 16k in the game and connected us with a wealth of advisors from all corners of the industry.

Earlier this year we released the demo for the game on itch.io.

First prototype

EARLY RESPONSE

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Unanimously chosen and funded by the selective NYU Game Center Incubator program

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Awards Finalist for festivals like Indiecade and PlayNYC

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#1 highest rated Horror/Metroidvania game on itch.io with 4.5k downloads

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AlphaBetaGamer Let's Play generated 60k views and hundreds of positive comments

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SKILLS

Swordswallower is a giant project for only three developers and I've had to wear many hats on the team. I'm the creative director, programmer, game designer, composer, sound designer, and tech artist. I've also contributed to narrative, world/character design, community management, and bizdev.

 

Creative Direction requires significant organization and project management skills, as well as constant communication with the game's artist and producer. I've learned to explain my ideas clearly, weigh the strengths and weaknesses of mechanics, concepts, and team members, and view my work objectively without being afraid to cut features that I may have been passionate about. It's also involved skill in Git, Trello, Slack, co-working/remote work, and planning both weekly sprints and long-term milestones.

Programming the gameplay has significantly developed my abilities in physics, collision, player and enemy states, hitboxes, room management, sprite and animation code, cutscenes/event programming, and optimization. These skills aren't specific to GML, and are applicable to other game programming languages such as C#, Lua, and Blueprint.

Tech Art is the second half of my coding responsibilities. My work on the game includes procedural physics-based objects like the player's cloak and ropes; wind, fireflies, and other environmental accents; bloom, blur, shockwave, reflection, distortion, and vignette shaders, coded in GLSL; and inverse kinematics used for animation.

Sound Design has required me to manipulate and edit sound effects both found and purchased, using a combination of Audition and Ableton. I know how important satisfying, punchy sounds are to a juicy game, and I also know how to develop sound and music together to create one cohesive sonic profile.

Bizdev is not a skill I was expecting to develop, but it's necessary for indie games. I have experience with community management, from managing our Discord, itch.io, and Twitter, but more importantly I understand in a broader sense how to talk about and pitch games as a result of this project. I've used these skills to make pitch decks, design documents, talk to publishers and advisors, and negotiate contracts.

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FUTURE

Swordswallower is on hold until we find a publishing partner to help us release the game. In the meantime, I'm looking for work in the game industry that allows me to collaborate with other passionate game developers.

Play the demo here

Follow for updates here

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