Despoiler

Despoiler is out now on Steam. Check it out at on the Steam Store.

Role: Producer, Level Designer, Lead QA
Engine: Unreal Engine, C++

My contributions, tldr version:
Game and Concept Design Contributions, Project Management, Level Design (Dunes and Wasteland Maps), Multiplayer Level Design, QA Testing.

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Despoiler is a multiplayer team objective arena racer game that was developed in Unreal Engine 4 for the PC. It was released on Steam on 30 March 2018.

In Despoiler, teams scavenge valuable scrap from the level, and the team with the most at the end of a (15min) match wins. Scrap can be found laying about the environment – left by the miners who’ve long vacated the lands. Their old silos are also still full of the stuff, so tear them apart with your weaponry and make it rain. Scrap is carried on the hull of your hovercraft where it absorbs damage, functioning like armour. Scrap is also heavy and the more you have the heavier and slower your vehicle will get.

Drop scrap off at your teams base, to unlock Utilities and Vehicles, which can be equipped in the upgrade garage. Careful, though, re-spawning costs your team some scrap, and if left unchecked you can find yourselves set-back significantly. If you do fall behind, you can always make a run on the enemy scrap reserves, clawing your way back into the lead.

As an Indie Team Project

One of main main contributions to the project (In addition to my Producing role) was my extensive Level Design work was helping fine tune existing levels for the best multiplayer play-ability and to create new levels. I worked extreme closely with the Creative Director to help refine levels and improve their playability and flow. While, ensuring that key gameplay elements are enhanced by smart and complementary level design. Despoiler launched with 4 maps of which I have help to create 1 from the ground up and 1 level that I helped refine and solve flow problems for. 

The bellow gallery showcases the Fields level that I did some refinement on to fix problems. The solution was to was allow more light into map, than what was previously there as it it was quite a dark level and reduce the clutter of to many pipe elements that you can see in the distance to open the level up more. I also cleaned up a lot of the pathing in the Fields level by thickening areas with trees and grass so that players have set routes and can't get stuck in gaps in trees. I also performed a lot of smoothing to remove any excessive bumps in the level that might snag the vehicles as they drive over at speed There are still rises and falls in the level's terrain but they are not violent as to create to fun driveable experience. 

The bellow gallery showcases the Dunes level that I helped to create from the ground up in cooperation with the Creative Director Elliot Gray. The level started as Mining Pit that I extensively worked on. However, after the CD wanted to move toward a level that would be accentuate the game design and gameplay. We scrapped the original level and extensive rework by myself failed to fix the issue and opted we opted to start fresh with a revamped approach. The CD laid the foundation for Dunes and basic level design that he was envisioning and I took it and developed further with is feedback to ensure changes and improvements were inline with his vision. 

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As a Capstone Project

Despoiler was originally developed as part of my final year capstone subject at QUT in 2016, in which students over the year would design, create and release a playable game.

For this project, I served as the Producer for my team called Parallax. I was responsible for scheduling and ensuring my group kept on track and managing the paperwork and back end jobs. These included the use of a Gantt chart, Organizing and communicating the Product and Sprint Backlog, Organising sprints and work breakdown in these sprints among other things related to the standard producer role. 

I also took on the Lead QA role and jobs as well as an assortment of jobs associated with the publishing phase in the final wells of semester 2. As QA jobs go, I was responsible for scheduling and running naive testing sessions. As well as compiling and analyzing the results from the sessions into a bug list that could be communicated to and worked through by the appropriate members of the team. I also in the later stages of development, after Naive testing was complete, devised and executed a test plan for finding remaining bugs in the game.

The team of Parallax that also worked on the game included Elliot Gray the creative director and programmer, Iain Nicholas who was a programmer, Peter Tran who was another programmer, Harrison Armitage-Bath who was the modeler, Jack Landsberger who was the level designer and Andrew Clarke who was the team’s programmer/sound implementation.

Working on the game with my team in 2016 was a rewarding learning experience for myself, in which I learnt a lot about producing as well as what I can improve on next time.

Head over to www.despoilergame.com for more info on the game.

You can see the original trailer done for the capstone version below.

The Team

Producer, Level Designer, QA - Danyon Fitzsimon
Game Director, Lead Programmer - Elliot Gray
Programmer  - Peter Tran

Additional Development - Iain Nicholas, Andrew Clarke
Audio - Johnathan Peros
Art - John Eyre, Francisco Alcalde, Paolo Boissel, Harrison Armitage-Bath