Technical Game Designer

Crooked

Crooked

 
 

Summary

During a misattempted heist you’re framed for murder and through persuasion and tests of wits, you must discern the real killer!
Crooked is a quirky 'Point and Click' murder mystery, with 3 distinct intruiging characters that you'll interact with.
Be prepared for puzzles, mystery and dialgoue!

Specifications

  • Single player platforming game
  • Created in 8 weeks -4 hours a day
  • Using custom in-house engine
  • Approximately 20 min of gameplay

My Contributions

  • Game Design
  • Puzzle Design
  • Original Soundtrack for every Character
  • Core Dialogue Writing

The Team

Anton Pilmark - Level Designer
Admir Burnic  - Level Designer

Johannes Bengston - Graphical Artist
Henrik Giang - Graphical Artist
Alice Kiosev - Graphical Artist

Albin Nilsson - Programmer
Joakim Bensryd - Programmer
Kasper Esbjörnsson - Programmer
Hussein Taher - Programmer
Johan Anderdahl- Programmer


    Our First Game
    -Designing a 'Point and Click'-

    Crooked were the first game I ever worked on at The Game Assembly. And while there were no 'levels' as such in a 'Point and Click' there were more than enough to look at.

    We quite quickly found that we wanted to a quirky murder mystery, in style with 'The Pink Panther', 'Professor Layton', 'Day of the Tentacle', 'Secret of Monkey Island' and 'Tin Tin'.

    Since this were our first project we naturally scoped quite high and had to cut some of our initial ideas.
    As designers we originally purposed 5 suspects and 9 rooms - after a quick talk with the artist we cut it down to 3 suspects and 7 rooms.

     
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    CrookedPuzzle03.png

    The Totem Puzzle
    -Puzzle Design-

    Puzzles and story in a point and click go hand-in-hand, so as we planned out the story we had vague ideas about what sort of puzzles we would have. I were in charge of our totem puzzle, which in the beginning were dragging a banana onto a stuffed gorilla. As I explored what was interesting in a point and click, I found that actually moving between rooms were quite engaging. So I wanted to create a puzzle that you'd need to go a bit back and fourth between the rooms.
    I started out planning and testing with a paper design, where I'd fold the different options of the heads and place them in different locations of a room. I were very careful in not telling people anything other than you have theses two totems in two different rooms.
    After a bit of tweaking and testing the puzzle were implemented cause people seemed to like it.
    Unfortunatly one of the totems were moved due to graphics not accounting space for it in one room and it ended up being a hassle going through 2 rooms to look at one.

     
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    Hick-ups in Development
    -Lack of documentation-

    In the design team we had been planning an discussing the flow of each room and the game in general, but in the mean time, our programmers had been building a framework for them to work within, but had reached a point in week 3 where they didn't know what to do.
    When we realized we began making as many flowcharts as possible as fast as we could. We documented every puzzle and room as detailed as we could, with flowcharts and text within a week.
    The game progressed swiftly afterwards and we had a playable version of the game a week afterwards.  

     

    Out of my comfort Zone
    -Music and Dialogue-

    As we didn't have any dedicated writer and I had done a lot of the character conceptuations and personality development, I voulenteered to do the writing. And while it was a fun challenge and experience I vastly underestimated the time it took to write well written dialogues. I also underestimated the  time it took to trim them down to a digestible size. In the end the game were very text heavy, which bogged it down a bit. Had I had more time I would have wanted to trim down even more of the text.

    As for music, I also took that upon myself, which I was really happy about since the theme turned out as I wanted it to. It really captured the wacky mood of the game. 3 weeks before handing the game in someone mentioned it was a bit monotonous and we came up with giving each character a variation of the theme when they were on screen. This also worked out pretty perfectly and underlined the mood of the scenes and dialogues.

     

    Closing Thoughts

    Crooked were undeniably the game that has stood closest to my heart. The sheer amount of time I sat with the dialogues and the music will attest to that. I must have spent close to double up overtime on this game, but I loved every second of it.
    Developing the story, the characters and the puzzles were all something I felt and still feel very strongly for. 
    Trying to be a manuscript writer for a game with dialogue trees were an intense and awesome experience that I wont forget. The soundtrack is also something I've learned so much from in terms of showing early iterations and pinpointing the feel of a game through audio.
    I see a lot of my personality reflected in the game and I can't help be love it.