Studio: Navigator Games (2024)
 Role: Design Director, Gameplay Designer
Summary: Lineage of the Ancients (LOTA) is a game demo for a 3rd Person Combat game that balanced action with territory control and unique item merging mechanics. This demo was designed and created as part of a larger pitch presentation to Xbox and a few other PC publishers by Navigator Games.  
My Contributions: 
• Designed and prototyped all of the core systems, including locomotion, combat, the territory capture mechanic, AI behavior, item merging metagame, and many individual player mechanics based on company goals, target audience, and market research.
• After working solo for two months on the prototype, I onboarded a team of 8 to the game, allowing us to scale up and transition from prototype to game demo over the course of an additional 3 months.
• I created pitch decks on the game design, market, audience, and IP of the game as part of larger company presentations to numerous publishers (Microsoft X-Box, Garena, and more).
• Co-Developed the IP with the executive team and Created the World, Characters, and various IP features for the game.
Engine: Unreal Engine 5.2
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Process and Insights
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Concept
"Combines the engaging core gameplay of third person multiplayer Action with the addictive evolution mechanics of Merge games."
The idea for the game originated from the company's desire to transition away from Mobile and using Unity to the PC / Console with Unreal, as well as an opportunity we identified in the action battler genre for a more casual competitive entrant. ​​​​​​​
Most battle royale and melee action games in the market were high twitch and we wanted to create something more accessible and differentiated, similar to One Piece Bounty Rush, but with added depth and variety.  This is where the core concept of "Merge" came from, since it was an accessible and easy to understand concept with a lot of potential depth.
Design:
I outlined the goals and pillars of the game and various sub-components of the design and created personas of the audience (based on popular influencers) early, even when working solo, so that all subsequent design choices and discussions were framed with those players and the core experience in mind.​​​​​​​
From there I roughly mapped out the core gameplay mechanics of combat and territory capturing, defined the core game loop of the game mode, and outlined a list of core systems, questions, and problems to test and explore in prototyping. ​​​​​​​
Prototype:
This was my first time using Unreal, so much of the prototyping time was spent learning the system. In addition there were very few resources, so I used Unreal marketplace assets for most of the content, such as animation and VFX.
As I learned Unreal, I ended up creating all of the blueprint logic for the prototype, learned and implemented state machines, linked layer animation blueprints, a combo system, item spawning and equipping, AI behavior trees and perception, and many more systems and plugins in order to flesh out the mechanics.
Final Deliverable:
By the end we created a fully networked multiplayer prototype, which was used in various company presentations to pitch the game to various PC and Console publishers. This was an exciting project to work on and also allowed me to deep dive into Unreal, dramatically expanding my prototyping abilities for the future.
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