prototype brain game
3/4 days design, art
programming by Vincent Booman
Frog Search was designed in assignment of a company I was applying for. I had several days to come up with a concept of a brain game that would train the visual perception of the human brain. They wanted a game design document of max. 1 A4, concept art, and if it were possible a prototype as well.
In Frog Search the player must click the frog that matches with the alternating frog in the bottom right corner before the timer runs out. Every correct frog matched: + 2 seconds on the clock. Wrong frog: -2 seconds on the clock. Every now and then a difficulty is added to make it more tricky to see which frog is the right match. The magnifying glass is an extra difficulty that is needed when the frogs get very small details (this gameplay isn't in the prototype, though the magnifying glass works).
A challenge while designing the game was the right difficulty curve: players need to able to practice their visual perception, and practice can be very boring if you have to repeat the easy parts over and over. This can cause the player to stop playing the game. The solution was to add something rewarding and challenging to the easy parts, being the +2 and -2 seconds system. Players' skills that are beyond the easy parts, still find a challenge in them, because if they play well, they will have extra time when the difficult parts arrive. So they can use the easy parts to make sure they can beat their own high scores and unlock more levels and frogs.
Click here to play Frog Search (Unity Web Player).
graduation project 2013 "Circle of Friends" design, project management, story design, character 2D art, usability, testing music by Stijn Frishert programming by Diego Rens backgrounds&chapter still images by Jolanda van Zandbergen Utrecht School of Arts
Feel free to read my Supportive Narrative on how I managed to answer my research question: how to tell a story through gameplay in the confines of a casual game?
Circle of Friends is a casual game on the iPad that tells the story of a young spoiled and bossy princess who is far way from home and wants nothing more than returning to it. On her way back home she meets new friends who help her stay on the right path, but not everyone has her best interest at heart. In the game the player needs to choose which friends she allows in her circle, help the princess stay on the road and overcome obstacles. It was my goal to design a casual game targeted on young women that tells its story through the gameplay. The end result is a prototype that has been designed based on conducted research and results. It sets an experimental example on how to tell a story through gameplay in the confines of a casual game.
One of the tests to see if a story was told through the gameplay, was to let the test players play for 10-15 minutes, and then ask them what they experienced. The results were different interpretations of what happened while they played, with slight differences from what others said. I concluded that the prototype I designed tells a story through the gameplay.
3 months game design, research, usability, testing, campaign design Utrecht School of Arts, Plan Nederland
We, Studio Obruni, created an online campaign called "The Road to Happiness" that creates awareness among the Dutch low-educated youth about the challenges young women face on the labor market in developing countries. This campaign particularly focuses on the employment status of young women on the labor market of Ghana, which is disadvantaged compared with men. The Road to Happiness consists of three parts: a game, a website, and a streamspot. The team consisted of Games and Interaction-, Audiovisual-, Event Management-, and Visual Arts and Manangement students from the School of Arts Utrecht. The Road to Happiness: The Game
the assignment was to develop a working prototype which communicates our concept. At the end of our project, a professional game company took over and developed the final product. Everything on this page shows the prototype we developed
The Road to Happiness: The Game, a competetive multiplayer online last-man standing game, invites players to experience the daily life of a kayayee who hit rock bottom, by literally walking in their shoes. Four players have to compete against each other on the market, and have to sell 3 items to visitors on the market before someone else does. Players have to watch what the visitors want. The player who ends up at the bottom of the score list, is out. Compete and see if you will be the last girl standing.Background subject of campaign
It was important to us that the whole campaign was based on true facts and experiences, so we were very lucky that we got to visit Ghana for 5 whole weeks to do proper research (it ended up being a life experience for me). Plan Nederland handed us a case, which was the base of our campaign: the North-South migration of young women in Ghana, who end up as kayayee. Kayayee are women who sell products anytime and anywhere. They carry these products in a bowl on their heads. It's hard work, earns them so little, and many of these women find themselves caught in a nightmare. This is ironic, because they migrated from the North to the South to find happiness: to work and earn money for not only themselves, but their families as well. One of the reasons why so many of them cannot find proper paid work, is because they lack the education.
I interviewed a few Ghanean girls for our research. 2/4 interview can be watched below. I hope to add the other two very soon.The campaign was officially launched on the 8th of March 2013.Website of The Road to Happiness Play the game! Prototype game This prototype is played by 2 players on 1 keyboard. Player 1 moves with wasd, Player 2 moves with arrow keys. Player 1 uses Shift to pick up colored blocks in the corners, and Player 2 uses spacebar. Use Shift or Spacebar again to give the colored block to a white block asking for a particular color.
2 years (internship 5 months) game design, documentation, project manager Sahamongkolfilm International
I was an intern for 5 months at the art/game company Studio HIVE, established in Bangkok Thailand. I arrived there just about the time they were finishing up the design of the Ong-Bak: TRI game, but I did get to play a significant role in writing the English version of the game document and brainstormed for the finishing touch of the game. After this was finished, I was given the task to manage the Ong Bak gameproject. This included tasks like creating plannings, managing these, updating the producer daily/weekly about the progress, and making sure that everyone was on schedule. On the side I kept on designing casual games for the smartphone. I loved working at the amazing Studio HIVE and living in Bangkok.
Ong-Bak: TRI is a 2.5D action side-scroller. The game will be released in winter 2013 for PC, IOS and Android mobile phones.
2 months game design, usability, testing Utrecht School of Arts, Here I Am project
The basis of the concept NEON was created by an artist and a designer from my school: I joined when the Here I Am project at my school started. At the end of our collaboration, we delivered a single player 2D puzzle game for the MacOSX and PC. The requirements of the deliverable were that it had to be a pick-up and play, was interesting for the minimum of one minute, and it should not need any explanation outside the game.
The player controls a bola, and needs to move it from point A to B. The game is set in a night where it's pitch dark, but all the colorful lights are switched on (cars passing on the road, Las Vegas at night). Electricity is one of the main mechanics that shape the puzzles. By thinking ahead, turning off electricity, switching it (back) on, creating electric circuits and patterns, the player will solve the puzzles.
The original idea was that the bola would obey the laws of physics on the smartphone platform, but due to the absence of a programmer in our team, we went with a simplified version which we could program ourselves.Play NEON
5 months toy design, research, usability, testing Utrecht School of Arts, Wacom Bamboo
Hiko is a creative messaging toy, designed for women between 20 and 50 years old, for the Android system. By playing with Hiko, users can send instant drawings to each other. The purpose of doing so, lies with the user: to communicate, be creative, to play, or whatmore.
When it comes to designing a toy, I experienced that it's not the same as when designing a game. In fact, they are quite the opposite from each other, so my first challenge as a game designer was to figure out how to design a toy: what is a toy? What is the definition of a game? What are the differences between a game and a toy, but what are the similarities as well? I answered these questions, and setup a venn diagram. This cleared up a lot on the subject of toy design, and helped us through our designing process. We consulted the venn diagram anytime we felt we were drifting back to designing a game, and to confirm if we were still working in the confines of toy design.Prototype Popcorn game
paper prototyping, testing, usability testing
The past few years I have always resolved to designing paper prototypes to test mechanics, in case when the digital prototype was on its way, or when working on a concept alone/without a programmer. I made prototypes of paper, on a whiteboard, to physical prototypes in a space. All the paper prototypes on this page have been made in < 2/3 hours.
Since January 2014 I've started to learn C# in Unity 3D. My goal is to be able to program small prototypes that can be used to test (core) mechanics in a short period of time.
I have always enjoyed designing and creating websites now and then. The past 2 years I've spend more time on webdesign, and decided to take on webdesign assignments. I plan to continue this in my spare time. I tend to design simple, user friendly, but striking websites that communicate its information clearly.