Link to the Game:
This game was developed during Global Game Jam 2023, where the theme was revealed to be "Roots". My team and I explored various ideas, such as cultural roots, hair roots, and root canals, but ultimately decided to go with the traditional plant/tree root theme. The game received 2nd place in the community vote in Ottawa.
The team and I wanted to create a game where the player spreads out and creates intricate root designs from a central point, the tree. The player has a limited, diminishing water supply that is used to grow more roots, however, there are ponds scattered across the map to replenish the water supply. The game was also designed in a way that resembles scientific and anatomical charts of trees.
My role during development was to design ways for the player would interact with the environment, such as how they utilize the roots to collect and replenish their water supply and how they would interact against level obstacles.
I was also in charge of designing/laying out the map with the goal of inciting the user to spread and explore in a way that imitates real life tree root systems. This goal was also assisted by combining the objectives and obstacles with the fog of war I programmed.
The main goal is for the player to continuously expand their tree root system throughout the map. However, the tree must be absorbing enough water to maintain it's expansion.
As lead level designer, my goal was to find ideal spots for these water pools in ways that:
Give players ample time to strategize and expand accordingly
Encourage root spread similar to real life tree roots
Rocks were implemented into the game as ways to challenge the player, hindering them from expanding easily.
My goal was to find ideal spots for these rock obstacles in ways that:
Force players to adapt to their unforeseen surroundings
Encourage players to imitate how tree roots would avoid similar obstacles in real life