Released: May 2022
Platforms: Pc | Ps4
Skill focus: Level design, gameplay design, and scripting.
Project length: 2 months
Engine and tools: Unity, Google docs, Maya, Blender + property Ps4 engine
What is Detached?
Detached is a First-person, Puzzle, Adventure game where you have to explore an abandoned laboratory with the help of a teleporting device that you can throw on the ground to teleport and you can also detach your own shadow and then teleport to it at will.
The game's goal is to capture a creepy and mysterious vibe with the player. Making the player wonder if there is something else roaming around in the laboratory.
You can play the game at itch.io:
I worked on the introduction level of the game. The introduction level was designed to naturally introduce the player to the main mechanics of the game and how puzzles can be interacted with through the control panel.
I did this by using lights to guide the player to their next objective and by using UI elements. I also added cables to buttons that would be tied to what they would affect.
For example, a control panel with a cable tied to a moving platform moves the platform when the player holds down the control panel button.
When it comes to introducing the controls I decided on a rushed solution by using UI prompts to show what the player can perform an action. This could have been done better by using paper notes or whiteboards in the environment so that it would have felt more natural, instead of having a UI element pop up.
In the first level, we can see how the shadow is used to solve a puzzle by placing it on the other side of the door to teleport to it. We also use the shadow to place it on a moving platform to move it up and then teleport to it to get to the top of a platform which leads to the teleportation disc. When the player takes the teleportation disc they can now enter a vent that will get a highlight on it to show where the player is supposed to go.
I also worked on the second level in the game. In the second level, I worked mostly on making it clear where the player was supposed to go, through lights mainly. Screenshot 3 is an example of this.
I also told the artist to implement decals on each pump which are then tied to different control panels in level 2. This made it easier for the player to understand the goal of the puzzle. These can be seen in screenshots 4 and 5.
I collaborated with the sound designers and the environmental artist on how to bring out the atmosphere the game should bring to the players playing the game. These can be seen in screenshots 1 and 2 on what the environment should bring out.
I designed gameplay puzzles and prototyped level ideas that both got it into the game and that did not. There were supposed to be two more levels but due to time constraints, the two extra levels did not make it into the game.
I worked with gameplay systems such as the "teleportation device" and the "shadow" mechanic, where I mainly tested the game mechanics and tried to nail down how they should feel for the end-user.
We changed how the shadow mechanic worked a couple of time's from where the player could only use the shadow once until they needed to teleport to it, to where the player can now place it down again without having to teleport to it.
I made this call because it limited much of what the player could do in the game and it was frustrating factor to have to teleport back and forth with the shadow to just place it down again.
I worked with testers and brought forth what should be improved on the current state of the product. Examples of improvements that we implemented were clearer directions for what the player should actually do in the level, changing the layout to make it not feel like you are going in circles, and more purpose to the shadow mechanic.
Screenshot 1, shows the starting area of the first level.
Screenshot 2, shows a part of the environment. The kind of vibe we wanted to express in the game.
Screenshot 3, shows how light was used to guide the player (orange being directional lights).
In screenshot 4, here we can see the decals on each pump.
In screenshot 5, here the player can see what pumps are active or not.