FIA: Friendly Intelligent Armband
Point and Click Game
- Game Design
- Level Design
- Story Writing
- Organized Playtesting
SPECIFICATIONS & TOOLS
- Point and Click Adventure Game
- Created in 8 weeks, half-time
- Game Engine: Löve
- Scripted in LUA
- Patrik Nilsson (Level designer)
- Adam Weith (Level Designer)
- Oscar Öhrn (Programmer)
- Magnus Christiansson (Programmer)
- Jacob Reimer (Programmer)
- Oskar Kylvåg (Programmer)
- Olle Hagman (Programmer)
- Anton Petersson (Graphics Artist)
- Petter Gunnarsson (Graphics Artist)
- Johan Ernstsson (Graphics Artist)
- Rasmus Björk (Graphics Artist)
In FIA the player meets an intelligent AI built into a wristband named FIA. She was accidentally sent to your address, and now needs your help to find her creators home. Venture through a cyberpunk world, break into data storage facilities, make deals with the gangsters and venture through the sewers to find your way back to the professor’s house so FIA can get home!
We wanted to create a game where the player felt a connection to an in-game character throughout the whole game, so we created FIA. FIA helps the player get through difficult puzzles, and talks to the player throughout the game, building a friendship along the way.
It was very important for the conclusion of the story that we did this, because depending on the relationship the player has with FIA, he will make one of two decisions. This makes the player feel like there was some choice in the game, and that it wasn’t just a linear experience only to be played once.
DESIGNING THE WORLD
We wanted to have some freedom with the world that we created, so we chose to do a cyberpunk world. This makes it easy for us to add a lot of things that necessarily are not realistic, but that we thought added some atmosphere to the game.
This gave us a lot of freedom, so we added huge towers and neon designs all over the city. That let us give the slums a great contrast, with it being more brown and grey, telling the player that it wasn’t safe to be there.
HOW WE DESIGNED A SCENE
PLANNING AND FLOWCHART!
When we first started working on the game the level designers built up all the rooms and gameplay using flowcharts. This made the process of making the game a lot easier, because we had the basic game layout already built.
During this process we kept a close communication with the graphic team, in order to design the blockouts in Maya so that they would both reach the level of graphical fidelity the group wanted, and feature all the level design that we had designed.
We also made sure that we were able to cut rooms if there wasn't enough time to build all of them, and included this in the design. Rooms where mostly designed to be in their own "bubble", there are only three rooms in the game that carry objects over from previous rooms.
The first iteration of the rooms looked something like this. The main goal here was to make sure that players testing the game would know where to go, and that players would also be interested in the world that we were building.
In this scene, we want the player to go down into the subway, which wasn't clearly communicated due to the arrows on the building in the back. We later changed this.
This is one of the later iterations of the scene. Here we focused a lot on the colours and composition. The arrows in the back were removed and replaced with more saturated signs, and the subway entrance was lit up, to draw the players attention.
We also added dialogue that started when players entered the scene later on. This was to even further point the player towards the subway entrance.
Summary and Closing Thoughts
FIA felt like a good first project that I was able to make something unique and interesting in. The group worked well and we had a lot of fun working on it. This was also the first project where we realised the strict deadlines we were working at, and halfway thought the project we learnt about planning and scoping the hard way, having to redo the whole game all over to hit the deadline. The game did however turn out better than we thought, and I still think this was a good decision to make, both for the group and for the game.
Working on FIA taught me a lot about leading the player to a specific location on the screen, and how to design puzzles in a way that was logical and made sense for the new player. Something that I feel I could've done better was to design more unique interactions with characters in the world, and improve on the once we already had. The gang showed a lot of promise in the last few weeks, but we didn't have time to do something actually interesting with them sadly.