Secret of Colors                                                                  Environment, Thematics, Synergy

Puzzle Platforming Adventure

Unity 3D

 C# - Visual Studio


Secret of Colors is a game that was developed for Production II over the course of one semester during our junior year at Champlain College. I actually joined the team late. My first five weeks were spend on a project that crashed and burned in a fantastic disaster. Luckily, the Secret of Colors team picked me up, brushed me off and set me to work for something good. After adjusting to the team, Secret of Colors was completed and taken to RPI Gamefest 2017. We did not win, but presented well and I am proud of that fact.

Download the game here! (.exe)

Not All Games Need Plot

Game Narrative is the total accumulation of all elements in the game and how they impact the player. It is about the story created when player interacts with product. Plot is a series of events - from beginning to end - that describe a story. Narrative is necessary component of all games, but plot is not. For my part on Secret of Colors, I worked to create a compelling narrative that would draw players further into the game without relying on any plot.

By the time I joined the game, it already had an established mechanics set. These were fun and elegant interactions that encouraged problem solving and exploration. They also had an inherent thematic base that was beautiful. Each level is beaten by climbing to the highest point and ascending to the next level. This became the core theme of the entire game and my job was to develop systems around it that would further the experience of player. No plot to hook on to, but core emotion that drives all action in the game.

Building a World

To develop the context and systems of the game, I worked closely with my other designers and artists to create and realize several sub-themes of the game. One of the goals of the teams as that we wanted Secret of Colors to be accessible to all and then grow in depth and complexity as it progressed. To do this we set out to define the rules and context of the world; the player character is organic, magical and colorful. Enemies are mechanical, pre-programmed and drab. The environment exists in-between: it is colorful and delicate while also being in-organic and rigid. These rules expand on the core theme in interesting ways as well as provide a solid base through which to design puzzles.

Enemy Iteractions

Enemy design followed the same approach as world design. Enemies have guiding rules that inform their every action and interaction. Above is my first sketch of the Argus Lantern - an enemy with many watching, waiting eyes. It follows the rules of all other enemies. Those with open eyes react to color and those with closed eyes do not. What makes the Argus unique is the way it interacts with the other entities in game. If the player is colored when spotted by the Argus, they will become trapped and slow down. But the Argus is always watching, should another colored entity  - like a different enemy - become spotted then it will be destroyed. It is these interactions at breath life into Secret of Colors. They are mechanically deep, inform context and further the narrative.

I am very proud of the narrative created for Secret of Colors. The player experience is one of gaining knowledge to understand the world and solve puzzles, testing skills to gain confidence and ascending - rising above the mindless automatons that fracture a beautiful world. And all of this is done without any plot.