This is my own side project
A demo of a movement system
I did everything myself
ENGINE: Unreal Engine 4
DEVELOPMENT TIME: 2 weeks
TEAM SIZE: 1
System of a Mover
from my Background in Movement, Dance, and Choreography
to Create a Joyful Movement Experience
Finding Inspiration in Childhood Memories and my Love for Movement in Games
One of my big passions as a gameplay designer, gamer, and person is movement. Everything in games move in space and time, both metaphorically and not.
My background in and knowledge of movement influences everything I do.
Using Memories to Design Games
As a kid - and to this day - I play a lot of video games. I remember when I was a child and the whole family would go to the countryside. It would always be a long train journey and I was sad that I couldn’t bring video games with me there. So instead, I would hold up my hand against the train window and shape two fingers into my legs. Then, I imagined running along the landscape at the speed of light (that’s how fast the train felt to a young boy). I believe this playfulness with, and imagination of embodiment is what got me into dance in the first place. And now, it has transferred into the unlimited sphere of videogames where the ability to transport my senses into a world where disbelief is suspended for a while. As my hand became a stand-in for my body beside that train window, I felt the wind in my hair and how my body would fly through space, sending shivers of thrill through me. This is what inspired me to make System of a Mover.
JOYUS MOVEMENT RESPONSIVE REALISTIC UNREALISTIC RISK IN PLAY
The joy of moving is very close to my heart and that is what I wanted to communicate in
System of a Mover.
However, this needs to be balanced with challenging mechanics and gameplay. To master movement is part of the pleasure in feeling like you are unlimited.
Fly Like Trinity! Making it Feel Right
Seeing the Matrix in cinema in 1999 was as if my childhood fantasies had come true, both philosophically and imaginatively.
As a dancer, I have a lot of movement memories, and whether they are executable in reality or imagined, I can see and feel them. I have focused on using that ability to understand movement to achieve a successful translation of the right movement feel in System of a Mover.
Managing your Speed as a Player
Based on a curve in the animation system, a timer checking speed, and deceleration, the character will only be able to exit the stop once she has decelerated enough.
This ensures risk and reward - as well a learning curve - to manage both the pleasure and the risks of boosting your speeds above normal.
What I Learned
Understanding and knowing the process and crafts outside your role as a designer makes you a better designer.
I am first and foremost a Gameplay Designer but learning to animate has been incredibly rewarding. Animation, movement and gameplay are intimately connected with each other. A lot of games are dependant on capsule movement and animation to work flawlessly together in order for the gameplay to be loved its audiences.
Using frame schedules, tweaking timings, movement feel, understanding capsule and rootmotion, as well as the difficult task of animating to make gameplay feel and look great is an advantage to have as a gameplay designer. As a designer, you have to constantly communicate ideas and work in teams that rely on so many aspects of game development. I feel energized and inspired by having the skill to animate and to be able to communicate with animators in their language to create gameplay. Even if my job as a designer is usually not to make animations, being able to do it is empowering as a designer.