Life's a beach

"Life's a Beach" is a chaos-infused adventure that emerged from our game jam's "Chaotic" theme. Drawing inspiration from The Escapist series, we adopted a top-down perspective to simulate a guard's patrol. Our sound designer's voxel art brought life to characters and environments despite the lack of an artist. Inspired by my hospitality experiences, we crafted a game where an employee's final day transforms into chaos. A "losing heart" mechanic, proposed by our programmer, became our central gameplay element. Join us in navigating the blend of chaos and strategy that defines this engaging experience.

  • Duration: 1 Week

  • Team Size: 3

  • Role: Game / Level Designer

  • Engine: Unity

Embark on your chaotic adventure today – download 'Life's a Beach' and experience the thrill of controlled mayhem firsthand.

Immersive Environment Design: Waves of Tranquillity

In the process of crafting the game environment, I drew inspiration from the idyllic resorts of the Maldives, aiming to immerse players in a setting surrounded by pristine waters. To ensure a seamless player experience, I collaborated closely with our sound designer, orchestrating the integration of immersive hearing elements. By implementing the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore, I sought to create a harmonious contrast that allowed players to momentarily detach from the pressure of limited duration. This auditory respite strategically counterbalanced the time restrictions, fostering a sense of tranquillity amidst the player's goal of controlled mayhem.

Strategic Evasion Mechanics: Navigating Perilous Situations

Aware of the player's precarious position when holding an item, I meticulously calibrated the gameplay dynamics. In the brief window of 2 to 2.5 seconds before detection by security, l wanted a combination of quick decision-making. In response, by allowing players to strategically take refuge behind walls, a strategic cover mechanism that enables evasion. In the event that this tactic fails, a contingency in the form of three lives provides a safeguard, preserving engagement and encouraging experimentation.

Bringing Resorts to Life: Crafting AI Patrolling Realism

In designing the resort's AI patrolling system, I embraced the authentic rhythm of a real-world luxury establishment. Designing a diverse ensemble of male and female tourists, attentive staff members, and attentive security personnel, I underscored the resort's vitality. Employing a chromatic sketch—soft pink and blue colourings for tourists, green for staff, and red for security outlined each role's distinct visual identity, providing impeccable clearness for our programmer during implementation inside Unity.

Crafting Aesthetic Excellence: Character and Level Design Fusion

The artistry behind character and level design took the hallmark of careful attention. Leveraging the spare capacity of our trained sound designers, I seamlessly combined a display of thematic elements such as water, sand, luggage, furnishings, and foliage. When designing the level inside Unity using Unity's ProBuilder, each placement was a homage to my personal memories of the Maldives, increased by a detailed study of resort layouts through imagery and video resources. My design narrative connected around a reception area as the locus of initial engagement, completed by discrete placements like the bin area, which I intuitively located away from guest quarters to keep a readable aesthetic. By choice of using Unity's older version, I was able to use Unity’s ProBuilder which allowed me to place the objects more freely as the newer versions were not so welcoming to Voxel art props.

Room Design and Dynamic Obstacles: Crafting Engaging Gameplay

The central placement of the bar, a navigational beacon, lent players a guiding anchor amidst the expansive setting. While uniformity described the room designs, I strategically incorporated destructible objects into select spaces. A security guard patrolling the main corridor posed an ever-present obstacle, a calculated challenge that upped the game's difficulty quotient while maintaining equilibrium.

Creative Adaptation:
Mechanics Evolution and Engaging Results

While our original vision included an inventory system from The Escapists, the lack of time in the game jam caused a pragmatic pivot. Adjusting resourcefully, we simplified mechanics to contain object acquisition and transport, afterwards allowing for their destruction either in designated bins or a noticeable bonfire a method that ingeniously communicates potential threats to patrolling guards. This streamlined approach not only aligned with the project's worldly limitations but also emerged as an unexpectedly cohesive element, symbolic of the synergy representing our team's collective endeavour.

Overall, we were pleased with the outcome of the game jam, and we believe that our unique approach and innovative mechanics resulted in an engaging and enjoyable gaming experience.

GDD - Life's a Beach

Experience the Chaos: Dive into 'Life's a Beach'

Embark on a chaotic adventure like no other in "Life's a Beach." With a fusion of top-down strategy, immersive resort environments, and inventive mechanics, our team's dedication shines through in every aspect of this exhilarating experience. From crafting chaos to designing immersive spaces, we've poured our creativity into every pixel and line of code. Join us as we invite you to explore, disrupt, and embrace the unexpected in a gameplay journey that's as unique as it is engaging.