Sole game developer

Who I See is the hand-drawn, 2nd person mystery where the narration is told by everyone but you, so you piece together the story through the extremely different perceptions of the NPCs.

Self-taught and having to manage other job duties at the same time, I made this game by myself, managing the game design, writing, coding, art, and marketing, with music provided by http://www.estudiocafofo.com for free.

In only one year's time, I went from a complete unknown making his first game to presenting its final result at a showcase - sponsored by Gamejolt, Devolver Digital, and Dreamhack - where it was invited to be featured.

 

I'm proud of my accomplishments, and I look forward to seeing what more I can do in the games industry!

Accomplishments
  • Official Selection at Indiepocalypse 2019, hosted by Gamejolt, Devolver Digital, and Dreamhack.

  • Judge's Top Pick in AdventureJam2018

  • Most Innovative Entry in AdventureJam2018

  • Featured Game on Gamejolt

  • PCGAMER's Top 5 Free Games of the Week

Game Design

No matter how good the story, gameplay - how one engages in that story - matters most, because its what the player is doing the entire time.

 

Originally made for a 2-week gamejam, I made a point/click (p/c) since they're friendly to beginner game devs. But I wanted to have unique and rewarding gameplay, even though it seemed impossible for a genre in which most time is spent reading text, and the rest is spent pointing and clicking to access more text.

So if the time is spent either pointing/clicking or reading text, and I couldn't change the point/clicking...I'd change the text.

All text, all writing content, comes from the perspectives of the various NPCs instead of the protagonist. The text itself shows the personalities of the characters, how they perceive the protag, and how they react to the player's actions.

 

The fun gameplay comes from seeing what each character thinks of what you do, and more fun comes from picking apart their thoughts to piece together a mystery that no one character fully understands.

The text is no longer just the access to the story; it is the rewarding gameplay the players will be experiencing the whole time!

Art

I used simple, high-contrast stylistic visuals to reinforce the game's first impressions, memorability, atmosphere, and experience. Detail is impressive, simplicity is effective.

Made by me. Hand-drawn lineart with colors and textures put through Photoshop.

The visuals are extreme and stylistic. This combo has proven to be a strong hook, attracting people's attention right on sight at Indiepocalypse2019. Catching someone's interest with the first glance is important for new IP's and ideas.

Each room and character uses 2 to 3 main colors. Faint textures prevent visuals from feeling empty, but simplicity of the palettes - and their extreme contrasts - makes them easier to recall, therefore memorable and more beloved by players.

Extreme clashing of intense colors makes most viewers feel uncomfortable. Artists usually avoid high-contrast for that reason, but the atmosphere the characters feel - a disquieting, upsetting night in a motel full of uncomfortable lives now offended by an extreme force - is transferred into the player through that physical discomfort.

Now the player themselves are immersed into the unique experience and feel of the game's story without even realizing it!

Coding
  • Program: AdventureGameStudio, also used for acclaimed titles Gemini Rue, Primordia, The Cat Lady, Resonance, and the Blackwell series.

  • Coding done by me.

  • C-Script language used.

  • Debugging done by me, based on my own extensive testing and on errors pointed out by early players.

Writing

I wrote all aspects to compliment and contribute to the core gameplay. I wrote the characters and dialogue I wanted to interact with in games I play. I did not write just a story; I wrote a fun game for players to play.

Players especially love the characters and dialogue! I wrote what I knew from my experiences and inner conflicts, ensuring there is a grounded realism to each character, and exaggerated their weirdness to make them bizarre yet relatable, so players would care.

The game starts with a mystery which the player must solve through gameplay, and since people naturally enjoy finding answers, this proved to be an effective gameplay loop. To fit the player's point/click actions, the protag loves figuring out puzzles in strange ways.

All aspects of a game should serve the intended experience. Here, puzzles are written so that to solve them, you must look at problems through the perspectives of others, one of the core themes and gameplay features of Who I See.

Art