Cooperative Puzzle Platformer
Polarity Shift is a cooperative puzzle platformer featuring two golems exploring the ruins of an ancient civilization. The players traverse this dark and atmospheric environment by using their powers and collaboration skills.
We aimed to create a series of challenges for players to overcome alongside their friends while stimulating them to experiment and improvise in how they use their abilities. The main mechanic in the game is polarity, the interaction between magnetic poles. The players can activate either polarity and use these magnetic forces to interact with polarized objects in the world to solve the challenges.
This project was a team collaboration in which I mainly contributed on the puzzle conceptualization and level scripting. Together with the team, there was a continuous effort with tweaking gameplay and the puzzle based level design according to internal and external feedback. The primary focus in terms of my work with the level design was the process of creating the tutorial level. This is where the game mechanics are introduced to the players and the objective was to make these clear by using the level design combined with the instructional UI. Since activating platforms by using various conditions were a recurrent feature throughout the game, I worked on creating a user friendly platform mechanic which was easily implemented and altered by the level designers.
The objective was to create an easy to use tool for the activation of the platforms using various conditions. The solution was to create a public integer variable where the user set the value of the number of switches needed for an activation. The second step after an activation is to set the destination of the platform. This is a fluctuating vector value which was made more easily altered by simply making the start- and end location public and applying the use of 3D widgets to determine the vector values. This provided direct visual feedback for the set locations by dragging the widget to the desired location instead of adding the data manually. The third, and final step, is to click on the switch actor, choose the pick actor in the details panel and assign the associated platform.
The tutorial level serves as an introduction to the game mechanics. They are not at risk of reaching the loose state during this phase to encourage exploring the mechanics in a safe environment. The facing obstacles are easy to traverse and teaches the players the cooperative aspect of the game since they need their combine strategy and skills to progress. To make the controller scheme clear we added instructions via user interface showcasing the button press combinations.