Student projects are an integral part of the curriculum at the Games Academy. Every semester there is a new project, which is a big part of the marks as well as the experience as a game developer. The first semester has some restrictions concerning the type of game you are able to design. In later semesters these restriction are lifted and you are free to design the game you like to design. The projects are clearly structured, with some milestones and a gold master at the end.
The work with students from different fields of work like artists, game designers, producers and programmers is quite challenging and reflects the working environment at a game studio but without any risks.
My education was five semesters long which results in five different student projects. On the first project we were only about five game designers, in later semesters the team size is increased to up to 10 students from different fields - artists, producers, programmers and game designers.
I: Revenge of the Cookie
Revenge of the Cookie was our first student project during the first semester as a game design student at the Games Academy. It is a 2D platformer to be modelled on Super Mario Bros.
The player character is a chocolate chip cookie who wants to avenge the annihilation of his people by the vicious vegetable armies. Like Mario, he can run and jump through the game world. His special ability is sticking to walls or moving objects. This way he is able to reach otherwise unreachable areas inside the levels. His enemies of the vegetable army are mushrooms with katanas, peas with helmets and chillies who spat fire. With a jump on an enemy's head Cookie is able to dispatch them easily.
Originally we planned to have three to five levels, worked in Unity but switched engines to Torque 2D. The team consisted of five game designers, all of us without prior knowledge in game production. We had about four month time from an idea to a finished game. Unfortunately, we could not achieve all the goals we had set for the game but at the time of the gold master we were able to present one level and a game with some bugs.
|Production Start:||April 2011|
|Production End:||August 2011|
|Programming:||Nils Jordan; Maximilian Buck|
|Game Design:||Felix Günther; Kamil Balitzki; Nils Jordan|
|Leveldesign:||Felix Günther; Kamil Balitzki|
|Interface Design:||Nils Jordan|
|Story / Setting:||Felix Günther|
Helios is a 3rd Person Horror Shooter modelled on Dead Space. It was designed by game designers in their second semester and artists and a producer in their third semester.
The player character is a super soldier who has to investigate the radio silence inside a secret paramilitary research station. A virus mutated the workers at the facility and made them nearly invincible. The soldier is immune to the virus and equipped with ice pistols and grenades that are capable of defeating the mutated.
|Genre:||3rd Person Horror Shooter|
|Engine:||Unreal Development Kit|
|Production Start:||Oktober 2011|
|Production End:||Februar 2012|
|Game Design:||Rico Nemetz|
|Leveldesign:||Nils Jordan; Jürgen Miersch|
|Interface Design:||Rico Nemetz; Edward Agwi|
|Art:||Jürgen Miersch; Edward Agwi; Nermin Muric; |
Florian Schreck; Tino Englert; Malte Osterkamp
|Story / Setting:||Rico Nemetz|
Hadron is a kind of 2.5D side scrolling platformer / racer hybrid.
The player controls a tentacle creature or ship that runs on lanes. If the colour of the ship matches the colour of the lane, the ship accelerates. There are points to be collected like in a platformer. There are two different controls, one for jumping to reach higher lanes with more points and another one is a colour switch that enables the player to change the ships colour to match the lane colour. The game's goal is to achieve the highest score in the shortest time.
|Genre:||3D Side-Scrolling Racer (Mobile)|
|Production Start:||April 2012|
|Production End:||August 2012|
|Programming:||Julian Korten; Simon Wagar; Nils Jordan|
|Game Design:||Alexander Lenski|
|Leveldesign:||Alexander Lenski; Tom Kaschub|
|Interface Design:||Tilmann Milde|
|Art:||Tom Kaschub; Svenja Hildebrandt; Sarah May; |
Tilmann Milde; Alexander Lenski
IV: Toy Flyer
Toy Flyer is a mobile game in which the player controls a helicopter inside a kids room. The goal of the game is collecting blocks and building structures with them.
|Genre:||3D Building Game(Mobile)|
|Production Start:||October 2012|
|Production End:||Februar 2013|
|Programming:||Veronika Kebkal; Nils Jordan; Robert Stangel|
|Game Design:||Julien Rüggeberg|
|Leveldesign:||Julien Rüggeberg; Christian Bittkau; Florentine Mahlow|
|Interface Design:||Florentine Mahlow; Julien Rüggeberg|
|Art:||Christian Bittkau; Florentine Mahlow; Maximilian Mayer|
V: Adventure Toolkit for Unity / "Dork Tales"
The Adventure Toolkit for Unity is a solo project of mine, that included a graphical dialogue editor, an item editor and game play elements of classic point and click adventure game like "Monkey Island" (1 and 2) or "Day of the Tentacle". As a proof of concept and a project I will try to continue later on, I build an adventure game called "Dork Tales" with the toolkit and the help of two artists with whom I worked on Toy Flyer together. I tried to capture the humor of the old Lucas Arts adventures and combine that with my own humor into a game that features a character that I can relate to, a pen-and-paper role playing gamer. There are also some game development related jokes that I had to put in.
|Genre:||3D Point and Click Adventure + Unity3D Extention|
|Production Start:||April 2013|
|Production End:||still ongoing (GA Project End was end of August 2013)|
|2D Art:||Florentine Mahlow|
|Environment Models:||Maximilian Mayer|
|Everything Else:||Nils Jordan|