Game Design

In 2015 I decided to switch careers from fashion to… something else. I entered a 9 month Game Design course and learned a ton of stuff.


When Reed Krakoff closed in January of 2015 (my last fashion design job), I knew I didn’t want to work in the fashion industry anymore. Nothing wrong with RK, but I could sense the industry was crumbling and I had been in it for along time. It was time to make a change. I didn’t waste any time and jumped into the first educational program I could find that was totally different than what I was doing. I enrolled in a 9 month Game Design Conservancy program at the New York Film Academy from January to October 2015. In it, we learned things like:

  • Game Theory
  • 3D Modeling
  • Narrative Design
  • Unity
  • Art and Design
  • Sound Design

It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I pushed myself to get high marks and take in as much as I could. This page showcases some of my projects from the course.

3D Modeling

These student projects were built in Maya. Towards the end of this course, we were building assets in Maya and using them in our Unity games.


Spaceship model

After a couple of simpler modeling projects, we were asked to find a spaceship design and model it. I picked a rather complex one.

Original found on the internet
3D Ship
Spaceship model

Tyrell Corp scene

For this project, we were asked to build a scene from one of our favorite films with lighting, textures, and at least 5 modeled objects.

Original Tyrell Corp scene from Blade Runner (1982)
Tyrell Corp Model
5 objects created for the scene
Tyrell Corp side view and subtle lighting

Video Games

Of course, we made video games… These are only a few of the several. We used an early version(v.4!) of Unity for the video games, so at some point I’ll need to convert the files and try to get the actual play working again (adding that to my someday list, 🤪).


Brimstone Breakout

The assignment was to make a Flappy Bird style game, but add another feature of two. In Brimstone Breakout, you are an angel trapped in hell and trying to get out. I was certainly feeling my post-fashion oats. I added three additional mechanics:

  • If you were hit by an obstacle, over time your body would change into a demon. If you fully transformed, you would lose.
  • You could collect prayers to turn back into an angel.
  • If you defeated a fireball-spitting Satan boss (by dodging enough fireballs) in the end, you would win.

All graphics drawn and animated by me.

Title screen
Level design
Angel to demon transformation
A Grabbing hand obstacle asset
Fireball asset
brimstone breakout satan head
Boss Satan asset

Enigma

In this game, you are a mirrored ball inside a spherical maze. The controls rotate the entire maze around you, and you just roll around with some basic gravity physics. This was one of my favorite games because the mechanic of the entire world moving instead of you felt innovative. Also, I like puzzles and creating the sphere maze model in Maya was really challenging and fun. Another interesting challenge was implementing quaternion rotation instead of Euler to prevent Gimbal lock.

Enigma title card
Enigma title card
Enigma Spherical Maze 1
Curving maze view from inside sphere
Enigma Spherical Maze Goal
Goal Animation of a pixel firework

Level Design using Portal 2 Level Editor

On learning level design we had to create three levels using the Portal 2 level editor. These are some concept sketches from that project. Looking back, hand sketching from my years in fashion came in handy!

Portal 2 Level Sketch
Portal 2 Level Sketch
Portal 2 Level Sketch

Board Games

We made a lot of non-digital games. This was always the best way to rapid prototype and test all game mechanics, even if they were to end up as digital games sometimes.


God Bless America

Although this was a group project, I really wanted us to make a game that kind of made fun of the pay-for-play aspect of the US government. Basically, it’s a deck-building game where players spend money to attack each other with press. Attached are the rules if anyone would like to look through them – it’s very easy and super fun to play. I still have all the graphics for the board and cards, so if anyone is interested and wants to create a game of their own that would be so cool – email me!

God Bless America Cards
God Bless America Cards
God Bless America Gameplay
Gameplay
God Bless America Board
Board

Heroes of the Galaxy

Another group project. This one was a war game where you had to battle your armies. This one was fairly complex involving detailed fight sequences with various dice and tokens. We went through several iterations before we got he gameplay right.

Heroes of the Galaxy board game
Heroes of the Galaxy Board game