Duat Logo

Search for powerful Diamonds protected by lost Spirits in this Puzzle Adventure.

Freely swap the location of objects to open pathways, activate chain reactions, fight spirits, and solve puzzles to collect all the lost treasures found beneath the pyramid.

The player is led through a linear path to a small altar. It seems the diamond of this altar is missing and the player is trapped. Another mural shows that a special button could activate something. If the player presses this button, they activate the swap ability.
Duat Logo
The player is led through a linear path to a small altar. It seems the diamond of this altar is missing and the player is trapped. Another mural shows that a special button could activate something. If the player presses this button, they activate the swap ability.

Search for powerful Diamonds protected by lost Spirits in this Puzzle Adventure.

Freely swap the location of objects to open pathways, activate chain reactions, fight spirits, and solve puzzles to collect all the lost treasures found beneath the pyramid.

Duat Logo
The player is led through a linear path to a small altar. It seems the diamond of this altar is missing and the player is trapped. Another mural shows that a special button could activate something. If the player presses this button, they activate the swap ability.

Search for powerful Diamonds protected by lost Spirits in this Puzzle Adventure.

Freely swap the location of objects to open pathways, activate chain reactions, fight spirits, and solve puzzles to collect all the lost treasures found beneath the pyramid.

Arrow_Duat2

ROLE

Concept designer /
Gameplay designer /
Developer / Visual Artist

DATE

August 2019

PLATFORM

PC

SOFTWARE

GameMaker Studio 2 / Photoshop

Arrow_Duat2

ROLE

Concept designer /
Gameplay designer /
Developer / Visual Artist

DATE

August 2019

PLATFORM

PC

SOFTWARE

GameMaker Studio 2 / Photoshop

Arrow_Duat2

ROLE

Concept designer /
Gameplay designer /
Developer / Visual Artist

DATE

August 2019

PLATFORM

PC

SOFTWARE

GameMaker Studio 2 / Photoshop

ttp_01ProjectOverview

Duat is a 2D puzzle adventure where the player has the ability to swap the location of objects with each other to create new pathways, activate chain reactions, and solve puzzles.
Most of the game is presented non-verbally and without written text.
The player is encouraged to piece together their own interpretation of the overall story and end goal.

You play as a small blue beetle who, after obtaining a treasure map, is enticed by the idea of immense wealth to explore an ancient pyramid said to house relics with unknown powers.
This choice might not be wise though, as none who entered have returned to tell the tale.

The swap mechanic is the core mechanic of the game and gives the blue beetle the ability to choose two objects within a specific range and swap their locations with each other.
With this ability, you can control the surrounding environment and clear away unreachable or blocked areas by swapping hindering objects with helpful objects, such as swapping a heap of boulders for flat wood pieces so that you can walk through an otherwise blocked-off path.
You can also create interesting situations where objects react, mix, or destroy each other when put next to each other to solve puzzles or create new functions.
An example of this would be purifying poisoned water, creating fire with wood, scaring off ghosts with light, and destroying crates with lasers.

The goal of your journey is to travel into the depths of the pyramid and collect as much treasure as possible.
This wealth comes in the form of different colored diamonds that can open locked blue doors.
You will find multiple ancient murals during your adventure that depict beetles using the swap ability, as well as depictions of their most valuable treasures and their potential powers.

Duat is a 2D puzzle adventure where the player has the ability to swap the location of objects with each other to create new pathways, activate chain reactions, and solve puzzles.
Most of the game is presented non-verbally and without written text.
The player is encouraged to piece together their own interpretation of the overall story and end goal.

You play as a small blue beetle who, after obtaining a treasure map, is enticed by the idea of immense wealth to explore an ancient pyramid said to house relics with unknown powers.
This choice might not be wise though, as none who entered have returned to tell the tale.

The swap mechanic is the core mechanic of the game and gives the blue beetle the ability to choose two objects within a specific range and swap their locations with each other.
With this ability, you can control the surrounding environment and clear away unreachable or blocked areas by swapping hindering objects with helpful objects, such as swapping a heap of boulders for flat wood pieces so that you can walk through an otherwise blocked-off path.
You can also create interesting situations where objects react, mix, or destroy each other when put next to each other to solve puzzles or create new functions.
An example of this would be purifying poisoned water, creating fire with wood, scaring off ghosts with light, and destroying crates with lasers.

The goal of your journey is to travel into the depths of the pyramid and collect as much treasure as possible.
This wealth comes in the form of different colored diamonds that can open locked blue doors.
You will find multiple ancient murals during your adventure that depict beetles using the swap ability, as well as depictions of their most valuable treasures and their potential powers.

Before the events of the game, the small beetle you control finds a treasure map that depicts an ancient staff deep within a recently found pyramid. In search of wealth, the beetle travels to the pyramid in hopes of finding it.
ttl_02Story

With aspiring dreams and treasure in mind, a young beetle decides to explore a recently discovered pyramid in hopes of wealth and luxury.
This pyramid is said to house a mysterious ancient staff with unknown powers, though it is also known to be a cursed location that is too dangerous to enter.
Every other beetle that came in search of its mysteries has yet to return to tell the tale, and as such, the pyramid has been named the entrance to the realm of the dead.

You find a green diamond emitting a strange aura near the pyramid’s entrance.
When touched, a giant green circle envelops the area and time itself seems to slow down.
Confused, the beetle points the diamond to a pile of rocks covering the entrance of the pyramid.
Suddenly, the rocks swap locations with a nearby pile of wood, making the entrance accessible again.
With the green diamond close to its chest, the beetle is now able to enter the dark and dangerous pyramid in search of a better future.

With aspiring dreams and treasure in mind, a young beetle decides to explore a recently discovered pyramid in hopes of wealth and luxury.
This pyramid is said to house a mysterious ancient staff with unknown powers, though it is also known to be a cursed location that is too dangerous to enter.
Every other beetle that came in search of its mysteries has yet to return to tell the tale, and as such, the pyramid has been named the entrance to the realm of the dead.

You find a green diamond emitting a strange aura near the pyramid’s entrance.
When touched, a giant green circle envelops the area and time itself seems to slow down.
Confused, the beetle points the diamond to a pile of rocks covering the entrance of the pyramid.
Suddenly, the rocks swap locations with a nearby pile of wood, making the entrance accessible again.
With the green diamond close to its chest, the beetle is now able to enter the dark and dangerous pyramid in search of a better future.

Duat 038
ttl_03Development

On Duat, I was the sole Developer, Game Designer & Visual Artist.
The duration of the project was 20 weeks and built without a team.

My duties included:

  • General concept layout.
  • Gameplay development, testing, and balancing.
  • Mechanics and object behavior development.
  • Simple A.I. development.
  • Level-Design and Tutorial-Design.
  • Play-testing with multiple groups.
  • Play-test analysis and comparisons.
  • 2D art & animation.

The main challenges I wanted to tackle during this project were to make a non-verbal tutorial that would feel natural to any newcomer and to develop a fun mechanic that would prompt the player to find creative solutions to challenges and puzzles.

I wanted to package these development challenges into a short game demo, with a plan to develop 2 levels that feature an abstract story where players could theorize and share their theories on the goal of the game.
The first level’s focus is to teach the player how the swap mechanic is used, while the second level challenges the player’s knowledge and quick thinking.

This was easier said than done because it was tough to actually explain a mechanic without any verbal communication.
A lot of faith is put in the player’s actions, and it’s easy for them to get irritated by something that they think is not working like it should and lose the motivation to keep playing.

To support this, the mechanic was made as simple to control and understand as possible with as limited an explanation as I could give.
An interesting and simple mechanic I wanted to work with was the concept of swapping objects to make changes to an obstacle, so I focused on designing an efficient way to teach players how to choose objects and swap them with each other.
Two buttons are used to swap objects: The R button to activate the ability, and the left mouse button to click on two objects, after which the selecting two objects swap automatically happen.
These instructions are shown to the player in the form of a small intro cutscene that shows the ability in action, as well as murals dispersed across the first level that shows off ancient depictions of beetles using the same buttons to move swap objects.
The game tries to teach the player as much as possible by focusing on visual examples of the ability so that the player knows the ability exists and has an idea of its possibilities.

It was difficult to make the swap ability an engaging ability that would be fun to use, but also wouldn’t trivialize the challenge of the game at the same time.
The idea that you can change almost anything in the environment to progress was an important aspect of the ability to have, but there was also the risk that every problem is solved in the same way.
To prevent this from happening, the focus of the puzzles would be to change the properties of objects to progress instead of moving objects out of the way.
Most objects get an elemental property that can affect another object if they are next to each other, such as wood that burns near a fire.
This made experimenting with the mechanic a viable learning method and also a way to reward the player for finding self-made solutions for each problem.

After introducing the mechanic in a safe environment where the player can try things out, more challenging situations will start to appear.
The goal of these challenges was to slowly introduce new objects and enemies that change the complexity of the swap mechanic and give the player more opportunities to find unique interactions.
It was important to not hinder the player’s progress when the player is lost, confused, or defeated by an enemy.
Even if they lose a life, any item they found will not be lost and they can retrace their path quickly to get back into action.

On Duat, I was the sole Developer, Game Designer & Visual Artist.
The duration of the project was 20 weeks and built without a team.

My duties included:

  • General concept layout.
  • Gameplay development, testing, and balancing.
  • Mechanics and object behavior development.
  • Simple A.I. development.
  • Level-Design and Tutorial-Design.
  • Play-testing with multiple groups.
  • Play-test analysis and comparisons.
  • 2D art & animation.

The main challenges I wanted to tackle during this project were to make a non-verbal tutorial that would feel natural to any newcomer and to develop a fun mechanic that would prompt the player to find creative solutions to challenges and puzzles.

I wanted to package these development challenges into a short game demo, with a plan to develop 2 levels that feature an abstract story where players could theorize and share their theories on the goal of the game.
The first level’s focus is to teach the player how the swap mechanic is used, while the second level challenges the player’s knowledge and quick thinking.

This was easier said than done because it was tough to actually explain a mechanic without any verbal communication.
A lot of faith is put in the player’s actions, and it’s easy for them to get irritated by something that they think is not working like it should and lose the motivation to keep playing.

To support this, the mechanic was made as simple to control and understand as possible with as limited an explanation as I could give.
An interesting and simple mechanic I wanted to work with was the concept of swapping objects to make changes to an obstacle, so I focused on designing an efficient way to teach players how to choose objects and swap them with each other.
Two buttons are used to swap objects: The R button to activate the ability, and the left mouse button to click on two objects, after which the selecting two objects swap automatically happen.
These instructions are shown to the player in the form of a small intro cutscene that shows the ability in action, as well as murals dispersed across the first level that shows off ancient depictions of beetles using the same buttons to move swap objects.
The game tries to teach the player as much as possible by focusing on visual examples of the ability so that the player knows the ability exists and has an idea of its possibilities.

It was difficult to make the swap ability an engaging ability that would be fun to use, but also wouldn’t trivialize the challenge of the game at the same time.
The idea that you can change almost anything in the environment to progress was an important aspect of the ability to have, but there was also the risk that every problem is solved in the same way.
To prevent this from happening, the focus of the puzzles would be to change the properties of objects to progress instead of moving objects out of the way.
Most objects get an elemental property that can affect another object if they are next to each other, such as wood that burns near a fire.
This made experimenting with the mechanic a viable learning method and also a way to reward the player for finding self-made solutions for each problem.

After introducing the mechanic in a safe environment where the player can try things out, more challenging situations will start to appear.
The goal of these challenges was to slowly introduce new objects and enemies that change the complexity of the swap mechanic and give the player more opportunities to find unique interactions.
It was important to not hinder the player’s progress when the player is lost, confused, or defeated by an enemy.
Even if they lose a life, any item they found will not be lost and they can retrace their path quickly to get back into action.

When you find diamonds in the area, they will automatically insert themselves in the door that they are used for. When all diamonds are obtained, you are able to open the door and enter the next area. Good luck hunting!
ttl_04Media
ttl_contents

Click on the pictures to read a description.
Each picture has a fun piece of information that explains more about the visuals and gameplay of this project.

ttl_contents

Click on the pictures to read a description.
Each picture has a fun piece of information that explains more about the visuals and gameplay of this project.

ttl_contents

Click on the pictures to read a description.
Each picture has a fun piece of information that explains more about the visuals and gameplay of this project.