Maze

Project name: Maze
Length: 5 weeks
Team: 2 Designers: Jake Donbavand, Matt Unsworth
2 Programmers: Andy Stokers, Josh Holding
4 Artists: Josh Wild, Josh Earp, Alex Valentine, Adam Hadfield

Maze is a 4 player game where the player’s have to  find the treasure chest and get it out. A monster lurks in the maze and player’s will have to avoid it unless they wish to die.

The game works with Xbox wired gamepads and keyboard.

Download the game here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xcnemeb6f9jzp7u/Desktop.zip?dl=0

My work

For the project I was mostly focused on designing how the game would work, in conjunction with the other designer on the team. Before the project started, all designers in the apprenticeship were given the task of coming up with an idea fitting of the theme of a Party game. The idea behind Maze was to create a competitive cooperative game that can be played locally amongst four people. Inspiration was taken from party games like Mario Party and this lead to having the main objective needing all four players to complete. Having this cooperative goal would mean that all players needed to work together to win. Difficulty was added by way of making the chest move slow with less than four players holding; meaning that if only one player was carrying it, they would move extremely slow. To really nail the idea that it was a party game, players have a total of three minutes to find the chest and get it out.

All players start together, ready to enter the dark void of the maze ahead...

All players start together, ready to enter the dark void of the maze ahead…

Over the course of the project, the winning and losing conditions were redesigned to make it more in-line with the typical party game formula. The final winning conditions were: make it to the exit with the chest or have the most points overall. With having a win condition for the most points it added to that competitive party play. For the losing conditions a player was either killed by the monster within the maze or have the least points.

To encourage cooperative play the camera was designed to zoom out as player’s pushed the borders of the current view. This means that as players move away from one another it becomes harder to navigate across the level and to the chest. As player’s move closer together the camera zooms in and allows the players to navigate easier; however the view range is a lot smaller.

Moving together keeps the camera close...but the rest of the maze unknown...

Moving together keeps the camera close…but the rest of the maze unknown…

Balancing and testing this game was a major part for myself and the other designer on the team as we needed to make sure that it was both fun and enjoyable to play. From getting other people to play (who had never seen the game before) it became clear that the competitive co-op worked really well; resulting in multiple playthroughs from these people.

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