“A puzzle adventure about infographics and free will”
The design process
Over 50 level ideas
My main responsibility as a level designer was to come up with new and creative puzzles for Metrico+. I doodled new challenges for players on paper and digitally on a daily basis. Sometimes ideas came from a specific challenge that I wanted to introduce, or based on a specific theme. At other times, I just drew some random shapes and thought about how to come up with cool levels, based on the shapes that I saw before me and using just the existing mechanics from the game. I lost track of the amount of levels I designed in total. By looking at old sketches that I still own it must have been at least 50, but I know there were much, much more. However, only the best levels (lots of playtesting!) made it into the final game.
Building and testing
After coming up with an idea, I first went over the level on paper over and over again, to spot if there were ways to cheat the puzzle. If it seemed good enough, I made a rough version of the level in the game engine to see if everything can behave the way I had it in mind. If it still looked good, it was time to test the level internally. Usually that happened a bunch of levels at a time, so I immediately knew what levels I could keep and which ones I still needed to tweak or could be discarded. Sometimes playtesters found interesting new ways to solve puzzles, which resulted in new ideas for me. A closed beta was also hosted later on to test the levels on a larger scale.
Mechanics that fit the big screen
The original Metrico game was designed specifically for PlayStation Vita and used a lot of Vita-exclusive features, like the handheld’s camera, gyroscope and touchscreen. Since the Xbox One, PS4 and Steam don’t offer these hardware specs, it was my task to come up with new abilities that work with current-gen controllers and mouse/keyboard. The mechanics should feel unique and refreshing, but still made sense in the abstract world of Metrico as well. We prototyped and playtested a lot of new ideas internally. One of my mechanics made it into the game in the end, as can be seen in this GIF.
Metrico+ is a game by Digital Dreams. All contents on this page are © Digital Dreams V.O.F. 2015