Tower of Alchemy

Tower of Alchemy is a 3D adventure game that I developed in a team of four Computer Science students for the University of Toronto’s Capstone Design project course, organized by Steve Engels. The theme for the Capstone Design project was “Games for Girls”: we needed to deliver a polished 3D game, in first or third person perspective, that would appeal to female gamers.

CHALLENGE

The first challenge for us was to deliver a polished 3D game in less then 4 months. The second challenge was the project’s restriction to two perspectives in 3D. In other words, we needed to use a camera that was not stationary, i.e. it either had to follow the protagonist in over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective, or it needed to be used in first person perspective.

This limited us to only a handful of genres, the most predominant one being the first person shooter. While FPS games do provide a level of enjoyment for both gender groups, it is primarily a male-oriented genre at present. This is largely due to the way FPS games are presented, which among other things include their characters (Halo’s Master Chief, Gears of War’s Marcus Fenix, Serious Sam, etc). This is not to say that nothing can be done with the genre. Adventure games such as Dreamfall: The Longest Journey use similar game mechanics and tend to appeal to both genders. Dreamfall is a third-person adventure game featuring the typical adventure game elements (puzzles, beautiful art, engaging story) with a few action elements included as well.

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

Taking Dreamfall as our example game, we decided to create an adventure game with three primary aspects: puzzles, visual and audio delivery, and an engaging story. Knowing that our game will need to be short, we nailed down the three aspects and assigned work appropriately. Our collective effort first went into developing the story, which we later tied to the puzzles in a meaningful way. I developed the early concept design for the characters and some of the tower’s interior, which I later used to create a portion of the art assets. These include the main character (model, texture, and animation), and a portion of the tower’s interior models and textures, along with its puzzle elements. I also lent my voice to the tower elevator.

Main character model

CREDITS

Ante Bralic – Programmer, Artist: level design, 3D modeling, textures, concept art (main character, environment, voice)

Andrei Petrov – Programmer: gameplay, puzzle logic, trailer

Daniel Steger – Programmer, Artist: level design, 3D modeling, textures, animation, concept art (creatures, environment)

Susahosh Rahman – Programmer, UI, inventory