Bounceback 2 is a 3D rolling ball, physics driven puzzle-platformer developed at Sheffield Hallam University by a small team of six in just over three months. The game is a one level prototype that sees the player control Lanos, a moon themed bouncy ball and his friends Spike and Marb on a quest to get Lanos his bounce back!
This project was a prototype level designed to serve as a potential sequel to the original 2D puzzle-platformer, Bounceback (Steel Minions, also developed at Sheffield Hallam University) and targeted at a young, child-friendly audience.
In the prototype, the player controls three unique characters (Lanos, Spike, Marb), each with their own character specific abilities and traits, in order to complete various collectable puzzles and tasks. All this is set within the ‘larger than Lanos’ world of a young boys bedroom. This bright, joyful environment filled with toys is not to be taken lightly though, with many hazards such as sharp pencils and treacherous falls scattered throughout the level!
The game takes inspiration from titles such as Marble Blast Ultra, Banjo Kazooie, Super Monkey Ball & Rock of Ages
I was the project lead on this prototype with scrum master responsibilities too. My individual artist side contributions came in the form of:
Lead Level Design – Forming the level structure and puzzles/collectable mechanics, storyboard design, level flow etc.
Lead UI/UX Design – Created all UI elements from scratch working with Andrew (programmer) in Blueprint to implement working HUD elements, menus etc.
Character – Tak, a roll of blu-tac who’s special abilities allowed him to cling to any surfaces. Tak was eventually removed as a playable character due to balancing issues but still makes a cameo in the level!
Environment Assets – Modular Kit of Castle Pieces, Hazard Objects (such as the sharp Pencil meshes) and other minor assets
Lighting & PostFX – Managing lighting and postFX elements such as the game’s DoF (Depth of Field) and more for the entire scene
Presentation – Created in-game cinematics using the level sequencer in UE4 to add a professional in-game presentation to the final deliverable
Project Management – Utilising Trello to organise tasks/asset sheets, managed time spent/estimates and hold regular, weekly scrum meetings to get all members of the team up-to speed with the state of the project. Additionally created all of the team’s presentation templates making it quick and easy to demonstrate work produced to peers, tutors and university guests.
The in-game environment, the fort of Tabletop Troubles
Lanos attempts to grab some more Moondust, watch out for that drop!