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Broken Lines – Turn based RTS

The Game:

Broken Lines is a simultaneous turn-based with real-time execution tactical game. The core-gameplay consists of multiple choice story-events, resource management and missions with pause based planning and real-time execution.

A squad of soldiers crash land in the middle of enemy territory. With no leaders alive and no available orders, the group must find a way to deal with their situation and internal conflicts, before a mysterious fog engulfs them and enemy forces hunt them down.

Broken Lines is a game about a group of men with different personalities, ideals, ethical standards and battle plans. Individuals with very different opinions about whether they should carry out their duty – or simply try and survive. You experience their journey from their different perspectives and decide what their goals should be, what they plan, how they carry it out, who will perish and who will survive.

Developed in Unity for PC (and consoles further down the road).

My Responsibilities:

Research – Model development and application

Level Design – from concept to polished state – both spatial and visual with event-based (playmaker) design for tutorials.

QA and Player Testing – 30 Quantitative play tests involving surveys and 12 qualitative playtest on externally acquired playtesters.

As part of my master thesis, I researched: Can the cognitive task analysis (CTA) method be adopted to elicit skill atoms and optimal skill chains, in an existing early-alpha strategy game, in order to prototype and improve the overall tutorial? This research was conducted in collaboration with Portaplay on the Broken Lines game over a period of 3 months.

I developed a method for identifying and analysing skills and how players optimally learn them in Broken Lines, for then sorting them into a comprehensible model. This model was then used to inform the design of the first 2 “tutorialistically” designed levels (ca. 1 hour of gameplay). The first level was already developed, and I only applied few changes to improve how players were taught the different skills. The second level, however, was created as a mean to expand and distribute the skills and knowledge that was needed to be taught (as informed by the model) resulting in a better flow, a measurable better understanding of the essential gameplay mechanics, along with higher player satisfaction.

The thesis can be found here.

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