Wednesday, April 02, 2014

8:25 pm

Project Overview: EXO Shift
Project InformationResponsibilities
Game Engine: Unity3D• Roles: level & mechanics designer, project manager
Genre: Futuristic Racing• Level/track pipeline creation & integration
Team Size: 3• UI/UX design & mechanics programming
Dev. Cycle: 4 Months• Issue tracking & solution implementation

EXO Shift


In EXO Shift, pilots throughout the galaxy compete in a high-speed grand prix using custom-built, surface-clinging vehicles. Aftermarket parts are strictly banned in official races.

Racing dangerously entices the crowd to fund the pilot's pit crew. This money enables the crew to construct "exo-skeletal" vehicle framework kits, called "EXO-kits." These are launched from the pit and bolt to the pilot's vehicle during the race, side-stepping the rules.

Each attached EXO-kit acts as armour against the friction of the vehicle's velocity; during boosting, the kits are violently torn away. Each additional kit enables longer boost times, potentially allowing pilots to reach supersonic speeds.

"A high-speed, futuristic action-racing game, where pilots bolt illegal after-market parts onto their vehicles mid-race"


EXO Shift was developed by three students over four months at the Vancouver Film School, as part of the Game Design program. My responsibilities consisted of mechanics design and programming, level design, UX/UI design, audio integration, and project management. I also created several pixel shaders used to give EXO Shift its unique visual style, as well as assisted in environmental design direction.

There were several interesting challenges in developing this title. Architecting a level/track design pipeline that allowed for rapid creation while maintaining iteration speed was difficult, yet ultimately paid dividends. HUD design and function also went through significant iteration; it needed to be minimal to prevent screen clutter, while still providing information to the player in a digestible format. The term "at a glance" was a driving concept during the creation of the HUD; the player's focus was directed to the game and their play, not the information at the edges of the screen. This is especially relevant in this case, being a racing title.

We were joined by two VFS Audio Design students; Alessio Mellina and Stefan Seslija, who created all of the SFX and music for the title, as well as assisted in implementing these assets. EXO Shift can be downloaded and played from the VFS Arcade. Please note you will need an XBOX 360 controller or similar in order to play the game. Being a racing title, keyboard input was not within the scope of this project.

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