Game: Gemini XIII
Engine: Unreal Development Kit
Development Time: September 2011 – April 2012
Team Size: 10
Role: Game Designer
Gemini XIII is a cooperative puzzle game set in the depths of space. In the end of the 21st century, Earth’s energy resources are greatly depleted, forcing an expedition into space in search of more resources. The spaceship Gemini XIII is sent to Saturn with a balloon to collect Helium 3, a valued energy resource that will supply clean, efficient fuel for the people of earth. Gemini XIII’s gameplay focuses on the need for players to cooperate in order to solve puzzles and complete their mission. The player who hosts the game is known as the “Commander”, and has the ability to use ship’s laptops and manipulate objects throughout the ship. The client player is the “Mechanic”, and uses the multi-tool to make much needed repairs to the ship. Players must work together to release a balloon into the atmosphere of Saturn, facing several challenges along their journey.
During the production cycle of Gemini XIII, I fulfilled the role of Game Designer. I created prototypes of the puzzles using Adobe Flash, and later implemented them into the game. I assisted in creating various cinematic events such as the asteroid colliding with the ship and the balloon launch towards Saturn. I worked together with the other members of the design team to create a cohesive world for the players. Towards the end of the development cycle, I focused on polishing the final product by fixing any bugs found through testing as well as gathering and editing the gameplay footage for the cinematic trailer.
Players must actively communicate with each other throughout the entirety of Gemini XIII. The gameplay has been built around the necessity of player interaction. Players must coordinate simultaneous button presses, safely guide each other through hazardous environments, and work together to release the balloon into Saturn’s atmosphere.
In Arc 2, the ship is struck by an asteroid followed by a storm of dangerous debris from Saturn’s rings. The asteroid and subsequent debris field traps the Commander inside one of the ships compartments. The Mechanic is caught in the oncoming debris field, stranded along one of the ship’s solar panel arrays. The Commander must communicate with the Mechanic and move the correct solar panels to provide protection for the player trapped in the storm. Some of the panels have become immobile due to the safety locks, and must be removed by the Mechanic outside. Once the Mechanic is safely back inside, both players can deactivate the emergency door which has trapped the Commander operating the solar panels.This creates a stronger sense of teamwork among the astronauts, and demonstrates how each player is needed for the success of Gemini XIII.
The Commander controls the solar panels using the number keys that correspond with the colored dots on the panels
The Mechanic uses the fully upright panels for cover to move safely through the debris
The Commander cannot move the partially rotated panel until the Mechanic destroys the safety locks.
The panels that cannot move are locked in place and must be freed so the Commander can rotate them.
The Commander is now able to fully rotate the panel, providing protection for the mechanic.
The Mechanic informs the Commander that the lock has been removed, and continues safely down the array.