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   Project Duration
          4 weeks

         Team Size

        12 members

      Engine/Tools

  Unreal & Perforce

Pok'our is a fast-paced, third-person style speedrunning game that combines the freestyle movement of parkour with the ancient, Mesoamerican sport called Pok-ta-Pok.

Run, jump, wall-run, and airdash your way through a colorful sky kingdom. Test your skills against multiple different paths and use your Pok-ta-Pok ball to activate floating rings, either taking time off the clock or opening up even more alternate routes.

Contributions

Gameplay Design

I was in charge of designing the main mechanics of the game, such the player movement mechanics and projectile interactions.

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Level Design

Co-Designed the games level together with one other game design student.

Blueprint scripting

Co-scripted some of the games smaller systems, such as one of the projectile interactions and the system that handles opening alternate paths.

Product Owner

I was tasked with making sure the project stayed on track and unanimously moved towards creating our original vision.

Design Pillars

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High Speed

For a speedrunning game, going fast is a given. Pok'our aims to provide ample opportunitys of fluid and satisfying acrobatic action.

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Player Choices

Experimentation is also key to keep speedrunning games interesting. Pok'our provides alternate routes to explore in order to allow players to find the route that suites them best.

REplayability

Although the game is rather short, the hard to master player mechanics and the alternate paths offer the player ways to dive back in and improve their score.

Game Loop

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Try again for a faster time 

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Play/Explore the level

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Plan out new route

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Receive final score/Time

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Practice successful execution

Movement Mechanics

Wallrun

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Lets players run along most flat surfaces.
All main paths are decorated with wall patterns to easier discern possible wall-run opportunities. Maintains momentum and may even accelerate.

Dash

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Lets players dash once while in the air or on the ground, as long as they are moving. Grounded Dashes makes the player airborne, making them unable to dash again. Landing Resets the players' ability to dash.

SLide

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Lets players slide along the ground. Can be used anytime the player is grounded and allows them to traverse small gaps and openings. Maintains momentum but stops acceleration.

Heave

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Lets players heave themselves on top of ledges or onto platforms by holding down the jump button while being airborne.

Projectile Mechanic

Players may use the left mouse button to utilize their Pok'ta'Pok ball. Tapping the button throws it and holding it allows them to aim their throw with an assisting outline that shows the throw trajectory. After a throw, the player must wait for the ball to return before throwing it again.

The ball returns after a set period of time but players may also left-click again after a throw to recall the ball prematurely.

The player may also perform a throw from any movement mechanic, such as from a wall-run, slide, or heave.

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Projectile Uses

Path Unlocking

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Throwing the Pok'ta'Pok ball through Orange Hoops spread around the level opens up new alternate paths or opportunities for shortcuts.

Time Reduction

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Throwing the Pok'ta'Pok ball through Purple Hoops gives the player a time reduction from their overall score/time.

Movement and projectile Synergy

Both the Dash and Heave mechanics were added to alleviate some of the difficulty that comes from trying to maintain high speeds while simultaneously utilizing the projectile mechanic.

By giving the player tools to adjust their trajectory and make the precision platforming a bit more forgiving, we aimed to allow the player more time to line up shots, while simultaneously keeping our intended difficulty and point of mastery.

Player Respawning

Keeping with the games focus on speed, we decided to forego a traditional respawn system when failing during platforming. Instead, we decided to draw upon the setting of the game, utilizing the sky island setting and large cloud formations to create a wrap-around effect. 

Concept Mock-up

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Player falls down

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Clouds obscure vision, masking the position shift

Player emerges from above

Gif recorded from "AER: Memories of Old" (2017)

Final Version

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In the final version, the player respawns at specific checkpoints but since they possess a large amount of aerial control, they may keep their momentum and instantly get back on track. The players' rotation is also set to be facing the correct way to advance the level.

Level Design

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This slide features an overview of some of the large set pieces and design intentions of the games' first half. The map was created together with fellow game design student Johan Hyberg.

Purple hoops and Path Balancing

The team recognized early on that making the many different paths distinct from one another in the challenges they provided could pose a problem. Making a path full of twisty turns or filled with obstacles could possibly become a less viable choice compared to a more straightforward path. 

To balance the different routes, we created the aforementioned Purple Hoops which provide a time reduction when triggered. These subtract time from the players' final score.

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With the Purple Hoops, we could take routes that were less optimal compared to more straightforward paths and balance them out with more opportunities for time reductions.

For example, the yellow path above features more complex platforming but also has access to more Purple Hoops compared to any of the other two routes. This could potentially result in it being a better route for the overall time, depending on how well the player performs.

Blueprints

Here are some of the blueprints that I personally worked on, although most of them were created in conjunction with my fellow game designer Johan Hyberg.

Hoop Trigger

Hoop ACtivated Platforms

Hoop Activated Jump Pad

Purple hoops
(TIme Reduction)