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Muscle Magic

Details

Duration September 2018 - July 2019
Team Size 20
My Role(s) Technical Level Designer
Platform Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
Engine Unreal Engine 4
Status Released

Project Description

Muscle Magic was my 3rd year team project at University going through a full development cycle over a whole year. Developed for Nintendo Switch and PC. Released on Steam in 2019.

Project Pitch

In Muscle Magic, you and your friends play as muscular wizards, trying to be the sexiest, magic flexing, bodybuilder on the field.

To become this, the wizards flex-cast magic spells at each other, in a duel to eliminate the competition and be the best bodybuilding wizard left standing!

The spells they flex at each other are as goofy as they are themselves (don’t tell them, they have tender souls).

Parts of the stages will buckle underneath the weight of these burly men, as they toss each other into the surroundings, breaking them. Flexing for the gram? More like Flexlakazam!

My Contribution

During this project I specialized towards Tech Design and Level Design by designing and creating level mechanics and game systems.

As a Technical Designer I contributed the following:
  • Prototyped and implemented interactive level mechanics while ensuring tool flexibility for the Level Designers.
  • Implementation of various game systems with Blueprints.
  • Working on the overarching systems (Round System, Score and Victory screens)
  • Maintaining a clean game script for good game performance. Working with Switch hardware constraints
Character Concept Drawing

Art kindly provided by Stef van Essen.

Tech Design Process

Character Concept Drawing

Design Goal

To make sure the individual level mechanic works for the game we aim to design level mechanics tying into the game and combat dynamics. They should offer an interesting twist to the standard gameplay and help create memorable moments while being easy to understand by the player.

Research

After coming up with a level mechanic my first goal is to understand the needs of the level and combat designers to define the system before creating it and researching multiple solutions. For example, for one level we wanted cars as moving obstacles, after looking into node and spline-based systems. While a node system was easier to create it offered less fine control when a level designer wants to create curves.

City Level

(WIP screenshot) Top left: Character knocked back by on of the moving cars. Middle: Effect Field

Effect Field Blueprint

Effect Field Blueprint - functionality for changing effects

Adapting

One level mechanic that changed was a field applying an effect to the players inside. It had to fit multiple effects and change in between them. A very interesting challenge was to apply a damage buff to spells shot since I had to communicate a change to the spell via the Player inside the Field.

Lessons Learned

This project improved my commnication skills with level designers and programmers, anticipating what functions might be needed in the future and adapting when the design changes. Developing for the Switch is an interesting challenge because I always had to keep performance in mind while making sure to deliver features in time.