Death Blade is a first-person Roguelike where you fight your way through the Yakuza’s heavily guarded tower. Slash, shoot, and dash your path though seven randomly generated floors and build up your character with upgrades to become the ultimate killing machine.
Time: 9 Weeks
Team Size: 21
Lead Game Designer & Project Manager
My role is this 9-week project was taking the huge responsibility of leading my team of talented designers and managing a big chunk of the planning for this 21 man project.
One of the key challenges was to not define all the content so that my designers could have the freedom to create while still following the vision. It's best to use the resources you have and that is why I wanted to use all of my designers. But to make sure people understood the vision, I created some examples of enemies and upgrades that with relatively cheap in terms of art and programming but offered a lot when it came to gameplay and variation.
Content Design & Examples
Split Shot Upgrade
"Shoots 2 additional projectiles in a cone". This upgrade was very easy to implement because it uses the already established projectiles that have art and code done. When working on a small production it's very important to use your resources well.
Fast Verdict Upgrade
"Your Mobility Dash now deals damage to enemies you dash trough". This upgrade is my favorite and it follows the vision of adding to the players kit rather than changing it. The upgrade adds damage to your defensive tool turning it into a deadly crowd control weapon.
Balancing & Fun
One of the key decisions that made upgrades very interesting is that they can stack as many times as you can get them which is three times. So you could shoot 7 projectiles or one-shot crowds of enemies with your dash. The balance still remains intact because your enemies grow stronger in numbers for each floor and the odds of getting a specific three-piece combo is one in 30 runs.