Bring Your Spells
A fast-paced first-person adventure game where players cast a variety of spells to defeat swarms of enemies.
Developed for Capstone 2019
Gameplay Trailer and Development Information
Team Size: 5
Lead Systems Designer
Tools: Unity 3D, C#, Adobe Suite, Google Suite
Development Time: ~3 Months (Early September - Late November 2019)
Individual: 181.5 hours
Total: 807.69 hours
Note: Music in the trailer is Kevin MacLeod's "Crossing the Chasm"; Trailer created by Brian Harney and edited by Zachary Fugere
Bring Your Spells is a first-person action-adventure game in which the player controls a mage who must wield a variety of spells to defeat enemies and progress through a series of levels to take down a powerful boss enemy. This game is designed to provide fast-paced, close-quarters gameplay and break the long-lasting stereotype of mages as being slow, frail, and long-range-only. Each spell in the game is unique; each one has its own element, effect, and charge rate. Defeating an enemy with a spell from one element (such as [Energy]) will cause it to drop pick-ups that reduce the cooldown of spells featuring a different element (such as [Void] or [Nature]). In doing so, we hope to encourage players to choose their spell loadouts strategically before starting each level, to experiment with different types of spells, and to play quickly and aggressively.
First-person adventure game with non-linear levels
Player ability to bring five spells (three combat spells, one vertical movement spell, and one horizontal movement spell) into each level
Spell recharge system where players are rewarded for rotating and casting their spells quickly
Shop system where players can use gold won throughout Level 1 to purchase a new spell
Combat system featuring both normal enemies and a powerful boss
Role and Design Process
Ever since Bring Your Spells' inception, our primary goal has been to make fun, interesting, and unique spells that stand out from the standard fantasy fare. We also did not want to give our players long-range spells that they could use to decimate enemies from across a room; we wanted to force them to move and directly interact with enemies. This is why we separated spells into two categories: movement spells (which give players either a horizontal or vertical boost) and damage spells.
Partway through the initial design process, we began fleshing out the broader system of how we wanted spells to function. Rather than relying on MP or some other resource, spells would rely on a simple charge-and-cooldown system. This led to the development of the element and spell rotation systems. These state that all damaging spells fall into one of four basic elements: [Nature], [Force], [Energy], and [Void]. Enemies drop orbs representing these elements upon death, and if the player picks one up, it recharges every spell in their inventory with a corresponding element. However, spells cannot make enemies drop orbs of their own element; a [Void] spell will never drop [Void] orbs, for example. Instead, the player must use magic from various different elements. Because players can only take three damaging spells into each level, they would thus have to carefully select their magic in advance in order to bring a load-out that lets them efficiently chain spells together.
At first, we considered locking orb drops to each element, such as having all [Nature] spells drop [Force] orbs. We ultimately decided against this, though, since it could potentially limit design space. Additionally, we realized that having orb drops be based on elements rather than spells would likely result in players completing ignoring certain spells in favor of others, which we wanted to avoid. As a result, we decided to tie orb drops directly to spells, instead. This system ultimately proved successful, and it allowed for the creation of a variety of different spells throughout the course of the project.
(Click on a spell to read its information!)