Sometimes projects end smoothly, without any problems or drama. But sometimes… there’s a monkey wrench thrown into those plans.
Kill Screen. That’s pretty foreboding, eh? The name, a term that was coined in arcades in the 80′s, is actually a little misleading. This screen doesn’t necessarily ‘kill’ the player. In some cases, like Donkey Kong, that is a side effect, but the “kill” in Kill Screen better describes some unavoidable obstacle in gameplay, one that stops progress completely, one that commits the ultimate arcade sin — it “kills” your quarter.
There was an imbalance in games.
A ton of games have ‘behind the scenes’ content locked away in them. In these games you can usually see concept art, assets cut from the game, beautiful backgrounds used as reference for the game’s environment, and much, much more.
What it was missing was programmer art.
During the development of a new game it’s not uncommon for a level or two to occasionally fail to load. Maybe there’s some outdated built data on someone’s machine or perhaps a change went in that hasn’t been tested in every level yet. There’s all kinds of problems, and if you are on debugging machine, you’ll see the callstack and be able to tell the right person that needs to fix it what’s up. But artists, they don’t have a debugger, they don’t use a callstack. They rely on the output of warning messages to help them know who to go to when a level fails to load.
And Ricardo, one of our programmers, was getting a lot of visits from the artists.
You see, it just so happened that the last message that was seen by the artists when a level …
Responsible for most key systems of gameplay: Player, Gadgets, Upgrades, Save System, HUD, Lot Check, and more.
Worked with Jr. Programmers to ensure their segments were completed as designed, to continually refine ‘fun factor’, and to help adapt designs as needed for time or complexity.
Co-designer of the game. In charge of many of the meta gaming elements such as gadget/weapon progression, unlockables, secrets and more.
Designed and programmed two boss fights
Allowed to “make things fun” in other levels
Jak Eco powers
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, was the third PSP I worked on (and the third for High Impact Games.)
More details soon…
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