Trying to Design for Overwatch

I love Overwatch. I am fascinated by how took the role-playing shooting genre to the next level with so many different heroes and abilities to choose from; I’m also amazed by how they did so well in telling background stories of the roster with so little effort. In a role-playing competitive game, stories are clearly not the most important, but yet I find myself deeply invested into the universe.

As a game designer and a fan, I often think about the current state of Overwatch, and how to improve the experience and bring more fun to the players. So in January 2019, I’ve started a little project called “Notice me Papa Jeff”. I gathered a few of my friends, who are also game designers, and started brainstorming ideas on a new hero. We had a few meetings, and came up with a list of abilities that we’d like to mix-n-match.

Unfortunately, as we all attend the Entertainment Technology Center, our schedules were swiftly populated by project meetings, assignments and work deadlines, and so we had to put this project aside from our queues; nevertheless, I really liked what we were doing, and especially what I was doing: designing for a game that I love.

So I kept working on it as a side-project on my own, using all the spare time that I have; and now, as the basic have been established, I feel like it is a good time to open it up to the public and receive some feedback.

So here it is! Ranyatta, or, at least for now. 

From the name you could tell that the character is a derivative from Zenyatta. He is a support class, like his twin, but does not focus on healing or individual assists; he is focused on toppling teamfights and reversing the odds at clutch situations. Ranyatta is a hero that requires extensive knowledge and observations to play with, but is very rewarding for the whole team once his abilities are executed correctly.

You can read the document by clicking me! Let me know what you think.

“Mind Game” Postmortem: Lessons Learned From My First Public Project

For the past few months my classmates and I were working on a project in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University CyLab. This project aims to create a game interface that wraps around picoCTF, an international cybersecurity competition for middle/high school students. We worked to provide an alternate means of participating in the event that would appeal to the more general public (i.e. people who have some interest in the topic but little to no prior knowledge).

Continue reading “Mind Game” Postmortem: Lessons Learned From My First Public Project

Bakery Rivalry: A Game Concept Aimed To Simulate Real-World Trading Scenarios

I started playing RuneScape in 2005, shortly after it’s second version just launched. My experience with MMORPG was very little, and the only other MMORPG I played was Maple Story (when online games are deemed “useless, harmful and cost unnecessary cash” by my mother, which are all painfully true). After completing all the free missions and countless hours of grinding I made myself a “considerable” fortune; the problem was that this fortune was barely usable, since at that time the only ways to spend that money were either purchasing items from NPCs or trading with random players, who will probably only accept the request if you offer ridiculously more than expected.

Then in 2007, a new feature was implemented in to the game — the Grand Exchange. Essentially it collects all the needs and offers across all servers, and let’s players to purchase items through a price decided by the market. This allows players to get what they want for a reasonable price, and also allows sellers who want really wanted to sell items an easier way to find the correct customers instead of wandering around in the world inefficiently.
MMORPGs nowadays all have similar trading systems. For example, Blade and Souls has the exactly same market system that allows players to put their items on sale for the entire community.

Continue reading Bakery Rivalry: A Game Concept Aimed To Simulate Real-World Trading Scenarios

“Can We Not Grow Up?”: A Thought On Progression in Meaningful Game Design

Before I begin, I want to take a brief moment to share my insights on life itself first.

You’ve probably asked yourself this question as well: why can’t we grow backwards and be the younger self?

Growing up is actually not bad. As time goes by, you grow physically stronger, and mentally more mature. You get to learn a lot of stuff, understand things in different ways, and most importantly, from all the things that you’ve taken and absorbed from the world, you form your own identity. That’s something no-one’s going to take away from you.

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An Unsung War: The Missing Of China and Japan In Modern WWII Games

After taking a gigantic leap back to the First Great War, the Battlefield franchise finally returns to where the series actually started – World War II. While many criticized the game of its unoriginal online gameplay compared to its predecessor Battlefield I, I am much more disappointed, and therefore curious, of the absence of the Sino-Japanese War.

In 1937, soon after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Japanese Forces launched a full-scale invasion on China, and quickly they’ve captured major cities such as Shanghai and Nanjing. The Chinese Forces did not see its counterattack until 1939, and since then the conflict remained stalemate until the Attack on Pearl Harbor, which led the US to officially join the great war.

It is not difficult to understand why World War II gets a lot of attention, even after three decades: it is a gigantic collection of tragedies, heroism and legends of blood and tears. This makes it even more bizarre to see the Asian Theater under-represented in public media, especially in the market. What happened? Why did no-one make a video game on this theme?

Continue reading An Unsung War: The Missing Of China and Japan In Modern WWII Games

“Notice Me Jeff” Side-Project

As my second semester here at the CMU ETC slowly rolls out, I decided to do gather some friends and do something on our own.

In short, we decided to make our own Overwatch hero, his/her story, abilities and even a model and playable demo. We don’t know how long this will take, or even if this project will see its completion, but since we all love Overwatch, I think this is a way to show how much we’re into game design just as how much we love the game.

So, fingers crossed, and stay tuned!

Oh yes and the name……I’ll be honest, I’m trying to get us into Blizzard.