Doug Lynn

Game Design Portfolio


What makes a story or character fun?

Why not capture character traits in a game mechanic?



 

Genre: Action-Adventure


Team Size: 1


Position: Lead Designer / Writer

Files



Images of Captain Durangis
 


 

This project consists of three pieces:

  

 

1. Narrative Design Document (Online Version) - An in-depth look at the game's story.  (PDF Version)

 

2. Game Design Document (Online Version) - A detailed document illustrating the game's design in-depth.

 

3. Conceptual Design Document - The general root of the game design.

Details


Game Details


Captain Durangis, No. 1: The Way We Came is the Way We Came In is a game built around a character.  Kevin Durangis, a clumsy, incompetent teenager, gains a series of super powers, throwing him into the role of a hero.  His super-speed and agility make him the perfect person to defeat the villain, save the world, and maybe even track down his missing best friend.  Unfortunately for him, his powers don't allow him to overcome his own clumsiness, and he must work to adjust to his new skills as he prepares to save the world.  As Kevin works to hone his skills and acquire ancient weapons, he must battle strange enemies and avoid tripping over his own feet.  His clumsiness translates into a unique game experience that forces players to slow down, think, and hone their own skills without mashing buttons and hoping for the best.  Frantic controls are more than Durangis can handle, so players must play carefully if they hope to defeat their enemies.


Production Notes

Captain Durangis presented a unique production pattern for me.  Many concepts of the game's story developed from various musings of myself and my longtime friend, Matt Vliet.  This basis generated the concept of a character and some of the game world.  The character was a clumsy, eccentric, unskilled individual who found himself in the role of a superhero, and it was from this concept that the original game design was created.  I strove to create a game mechanic that could capture the concept of clumsiness and inexperience on the part of the character, regardless of the player's talent.  From here, the story and design evolved in tandem with one another.  As the mechanics deepened and the game structure expanded, the plot structure and world elements that made up the story also expanded.  During this period, I was faced with an added time restriction, generating the entire game design over approximately a four week period.  By the time the design document had been laid out, the skeleton of the story was also in place.

Six months later, I revisited the game and began to fill in the rest of the story around the design I had established.  Much of this work centered around introducing and concluding levels that were only sketched out lightly in the design process, thus helping to cement the structure together.  I chose a linear, cutscene-based narrative for the game as it fit quite well within the game's premise and overall style.  The narrative writing process took much longer than anticipated, but as the narrative and gameplay mechanics rely so greatly upon each other, its completion resulted in a much clearer view of the game concept.  Thus, my design process resulted both in a game designed around story elements and a story designed around a game.