Tesseract

An abstract puzzle game inspired by M. C. Escher

Tesseract combines heavy puzzle mechanics with the abstract style of M. C. Escher and games like Monument Valley. With a restricted set of steps it is your task to navigate the cube through the diverse levels. Different platforms have different outcomes: Stepping on a colored square will stain the sides of your cube, others will take away some of your steps.

Tesseract is the third game project I’ve made in university and the first game I’ve worked on which wasn’t based on my own idea. One of my teammates came up with a very level design-based approach, inspired by tough puzzle games like Stephen’s Sausage Roll. I really liked the approach and wanted to do something very minimalistic and clean looking after my last two projects. 

Together with the artist in our team we decided to go for a style inspired by games like Monument Valley and ther works of M.C. Escher. It allowed us to work with a very modular kit on whic we could iterate a lot. Before I was responsible for the overall look of the levels, I helped blocking out the levels with the amazing level design tool our programmer designed for us. I animated the scenes in Unity and used directional as well as point lights to go for the heavily shaded look we wanted. After finishing designing the 16 (background) levels I started to think about a small narrative which would fit into the abstract approach and gave every level a fitting name for the themes.

Here is a short summary of what I did during development:

 

Game Design
  • Working together with the team to come up with fitting game mechanics
  • Animating the objects given by our 3D artist
  • Composing the minimalistic, color blocked design of the game
  • Working with the level design tool our programmer created
  • Creating 16 different (background) levels
  • Creating level names fitting to the design
UI Design
  • Designing the main menu, level menu, game over- and level solved-screen
  • Designing the minimalistic user interface
One of M. C. Escher's works that inspired the look of the game
The prototype one of my teammates did, a very rough idea of how it should look

Overview

Platform:

Windows & Mac

Tools Used:

Unity Engine, Sourcetree

Development Time:

Five Months

Team Size:

Four

Role:

Game Designer, Level Designer, Lighting Artist, Animator, UI Designer