top of page

Year 500

Year 500 is a 3rd person hack-n'-slash adventure game  that features engaging sword combat and magic casting. The game centers around Oden, a mercenary whom is suffering from severe amnesia after a cataclysmic world event that left him physically damaged by what is known as "Corruption." The player must take on the role of Oden, recollect his memories and defeat the antagonists that threaten what remains of the world he lives in.

Year 500. This is the largest project I've ever been a part of, and a defining moment in my designing career.

          Upon enrolling into Game Design Workshop, all of us were encouraged to volunteer for Creative Director or Producer positions. I opted for Creative Director, and presented myself accordingly to win the role for whatever team I'd be assigned to. I didn't get the part, simply because there were more talented and seasoned developers that fit the role better than I could. However, the leadership opportunity didn't stop there.

          I was assigned to The Breakers Entertainment, a team of fourteen people, ranging from a variety of development backgrounds. During the first week, I was called in by the producer of the team to take on the role of Lead Designer. I accepted, and began my first journey of being a Lead Designer in a game development project, and given my military experience, I was excited to try something new. Being a leader in the military is a compelling and life-changing experience, so taking that and being able to guide and work alongside like-minded individuals in a different setting was something I valued greatly and look back on as a profound learning experience for my journey as a designer. With this role, I was tasked with:

     - Supervising my subordinate designers in their work efforts.

     - Assisted in the design of and assessed the overall structure of the immersive and unique environments for players to explore and play.

     - Brainstormed unique core gameplay mechanics with my designers to ensure a compelling gameplay experience.

     - And lastly, most importantly, build all the lighting for all of the levels to reflect the environment and maintain continuity of the story therein.

          I was also tasked with the marketing efforts as Marketing Lead to promote our game and create compelling gameplay trailers and development updates. Additionally, I was also the QA Lead for the game, and ensured that critical feedback important to development of the game was put first and addressed accordingly. I was also the voice actor for two bosses in the game, Weiss and Saladin, whom I will describe below.

          Our game is released and available to download for free! Click the Steam link below to be taken directly to our Steam page.

Year 500 Teaser Trailer

I made this teaser as a special thank you to my team for all of the hard work that they demonstrated throughout the course. I am incredibly grateful for their efforts, so I wanted to make something that reflected the same spirit. This trailer is made in the style of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever.

Year500 5_25_2023 5_23_58 PM

Level One:
The Forest

The first level; The Forests of Tierwald. Level one's intention was to set the stage for the story and introduce all the core mechanics of the game. Though a linear experience and straightforward in design, my designer, Niles Garcia, took it to the next level and produced a wonderful result that could not only emulate a great introductory experience, but a visually appealing one as well. After he was finished, I took the helm and established all lighting and shadow parameters and optimized it to really bring out the fantasy style that we were going for.

Level 2:
The Desert

Level 2: The Desert of Heizung. The desert featured a drastic increase in exploration and immersion. My designer, Chris Santos, put his heart and soul into this level's design and produced an immaculate and beautiful environment truly reflective of a barren desert that took asylum to all kinds of fiends and hostile endemic life. Once he was done with the structural placement of all the props, I went through and established all of the lighting conditions to further bolster the aesthetic of the environment. I particularly enjoyed lighting this level, as lighting a desert to make it look like an actual desert was a fun challenge.

desert
Mountain valley

Level 3: The Mountain Valley

The final level of the game: Eiswelten. My designer, Jonathan Melo, worked tirelessly and iterated many, many times to develop the final vision that is in the game. The mountain valley underwent many revisions, balancing and core structural changes in an effort to create a disturbing, nightmarish environment that is reflective of Oden's past, but to also deeply immerse the player and bring Oden's journey to an epic conclusion. Lighting this level was very tough, but I'd like to think I put the icing on the cake in regard to an eerie, desolate ambiance.

Bosses: Saladin

Saladin: The crazed, Witness-obsessed Pillar. Fun fact: Saladin was originally meant to have a Joker-like personality with erratic and wild gestures, quips and attacks. After careful review of the narrative and the script, it was determined to shape him more into a collected but daunting figure with a deranged, cultist-type attitude that swore only by the Witness and its influence. As a result, his entire move set was changed and was developed to mimic a talented swordsman. But, with the rageful influence of the Witness, this made his attacks more devastating both in power and reckless execution. This is the second boss I voiced acted for.

Character_Saladin_Final

Final Concept Art

2023-05-20 (72)

In-game model

Voice quip

Pacified and Exiled
Year500 5_25_2023 12_30_47 PM

In-game model

Voice quip

Unrivaled Power

Bosses: Weiss

The feral king himself. We wanted to make Weiss the best introductory boss we could, so he had the most edits done out of the entire development cycle. He was included in the Vertical Slice, and after critical feedback from his performance from that build, he leveled up immensely for the final build. He brings to the table some fierce melee attacks and AoE devastation. This is one of the two bosses I voice acted for.

Final Concept Art

Weiss

Broken Mode

We wanted to spice up the melee combat by adding spells, but what fun would it be if the player could cast them infinitely with no consequences? Enter: Broken Mode. This is the final design of the transformation where Oden (the protagonist) is filled with corruption energy and releases it in a rage-style form that increases melee and magic damage, but reduces maximum health after every transformation. This ailment can be cured at any campsite, but until then, it's up to the player to balance melee combat with spell casting.

Year500 5_25_2023 12_19_52 PM
Cactolem_edited

The Cactolem

One of the many common enemies in Year 500. Designing the Cactolem was simple, since we needed a mob that could deter the player and force them to execute evasive maneuvers while fighting melee-centric enemies. As they rain down needle projectiles, it's up to the player to close the distance and defeat them to remove ranged-superiority from enemy forces.

bottom of page