Sam Hodson

Game Designer & Producer

 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PRODUCTION 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

King of the Drills

Tactical VR Action Game

King of the Drills is a turn-based tactical VR game featuring clans of hyper-intelligent moles battling for domination. The player controls a Commander Mole, for observing the battlefield, and a squad of four moles. As a Squad Mole, they can perform actions such as moving, building cover and using their equipment. The game utilises the VR motion controllers for interactable and unique weapons.

For this project, I was the producer as well as one of two designers. In terms of production, I managed the team's schedule, delegated tasks and was the main speaker during presentations. For design work, I created the classes which included designing their weapons, statistics and VR intractability. I also assisted in creating the map layout as well as the overall game loop and feel.

 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PIXEL ART 

 PROGRAMMING 

Reascend

Dynamic Difficulty Dungeon Game

Reascend is a 2D top-down Action/Adventure Dungeon game where the player must progress up a tower to defeat the boss at its peak. The player must complete each floor by defeating enemies.
The game revolves around a dynamic difficulty adjustment (DDA) system which alters the game during play. The system reacts to the player’s skill level, adjusting aspects of the game so the player will always have a balanced difficulty experience.

Being my honours project, I designed, programmed and created the art for the game. My goal was to create a DDA system for Zelda-like dungeon game that would allow it to be accessible by player's of all skill levels.

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PRODUCTION 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

I-HAMMER

Isometric Hammer Action Game

I-HAMMER is an Isometric Action game where you play as an out-of-control hammer robot who must get to the repair shop. Your hammer arm is malfunctioning and you can’t stop moving forward. You have to get yourself to the repair shop quickly whilst avoiding smashing any objects in the way. Smashing any valuables will cost you, however finding credit chips will increase your score. 

This game was created for the Game Maker's Toolkit Game Jam 2020 with the theme being Out Of Control. For the project, I worked on the game and level design. This included the controls and feel of the robot, the design of the items, the beginning level and the overall structure of the game.

 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PRODUCTION 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

Ephemera

Fleeting Flying Experience

Mayflies only have less than a day to live. After turning into an adult at early dawn, you notice you’re the only one of your siblings to hatch. You must help your siblings by making the sun rise, allowing them to become mayflies.

This game was created for the GJL Game Parade 2020 Game Jam with the theme being Carpe Diem / Seize the Day. I worked on the gameplay and level design for this project. The game was designed to be relaxing and easy-going, with the movement of the mayfly being gentle and floaty. I added light puzzle elements to the environment to keep the player engaged, however I ensured they wouldn't frustrate the player and detract from the calming atmosphere.

 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PRODUCTION 

 NARRATIVE DESIGN 

COLD COMMANDER 1991

Aircraft Management Game

COLD COMMANDER 1991 is an aircraft management game. The game puts you in the shoes of a USAF commander in training. The commander has to complete several simulations based on past events using Cold War aircrafts. The aim is to complete as many missions as you can, deploying a variety of aircraft based on the most suited craft for the mission. The commander also has to keep in mind the tension which is continually rising he must complete missions without incident to keep dropping the tension. Failure will raise the tension and may have consequences.

This game was created for the Imperial War Museum Duxford Game Jam 2019. For the project, I created the gameplay loop and how the educational aspect of the game would be implemented. I also designed and create the UI for the game, which includes the various menus and how they are displayed.

 
 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

 PROGRAMMING 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

Limb Loser

3D Platforming Prototype

You play as Limball, a spherical character who has the ability to remove and reattach their limbs. You must overcome obstacles to complete the level by losing or gaining limbs which grant you access to new abilities.

 

This project was to demonstrate my ability to prototype an idea so that it can be presented or pitched to a development team. It involved creating the core concept and mechanics as well as an environment to test them in. I created all the assets myself and coded the game within Unity.

 

 3D MODELLING &   TEXTURING 

 NARRATIVE DESIGN 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

Zodiac Mountain

Relaxing Star Sign Walker

Zodiac Mountain is a walker game where the player ascends a snowy mountain. The game is altered depending on the player's star sign, with changes to objects in the world reflecting traits of the chosen star sign.

My goal with this project was to implement the star sign system as well as create a short relaxing experience for the player. My aim was to make the game be soothing for players. I did this through the visual style, making what should be a harsh snowy landscape feel safe. 

 

 3D MODELLING &   TEXTURING 

 NARRATIVE DESIGN 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

Video Game Art Gallery

Satire Video Game Art Exhibitions

Video Game Art Gallery was a conjoint project between myself and fellow game designer Craig Troup. In the game, you wander through an art gallery that contains exhibitions based on various games and real-life art pieces. Each exhibit is accompanied by a long-winded piece of text that over-explains its contents. Our goal was to satire overly complex descriptions of art exhibitions using iconic game objects as the art pieces.

 

For this project, I textured the models and created the images for the wall art. I also co-created the overall layout of the museum and the interaction design. 

 

 3D MODELLING &   TEXTURING 

 LEVEL DESIGN 

 GAMEPLAY DESIGN 

Hedgehog Forest

Nature-Themed 3D Platformer

The player controls a hedgehog who is preparing for hibernation. They must collect leaves for their nest and apples to stock up on food for the Winter.

 

Hedgehog Forest was my first game created in Unreal Engine 4. I wanted to create a simple 3D platformer with a cute and appealing artstyle. It was also my first time using Unreal's Blueprints to script the game.