A dark mood, a jazzy atmosphere, welcome to Achromatic. It is game that is a tribute to Film Noir cinema genre with the particularity to be multi-platform. You play with a notebook printable and the game. Explore both of the notebook and the game to find the culprit!
Achromatic received the “Jury’s favorite” award at Hits Playtime.
Achromatic was my main project in team during my first year of master’s degree. I did a good part of the Game Design and the whole UX Design of it. For the game design part, I did most of the level design and most of the puzzles you have to solve to find the culprit. I was less into the narrative part of it. It was a rich experience to develop the game with the school constraints that we had that were: realizing a 10 minutes game in 2 months and 2 weeks of development. This game has the particularity to be played on two different platforms simultaneously which are: a computer and a printable notebook. We put a lot efforts in it and I am very proud of what we finally had. As a UX Designer, I did research and made a cursor elegant and easy to see either if the element you put behind is black or white. I asked my programmer pretty quickly to implement an outline feature that allows the players to see which elements are interactive or not. The absence of color was quite a hard challenge to be honest. I did 4 sessions of tests during the development and it was very hard for me to make the best adjustments. The good thing is that I had the power to do so since I was both UX and Game Designer but the hard thing was to make the choice to cut or not the puzzles and to take choice having big impact of the final production. We made multiple levels of difficulty to increase or decrease the time of resolution of the puzzles. The main character is giving his thoughts on the elements he sees with more or less precision. In the hardest mode there’s no clues at all and in the easiest one, the main character pre-analyse and think of what he should do to solve the puzzles. My only true regret concerns the level design, I would have loved to put the secret room in the back of the apartment, It would have made a better staging but as the end of the experience resides in this room, we had to make it discovered by the player pretty quickly and therefore made it the first interactive element you activate in most of the time.
It was a rich project with people I was glad to work with. A bit stressful by times but we managed to do a game of which we are all proud of and it is what I retain. Having the abilities to do the user tests and make the choice of game design in consequences was a true plus during the whole project.
I became a bit obscur regarding to what was going on during the tests due to the lack of documentation from myself. I was stuck in a fast circle of production we had to maintain regarding the short period of development we had but I took this point in account for the next projects I will make. (Even though there is few chance that I have to ensure both roles simultaneously again.)