Pinball Lizard: Making a Monster

Cover illustration for the Game Manual and Development Guide for Pinball Lizard, distributed at GDC2018.

Cover illustration for the Game Manual and Development Guide for Pinball Lizard, distributed at GDC2018.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Original Mood Boards for the "Monster Mash" VR Game Concept.

Exercise in creating creatures, based on Archetypes, Tropes, and Spins/Motifs on those Tropes.  Effective for churning out as many ideas as possible.

Exercise in creating creatures, based on Archetypes, Tropes, and Spins/Motifs on those Tropes. Effective for churning out as many ideas as possible.

Mood thumbnails to capture the essence of the world, story and feel of the gameplay.

Mood thumbnails to capture the essence of the world, story and feel of the gameplay.

Exploration of player view.

Exploration of player view.

T.U.T.I.: Tactical Utility Tutorial Interface, the sassy AI that guides you through the world of Pinball Lizard.

T.U.T.I.: Tactical Utility Tutorial Interface, the sassy AI that guides you through the world of Pinball Lizard.

Early unit design exploration, deciding if thematically it would be best to depict units as more traditional military, or add in science fiction elements.

Early unit design exploration, deciding if thematically it would be best to depict units as more traditional military, or add in science fiction elements.

Early unit design exploration, deciding if thematically it would be best to depict units as more traditional military, or add in science fiction elements.

Early unit design exploration, deciding if thematically it would be best to depict units as more traditional military, or add in science fiction elements.

Pyrofighter  - Early Concept

Pyrofighter - Early Concept

Cryocopter - Early Concept

Cryocopter - Early Concept

Arachnotank - Early Concept

Arachnotank - Early Concept

Pilot Units - Early Concepts.

Pilot Units - Early Concepts.

Variations on the classic King Kong creature, and ways we can push the concept.

Variations on the classic King Kong creature, and ways we can push the concept.

Platypox Creature Concept

Platypox Creature Concept

Turterror and Mandibrax Concepts

Turterror and Mandibrax Concepts

Gargataun Concept; we opted to work some of the ape features into another giant lizard.  This is where we pivot with the theme a bit.

Gargataun Concept; we opted to work some of the ape features into another giant lizard. This is where we pivot with the theme a bit.

Turterror Concept (refined)

Turterror Concept (refined)

Final Concept for Monster Arms: Playtesting made it apparent that without haptic feedback, stomping around in the city wasn't very satisfying. We eliminated the character model, focusing on the arms, and bringing them into the original color palette.

Final Concept for Monster Arms: Playtesting made it apparent that without haptic feedback, stomping around in the city wasn't very satisfying. We eliminated the character model, focusing on the arms, and bringing them into the original color palette.

Final Poison Element Unit, the Arachnotank.

Final Poison Element Unit, the Arachnotank.

Final Fire Element Unit, The Firefly.

Final Fire Element Unit, The Firefly.

Final Cold Element Unit, the Icelice.

Final Cold Element Unit, the Icelice.

I was tasked with designing a Windows 10 Mixed Reality Experience with the Microsoft Azure for Gaming team. They wanted to create a sample game project for the new Windows 10 Mixed Reality platform that would showcase the versatility of Microsoft Azure for Game Developers.

The MR experience would debut at the Microsoft Azure booth at GDC 2018, so I wanted to create an experience that took full advantage of the new platform and leveraged the inclusion of spectators and users via the Mixer Platform. We pitched a number of concepts, from "Arcane Apprentice," where you sling spells at animated objects such as books and potions, to "Terror on the Train Track," where you step into a classic slaptstic 1940's cartoon and hunt ghosts and goblins.

Ultimately, Microsoft settled on a Mixed Reality take on the arcade classic Rampage, where you embody a giant monster and destroy a city. This the iterative building of the world and game play for what eventually became Pinball Lizard.