BVW – Round 5

Title Screen

Assignment: Create something BVW show worthy. It should be able to entertain an auditorium of 400 people. Create your own team with as many as you’d like.

Team: Nathan Baran, John Baxa, Christian Bruggeman, Phillip Chung, Danielle Corporon, Erica Hampson, Mike Hsu, Tianyi Li

My role: Producer, 2D Art, Perfomed as the The Envoy


  1. For this project, we were inspired by Japanese games and Hayao Miyazaki. We also wanted to attempt something more ambitious—combining a larger scale game with a stronger performance element.  The team’s large size was constructed to prevent the team from being split up for having an odd number of students (which can happen in BVW). I also wanted more experience producing with and coordinating a larger team.
  2. We decided to have our story and gameplay focus on a fantastical world where our players would be whaling. The core experience would have (no matter what): a beast, an airship, and a scrappy crew.
  3. I focused on creating concept art for the beast and airship (which I later unwrapped and textured). I helped create the game’s illustration style based on Maori tattoos.
  4. Our initial idea was to have three different stations for each of the different roles (and types of gameplay). However, after our first critique, this was seen as a cool experience… but a bit confusing and they recommended we simplify. As a result, our first two initial weeks of networking were no longer useful and we had to focus on creating a single-screen experience—costing us a great deal of time.
  5. Unfortunately our script ended up being a bit too serious for the world the rest of the team created. As a result, and on our professors’ encouragement, we tossed it and the actors (Erica Hampson, Danielle Corporon, Phillip Chung, Mike Hsu, and myself) improvised a new story. We continued improvising and polishing the story until the final show… making sure we had a fun, engaging dynamic that would pull in the audience.
  6. Our world was selected for the final show. From there, we cleaned up interactions in the game, added a new ending (to kill off our Envoy), and practiced the heck out of script to make sure we could do it flawlessly.

Airship and The Leviathan

Lessons learned:

  1. Larger teams are not always better.
  2. Teams need to be constructed keeping both skillsets and individual members’ goals in mind—teams need to be unified on direction and tone from the get-go.
  3. Make sure to give my ambition a reality check every once-in-a-while. The project was a bit too ambitious to do at the end of a very tiring semester.
  4. In a performance (and game), the audience is only as willing to go as far as you are. If you don’t fully embrace a role or decision, they will sense it.
  5. I am very good at laughing like Kefka and Hedonism bot. OH HO HO HO HO