What is this game?

The Skylanders adventure starts here! The evil tyrant KAOS is threatening to destroy Skylands. Only you can bring the Skylanders to life-unlocking their special powers and abilities-by placing them on the Portal of Power™!

What did I contribute?

Originally the 3DS version of the game was going to mostly be a port with the exception of new levels and some different mechanics and enemy behaviors.  Due to performance issues when getting the game up and running on the 3DS the game had to either be overhauled as is or rebuilt from scratch.  Ultimately after doing a deep dive with all the game systems I made the call and led the effort to start from scratch.

Due to the nature of the tools/engine we were using everything was to be built in script included  systems such as the Camera, AI, Checkpoint, Cutscene, and Combat systems among others.  Building it all from the ground up allowed us to do it in a way that would be performant and we could better document and ensure knowledge of best practices was effectively spread to the entire team.

I set the bar for level design on the project with various initial prototypes I created, and from this built out some prefabs for designers to quickly block out levels.   This R & D made level creation during production a much smoother process.  All the layouts were done in Maya, and item placement and scripting done in this proprietary toolset we were using.

Additionally as all this was done I was regularly consulting with Engineers and we were benchmarking the performance of things to best understand what practices we would need to employ and which should be avoided when building out the rest of the game.  From this effort spawned a handy document detailing each script operation or structure that could be used and what their relative performance was.

 

 

Due to me leading many of the efforts on R & D and building all the game systems I became the point man for just about everything.  Throughout the project I was continually there supporting the team in every way possible.  This included everything from establishing scripting standards and disseminating this information to the team, to helping everyone understand how to use the tools, to ensuring the vision of the product was being upheld as all the pieces were coming together.  This also meant reviewing scripts and helping the team optimize things to reach our performance targets.  This was a huge effort that required the help and expertise of everyone on the team to land well, and I’m proud to say this was one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with.

Other Info

Publisher:   Activision
Developer:  
Vicarious Visions
Platform:  
3DS
Genre:   Toys-to-life action 3D platformer
Model:   Traditional purchase, Toy DLC
Modes:   Campaign
Team Size:   ~ 20
Dev Cycle:   ~ 1 year

Released:   2011