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Bee Wee Brigade

1 Week GameJam Project on the theme 'local'


BeeWee Brigade was produced during the first 7 days of a Falmouth University 3-week game-jam. It is a casual experience focusing on ensuring the aesthetic design complements the core design values underpinning gameplay.

The choice of assets, level-design and sound-design was informed by a past blog post entitled 'Art informing design' where I discussed reverse engineering gameplay from a core aesthetic as a design challenge. It was built in Unreal Engine 4.


Approach to designing BeeWee Brigade:
Game-jams are great for experimenting and learning new skills. During this jam I decided to take an unusual workflow approach, selecting my assets before ideating on gameplay options.

Consequently, BeeWee Brigade began as a series of 1 page GDDs, a style often utilised by RiotGames, attempting to develop ideas suitable for the 3D tilseset I had found for free online.

The final GDD outlined a casual, calming game where gameplay would be simplistic, without a fail-state and would see gradual, consistent progression. Environmental design would utilise voxel-like structures whilst moving organic elements would be rounded and colorful.

  • Sound design caters to the casual, indie feeling - 'rounded' sounds that aren't sharp or sudden. Honey sounds viscous and gloopy. Each level features a unique atmospheric looping soundtrack specific to the level's theme eg The snowy level plays a track called 'winter wonderland' which evokes feelings of festivity but also the serenity associated with a snowy scene.
  • Gameplay is simple, only requiring WASD, 1 and 2 and right mouse click. The camera rotates around a central point helping guide the player across deliberately circular levels. This allows the player to experience the entirety of each level quickly whilst walking them back to the start point where the shop is located and where they can cash in the honey they just collected in the level - makes the need to return to the start position less annoying and a natural part of the level flow.
  • Shaders and materials designed to heighten the cutesy aesthetic and the atmospheric nature of the gameplay - the levels draw the player around naturally and the visuals are unique to each level and vary within levels too (vertex painting and retexturing). Foliage wobbles in an overly organic way lending to that fantastical feel.
  • Particle effects are almost all spritesheet flipbooks overlayed to create a cartoony vibe - each sprite is outlined in black. A toon-shader post-processing effect manages this for the 3D assets in the scene. Similarly, animal colours change between levels and on the moon level the addition of helmets furthers that cartoony vibe.