Technical Designer

Key Kingdom Souls

Key Kingdom Souls

Key Kingdom Souls is a 2D, Top-Down Dungeon Crawler with a focus on dynamic humor and engaging combat.  My jobs on the project were functionality programming with the Unity Engine, Boss Design, Enemy Design, and overall Combat Design.


Design Philosophy

The design philosophy used for the creation of Key Kingdom Souls was one that focused on engaging the Player with the world and combat of the game.  My partner Cole and I really wanted to make the Player feel the world they were in, while complimenting the adventure with interesting gameplay.

The title screen for Key Kingdom Souls. The art is all pixel based, with a focus on dithering to bring out a lot of detail from each asset.


The Vision

Key Kingdom Souls was created for UW-Whitewater's Media Arts and Game Design Expo, a competition between anyone creating media at UW-Whitewater. The game was developed specifically to win the competition by creating a short, incredibly polished game that could be played by most anyone.  Key Kingdom Souls was successful in its goal by winning the Best in Show award for the MAGD Expo of 2017.

In the top left is a health potion, these are given out rarely to the Player. Since the game was designed for a competition, we wanted people to be able to play our game and still feel the difficulty, while also allowing non-gamers to be able to have the experience as well. A health potion was our answer to this issue.

The Dungeon

The Dungeon is created of several linked rooms with common themes.  By clearing the whole room of enemies and speaking with Keyvi, the Player can progress to the next room. Every room in the dungeon has various enemies and decorations in to create a feeling of difference between them.  When the Player advances to the next room, the enemies engage the Player immediately, creating fast paced gameplay.

On the left is Keyvi, our main NPC ally and tutorial giver. In the center is our second enemy the Mage, which cannot physically hurt the Hero, but instead shoots magic orbs to deal damage. Finally on the right is the Hero, our main character of the game.



The gameplay was created very simplistically to allow for interesting and difficult enemy designs.  The enemies were created to make the Player think fast and strategically.  The Player's only abilities are to Run, Dash, and Swing. This simplicity allows the Player to learn the controls easily, and start to be challenged by enemies more frequently. 

The Boss

The boss, otherwise known as Keyvil, of the game was where a lot of my focus went into after main functionality was implemented. Keyvil is dynamic with his abilities, making for a difficult and interesting boss fight.  I wanted to be able to show off the difficulty that the game could reach if the project were to be continued.

Shown above is Phase One of the final boss fight. Notice that for the boss fight the Boss Room changes color palette as well as the final door. This was to help strengthen the idea that this is a boss instead of a normal enemy room.

This is the Phase Two of the final boss fight, where the boss transforms into his second form. During Phase One the boss is running around just generally avoiding the Player while enemies bombard you from around the room. The difference is that in Phase Two the boss decides to fight you himself, which is where the fight turns into a bullet hell styled game.


The Marketing

Since the game was for a competition, there was a lot of focus heavily on marketing our product for the competition day.  To do this we used our mascot, Keyvi.  Keyvi is cute and easily recognizable, so she was used to our advantage when working out a marketing plan.  3D printed versions of Keyvi were given out to anyone who played our game at the event.

Shown above is Keyvi, the mascot of Key Kingdom Souls in the middle of first introducing herself. Keyvi is the main Ally of the Hero, telling the Player about the world and how to play in it.

Play It Now!

Though the game is short, it is easily available on several websites!  Below you'll find a development video of Keyvil as well as a small playthrough of the game.  Alternatively you can click here and be brought to the download page. The game was created to be played on a Xbox 360 controller, but has developer mouse and keyboard controls implimented.

A development montage of creating the boss Keyvil from Key Kingdom Souls.

2D Dungeon Crawler and winner of UW-Whitewater's MAGD Expo. Download and try this game here! Music: Neoakushon by: Rolemusic Airship by: Visager Tunnels by: Foolboy Self Satisfaction by: Roccow Final Sector by: Azureflux