1997, PC (cancelled)
I joined Media Station to design and lead the development team for a strategy game concept from the company owner. The original idea was a real-time strategy game, but I felt that adding simulation elements would elevate the player’s experience, adding an emotional connection to your dwarven villagers that made them more than disposable units. We ended up with a simple but expressive needs and emotions system that drove the dwarves’ work and rest cycles, caused them to be pleased or angry with you, and also affected their performance. It included named Leader units with signature personalities and funny quirks. The project was cancelled when Media Station decided to pivot away from game development into streaming software services.
Key design challenges: developing a “living world” character simulation without reference examples in the market at that time, leading an inexperienced team, serious graphics and performance restrictions of processing speed for computers at that time,