In February 2011, I moved back to my native home of Los Angeles and joined The Workshop as a senior designer on their first title "Sorcery" for the PlayStationTM MoveTM. On the previous project I had attained a leadership role and was quite thankful to be back in developer mode. The experience I had received working with UE3 helped immensely, but I was not prepared for working on a motion control game - something that was completely foreign to me. Luckily The Workshop has real professionals who are both insightful and passionate about the platform, and were able to really expand my mind.

Sorcery (Playstation 3 Move Exclusive)

Sorcery - Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, Developed by The Workshop
Our pre-launch advertising campaign logo.

Before I had arrived there was already a very long history with preproduction in regard to game controls, mechanics, art style, and progression. Not surprisingly this continued through several months of shifting focus and finding the core of the experience. Then around August 2011 we began to hit our stride and started producing final content (with the help of outsourced art from Valkyre). I checked in my last change at the end of March, and began watching the media excitement build (especially in Europe) for the game's launch on May 22nd.

Throughout the project I was hitting almost every aspect of the game; from enemy AI and combat space design to spell casting mechanics and boss fights. In particular I focused on how each spell would function, how much damage was inflicted, how spell combinations would work, and how viable certain combinations were from a risk standpoint to attempt. A good example of this process is the Ice spell, which the player acquires about a third of the way into the game. We went through several versions of the spell that toyed with how many hits it should take to freeze an enemy, how much magic power (or "Vim") the spell should consume, and what sort of alternative/defensive casting mechanics we could incorporate without becoming cumbersome (or becoming too much work for the art team and programmers to implement and make look good). There was a lot of collaboration with the team and other departments with regard to how the spells "felt" when casting and hitting enemies, and this drove the experience of using spells for the length of the development process until we nailed it. The end result is a deep combat system that I am very proud of.

Of course, I worked on some level designs and boss fights too. Specifically, I worked on early portions of Lochbarrow, Ordale, Endless Stair, and the Slumbering Palace. I also designed the Troll, Elf Assassin, and the last two boss fights which I won't spoil for you. Below are some screenshots are areas I helped design and script gameplay for: Ordale and Endless Stair 2.

Note: These images were taken during production and not representative of the final game (hence the debug text for building lighting and paths).