I developed a hacking puzzle minigame for Being Evelyn, which the player must complete and master in order to progress through the game. The goal of each level is to hack the main terminal, which is protected by guards and security cameras. Should the player successfully decrypt each password and gain full access to the main terminal within the time limit, their objective is complete and they can proceed to the final phase of the level which is to escape. There is also a secret puzzle in each level which is completed by successfully hacking all of the terminals in the level (usually 2 or 3, in addition to the main terminal) and unscrambling a password. Completing this secret puzzle unlocks extra narrative content in the form of in-game emails.
My work included both design and implementation as I directed the hacking minigame from initial concept to playable prototype and created content for a wide assortment of unique hacking puzzles. I also choreographed and implemented all of the secret puzzles.
I designed a progression model to introduce and combine puzzle elements across all 5 levels of the game. I conducted playtests to gather player data, such as what puzzles the player was offered and how long the player took to complete each. This data was used by a designer to tune the difficulty of the puzzles to be appropriately challenging for the target audience.
When implementing the hacking puzzle minigame, I created a puzzle generator in C# which created randomized puzzles that fit designed parameters so a designer could tune values for each terminal. The generator also allowed for scripted puzzles which teach the player new elements or create thrilling narrative moments. I also worked on the system that tracked which terminals had been hacked so the player could solve the secret puzzle.
During production, I worked closely with a technical director to perform code reviews and merge my hacking puzzle game with the main game to create a cohesive game loop. I met frequently with a system designer to share playtest data and design dozens of unique hacking puzzles. I cooperated with a UI designer to create a clean and thematic interface for the puzzle game. And finally, I worked with the narrative director to implement desired story moments, such as a shocking interaction between Evelyn and the story's villain through the hacking game.