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SS Survive is a game where you control a boat with teammates to dodge obstacles and make it to the end of the stream. This was a 5 person game project for Sheridan College's Design Week Jam.


Idea development, controller builder, artist

Tools Used

Cardboard, Hot Glue, Tape, Paint, Paper,  Magica Voxel, Photoshop

Initial Ideas

The theme for this Design Week challenge was to create a game that didn't use traditional game controllers (alternative controllers). Our team decided everyone would come up with some ideas and we would reconvene and pick which one we liked the most. My idea for a boat rudder as an alternative controller for a game where you control a boat in a river was picked. From there, our team fleshed out the idea more by having 2 - 3 players in a boat, where one player would be stirring the boat and watching the screen and the others would patch leaks based on indicators on the screen. The person stirring the boat would call out where the leaks were for the people patching them up.

Controller Construction

Me and another team member were tasked with constructing the boat controller. I had bought supplies such as cardboard, paint, hot glue and tape to create the boat players would sit in. Construction was fairly easy, it took us one day to cut and glue the boat body. We based our design off low poly boat models. The next day we painted part of the boat and started constructing the rudder and where the arduino controlling the in-game rudder would be. After this, we created the buttons for where players would patch holes.

(I'm pictured there on the top image to the left!)

Game Art

For this game I created the boat model in Magica Voxel and handed it off to the modellers for rigging. I also created some of the icons seen on screen that indicate where players need to patch a leak. The inspiration for these buttons were animals you could find the water, drawn in a simple cartoon style so they could be easily visible and differentiated on and off screen.


Challenges and Takeaways

This was the first Design Week I took part in, so coming into it I felt limited in what I could offer the team, due to this game being 3D and my lack of coding skills at the time. I was glad that my idea was picked and I could help out a bit with the design, as well as creating much of the needed assets for the game. By the end, our game was shortlisted to be tested by industry guests and they really enjoyed the gameplay.

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