The Environment Is Your Weapon

The premise for MasterKey originated with a simple question for the First-Person-Shooter genre:
”How do you play a shooter when you don’t have a real gun?”

Designed to manipulate industrial equipment and debris, the “Masterkey” can physically attract objects and conduct electricity to use the environment against your enemies.

Wall-running enables the player to nimbly move around spaces, finding hazards to use against your foe.

Hostile machines attack from above and below to create dynamic encounters where the player must use the full extent of their tethering and locomotive abilities to survive.

HOstile machines in a derelict mining facility

Inspired by art from the artist Simon Stalenhag, and the video game “Destiny”:
Masterkey’s visual design is intended to drive the eerie, isolated tone of feeling alone in a strange and hostile place.

The art style behind MasterKey juxtaposes industry and nature to show a planet where sentient machines have managed to scrape by decades after the collapse of humanity.

project lead highlights

building the team

  • Constantly assessed skill levels of 80+ person candidate pool for motivations and openness to feedback to determine if they would be a good fit for the team
    (In my experience, the best teammates take feedback well and continuously try their best)

  • Developed a prototype of the physics tether to build confidence among the growing team

  • Pitched the concept at weekly gatherings and 1 on 1 to develop a presence and gather buy-in from key individuals

*By the formal pitch date, team MasterKey was already built and had no new members join*

Creative vision

  • To drive creative cohesiveness on team of 17, I plastered physical mood boards with concept art created by the team and online reference

  • Developed 4 enemy AI types with Design team to drive core systems of tethering and locomotion —

    • Flyers rain explosives down on you from above

    • Jumpers leap from the ground up towards you

    • Movers would run after you and attack

    • Sliders would skim along the walls and obstruct your wall-runs

  • Maintained game-design-document throughout the life of the game while consistently iterating story and world during collaborative meetings with the design team

  • Held regular meetings with leads (Art, Design, Engineering) to evaluate progress of strategic goals, while developing their leadership skills by emphasizing ownership over their teams

status updates

  • Collaborated with Development Manager and Design team to develop presentation story aligned with sprint goals and current game build

  • Communicated bi-weekly status updates to Executive Producers and overall team to communicate accomplished tasks and next objectives

  • Delivered release game build and favorite moments with team teammate to an audience of 200+ and live stream to FIEA alumni
    Favorite Moment: Taking Aissa (home country of Tunisia) to Wendy’s for the first time