In Plain Sight

Analyze. Disguise. Infiltrate.

Sneak about the Isis Labs facility using the information you have gathered to subdue enemies and pass through areas undetected on a mission to save your son.
(you will need a gamepad to play)

As the Narrative Designer and Level Designer for In Plain Sight,
I was responsible for:
  • Writing the story and dialogue
  • Managing VO Recording sessions
  • Implementing VOs
  • Designing and building the levels
  • Set-dressing and lighting the levels
  • Scripting all of the triggered events

Isis Labs has vowed to find a cure for the deadly pathogen known commonly as Erzinger's disease. This zealous and desperate pursuit has lead them down a dark path - abducting people to use as human subjects. Your son, Ben, was taken by these people; now you must find him before it's too late.

Rather than have the story exist alongside the gameplay, we relate the narrative to the player through breadcrumbs that are a part of the design of the game world and game space. This style of narrative design does not guide players through the story; players can pick up the story through art elements and level design, as they choose.  

This was accomplished by working in tandem with art, audio, ui, systems and level design. The game's collectibles - audiologs - for instance, while being completely optional, rewarded players for exploring and gave bits and pieces of the surrounding backstory through different character's viewpoints.

Even the grainy presentation has something to offer storywise: here, we hint to the fact that the player is constantly being watched by a guardian angel of sorts, a character known as Verity.

We also focused heavily on fully voicing the game. Over 400 lines of dialogue were recorded for the game; 200 made it into the final build.

    Level 2 - Data Entry Room

    By this point in the game, the player has managed to obtain a surgeon's disguise and sneak into the Isis Labs facility. Upon entering the facility, he's paired with an escort and sent to Data Entry . . .

    While our main goal was to communicate all necessary information to the player using cues in the environment, sometimes it was necessary to stop the gameplay for a moment and spook the player. Here the security guards at the end door stop the player in his tracks to order an escort for him.
    We also wanted to create a sense of mystery through the architecture and level layout - we used fog of war to keep areas hidden from players, prompting them to explore the Isis Labs facility.
    Colour plays a large role as well. Not only are the different disguises (along with their corresponding areas colour-coded), objects that can be interacted with are always orange and revert to their normal colour after they have been used.

    The world and characters react to the player - every time players solve a puzzle, we show them how their actions have affected the environment and give them the opportunity to enjoy their success. (Usually by "enjoy" I mean punching a guy in the back of the head.)
    Voila! The player now assumes a different disguise in order to reach the second section in level 2. We use the disguise system as an objective system - only certain disguises can access certain areas, meaning that players have to figure out how to obtain the next disguise on their hit list. (pun intended)
    Verity's an important character in the game both thematically and functionally. She acts as a guide for the main character, watching over him from afar and she also serves as an important feedback mechanism for the player, providing hints and warnings as needed.