Fusion Wilds is merge lane-defense game, where players face randomized campaigns with their board of varied adventurers. Units of the same level are merged to create stronger units.
Studio: Savepoint Games
Role: Game Designer (Contract)
Time on Project: November 2020-February 2021
Team Size: 5
Target Platform: iOS and Android
Fusion Wilds tasks players with building up a strong board of powerful adventurers to face increasingly-difficult monsters. Units on the board hold a level, and merging two units of the same level will create one that is a level higher. Adventurer types range from long-range archers and bloodthirsty vampires to ice mages and inspiring bards.
The gameplay is split into two modes. Players can take on randomized campaigns with branching missions in search of difficult bosses and new adventurers to recruit. In missions, waves of enemies will come from the top of the screen and the player must build out a board of units to defend and survive. Outside of missions, players passively earn gold and can upgrade their adventurers to unlock powerful abilities.
Contributions and Philosophy
- Established a unified vision from the project’s best features and systems
- Authored character, enemy, and encounter data for compelling gameplay experiences
- Playtested and balanced the economy and difficulty of the early game
My largest contribution throughout my time on Fusion Wilds was helping guide the team towards a clear project vision, particularly in the progression system. When I joined the project, there were no designers. The project had great ideas and fun hidden inside, but a distinct plan for the game had never been set in stone and documentation was scarce. This meant a lot of mechanics and systems were being added haphazardly to patch up problems without any guiding principles, and thus a lot of the game did not fit together smoothly.
My earliest work on the project included playtesting and balancing the first few hours of gameplay. Through this, I was able to note the roughest areas and discover many bugs. I then designed an overarching progression loop focused on retention and better pacing, helping with its implementation. While this initial step would not solve the largest problems with the game, it did fix many issues with what we believed was the vision at the time. With little time left in my contract, it was decided that the project needed to be overhauled. I spent time working with the CEO to figure out what aspects of the game we liked and where we wanted the game to go, and I designed a preliminary plan for a distinct product vision.
I learned a lot from my short time on the project. First, I obtained more experience in balancing and authoring content which I needed. Second, it was very challenging but enlightening to take another person’s vision, try to understand it without them there, and reformat it to better align with present goals. While my work most likely will not stay with the project as it continues to evolve, I am happy for what I could bring to the project and what it helped me learn.