All rights reserved Karan Sahu Copyright © 2015
07 Mar

Scare Tactics

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Scare Tactics is an Asymmetric Action-Adventure Game

**Awarded Second prize at RPI Gamefest 2016**


As the Game Designer for this project, I developed all the game mechanics, along with character classes in collaboration with another designer. Additionally, I am responsible for the Level Design and ensuring the level layout flows well with mechanics. I also directed a team of 10 artists to bring the concept to life in 3D.


My team built the game in our custom C++ game engine, developed from scratch by our programmers.We used Unity as our prototyping tool as well as our Level Editor. Due to a small team and a tight time constraint, we first built and tested the mechanics in Unity and ran it through playtests. Once the team approved a certain feature, it was ported over to our C++ engine. This allowed our programmers to continue developing the engine while me and another designer focused on what the game should be.


Scare Tactics is set in a haunted mansion where a group of 3 Explorers face off against 1 Ghost. The Ghost and Explorer each have unique gameplay mechanics. The gameplay for the Ghost character is based on the Real Time Strategy genre. They can spawn and manage units, as well as manipulate the house on a global scale. The Explorer gameplay is based on top down Action-Adventure. The Explorer can perform melee attacks, acquire power-ups and manipulate the environment on a local scale. Both characters use their unique skills and mechanics to thwart each other. The Explorers must exorcise the haunted house in order to defeat the Ghost, and the Ghost must disable all Explorers by diminishing their health.



The Ghost needs to incapacitate every explorer before they succeed

The Explorers need to exorcise the ghost from the mansion to win


The Ghost has a top-down view of the mansion, intended to provide a superior feeling to the player.

The Ghost doesn’t have a physical presence in the game. Instead, they use Minions to wreck havoc and destroy the explorers. There are 3 minions in our game and are AI controlled:

Imp – Small and quick creature that viciously runs towards the explorers and attacks them

Abomination – Slow and sluggish creature that explodes on contact

Flytrap – Static plant that attacks when in close vicinity



The Ghost also has an ability to Haunt an explorer. This changes the haunted explorer into an Imp for the other two explorers. Since we have friendly fire enabled, other explorers can get confused and damage the haunted explorer if they don’t communicate.



There are 3 Explorers in the game, each with a different skill set.


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Sprinter – She uses her gadgets and quick wit to run interference and scout the way ahead

Professor – He can heal others explorers

Trap Master – He can control space and big crowds by using different traps available to him and attack from a distance

The game has been designed in a way where the explorers and the ghost don’t interact with each other directly. They use the environment and force the other player to change their strategy.


Lanterns – Slows the minions down significantly. Can be turned on and off by the explorers. The ghost can only turn                     the lantern off.

Doors – Can be opened and closed by the explorers and the ghost. The minions can be blocked if the doors are                      closed, thus the ghost needs to be constantly aware.

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