After completing my Masters in Digital Games I was offered an internship in DIT, working as a 2D artist & game designer on another 2D platformer project called ‘Pontification’. The game was another thesis project created by some of my classmates, which DIT had chosen to incubate.
The basic story was a satirical poke at organised religion & society in general where you play as recently deceased priest Fr. O’Brien who, upon reaching the ‘Pearly Gates’, discovers heaven is locked and is then promptly dumped in Purgatory. From here he must go on a madcap journey across space & time with his new sidekick Lilly, exposing the crazy secrets of the Vatican, unlocking the gates of heaven & generally righting the wrongs of mankind. The main mechanic of the game was to be puzzle solving through possession, similar to Abe’s Oddysee / Exodus.
Initially I helped with working out the basic game design on paper, evaluating various additional mechanics, enemy types, abilities and systems. I was also involved in storyboarding & initial level design before moving onto environment artwork. Below are some examples of the work I carried out during the project.
Note: All character art was created by Ann-Marie Burke. Some online research images are included in the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Context Sketch for colour planning purposes. Eadaoin Dempsey created most of the platform sections in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ images 2, 3 & 4. All other artwork is my own.
The ‘Pontification’ team was provisionally chosen to participate in the prestigious ‘Dare To Be Digital’ game incubation program in Scotland. Unfortunately, the offer to participate in the program was then rescinded on a technicality. The team disbanded to work on individual projects after this. The game may still see the light of day at some point in the future but it will likely be a very different beast!
As with any project, ‘Pontification’ had its high & low points, however my time on the project was invaluable in developing my skill-set, my ability to work as part of a team and my understanding of the game development process as a whole. Below is the original launch trailer for Pontification. All credit goes to Bernhard Raml, Ann-Marie Burke, Eadaoin Dempsey & Jonathan Bennetts.