Games by

Brandon Duncan



Hey I'm Brandon, a game designer in Victoria BC. I mostly focus on gameplay design and implementation, but also love the UX side of things and using interface design as a lense for my games.


Here you can find a bunch of the games I've made over the years, from prototype to full release.



hello at brandonduncan.ca

In Development

Fowl Damage


Currently being developed
A little puzzle-platformer where you break real easy and jump real high.
The platforming is the puzzle!

FowlDamage.com

2018

birch


There's a few scenes in my head of places I'd like to just, be in. Maybe that's those "Happy Places" people talk about sometimes. This isn't quite one of them but it's close. Developed over 4-5 hours reusing a lot of the code from Wonks (2015).

When making an action game I'm always thinking about how to convey the game's motion even when you're just looking at a screenshot. I'm also always thinking about ways to make sure it still looks like a game, looks alive and interactable, even if you aren't pressing any buttons. Part of making birch was to meaningfully omit these ideas.

View on Itch.io

SMUSH'EMS


Developed for Ludum Dare 42
Take turns placing blocks in an attempt to smush the most little monsters! Inspired by that game you play on grid paper where you take turns drawing lines and score points by completing a square. The monsters will do their best to avoid being smushed, so place your blocks strategically in order to be the one landing the final blow.

SMUSH'EMS, you gotta smush'em.
Also featuring some light jazz

View on Itch.io

Grimble's Peak 2


Developed for Global Game Jam 2018
At some point I came up with the name "Grimble's Peak Two", and told myself one day I'd make that game. This isn't really that game, I just desperately needed a title during the last 5 minutes of the game jam.

Following the same design philosophy I undertook with Sculptini (2017), I set out to make a game that took advantage of the showcase aspect of our jams; At the end of each jam the community is invited to come try out our weekend creations. Grimble's is a standard platformer that allows successful players to copy/paste a section of the level, forever changing the course for everyone who plays after them. Some players played multiple times in a row to enact their complex vision, others fought back and forth over design ideals, making a section easier, then harder, then easier again.

Make your way over various obstacles to reach the transmitter at the end of the tunnel, and send a message for the future. Will it be a message of hope or of strife?

View on GGJ Website

Incredible Elevator


Developed in about 3 hours for practice
My second quick game challenge of 2018, Incredible Elevator took about half as long as Boldero, mostly because I didn't run into any major issues. Keeping true to the 'ole "the last 10% of a game is actually 90% of the development time", the gameplay took about 30 minutes, and the remaining 2h30 was spent on systems, menus, and all the little things that always pop up.

Help the incredible elevator live a full and rewarding life

View on itch.io

Boldero


Developed in about 6 hours for practice
In 2018 I decided to start challenging myself to finishing tiny projects, in order to practice the whole process of making a small game, rather than getting so caught up in the mechanics I never get around to the second half. Boldero is the first of these small games. The gameplay took about 20 minutes, the rest of it took five hours.

Will you become the boldero champion? Jump over a bunch of rocks and find out.

View on itch.io

2017

The Great Sculptini


Developed for Orca Jam 2017
When you've participated in dozens of game jams over the years, it does kind of start to get a bit repetitive. So I spent the Friday just thinking about game jams. How could my jam projects better reflect the kind of media I want to be making? the design spaces I want to explore? the subjects I want to talk about through my game design? I decided I'd make a game whose design played with the format of a game jam. After the event is over, we always demo our games for an hour or so in a science-fair style setup. Why not make a game that takes advantage of that.

Sculptini asks the players to "sculpt" according to three prompts. A castle, a cat, and a tree. The interface is styled like an old Mac OS, and the sculpting is rudimentary at best. The great Sculptini probably doesn't actually have a teaching or art degree after all. But maybe there's a beauty in taking a few minutes out of your day to create something, maybe there's something freeing about letting yourself make bad art, free of rules and expectations. What the players don't know until the end, is that the game saves a .png of each creation. After you're done your "lesson", the true fun is perusing everyone's creations.

With the Great Sculptini's 3 step class, you'll become an incredible sculptor in no time.


No download available at this time.

Friday Night Bullet Arena


Developed with Dylan Gedig as Red Nexus Games
A local multiplayer game available on PC and Xbox One. Players fight short, fierce battles in a grid-based arena. Only one life, only one bullet. The game makes use of a small set of mechanics to explore emergent strategies and the processes by which players learn a new game.

"fiendishly think-y gameplay" - Local Multiplayer Gamers Steam Curator


View on Steam

BUOYS: BIG ADVENTURE


Developed during Global Game Jam 2017.
I had the dot product on my mind big-time in early 2017 and wanted to try using it in a control scheme. (essentially a little mathematical function that returns how parallel two vectors are). BUOYS uses the dot of your analog-stick input and a line tangent to the curve at the position of the Buoy in order to set your speed about the main circle of the game.

I say game, but BUOYS is really a toy more than anything. Despite that, it was a success at the jam with players playing for far longer than I would have expected them to play my little over-the-weekend toy.

Use a gamepad to move the buoys about the screen, enjoy the relaxing visuals and emergent movement patterns as the buoys do their thing.

View on GGJ Website

2016

Scute of Newt


Developed for OrcaJam 2016
Scute was mostly an exercise in implementing moving platforms, and applying external forces to a platformer character in general. The game lets you swing your sword around in a circle, and sword collisions against terrain fling you around in a manner maybe somewhat resembling a pole-vault.

At our game jams we always book an hour or so after the jam for everyone to go around and play each other's games, so I decided to add a total deaths counter as a fun thing for everyone checking it out at the end. This feature would later lead to my current game jam philosophy of making games that take advantage of this expo-floor environment, seen in Sculptini(2017) and Grimble's Peak 2(2018).

Warning: there's a bit of blood in this one.


No download available at this time.

My First Little Demon Cleanse


Developed for Global Game Jam 2016
My third exploration of the GameMaker engine's 3D capabilities. This time making a game reminiscent of early first person shooters, and focusing on the heightened senses of ambience and place afforded by a 3D game. Regrettably, one of the GGJ "diversifiers" (extra challenges) was to only use your mouth for audio assets. So those squishy, schlerping, slimy demons... well at least you can sometimes hear me doing a nice chant as background music.

Explore a festering dungeon and shoot at some bad bad slime demons.

View on itch.io

2015

WONKS


Developed for Ludum Dare 34.
My Second exploration of the GameMaker engine's 3D capabilities. I usually make mechanically heavy games, but Wonks is much more about just feeling like you're there. As such most of the weekend's work was spent on environment art and sound design. It even manages to tell a little bit of a story, although unfinished.

You're gonna analyze some seeds and you're gonna love it.

View on itch.io

What Deer we Doe Now?


Developed for Global Game Jam 2015
We made this one as a team of 8, which was kind of wild. Most of the lessons learned had to do with "Jeez it's hard to juggle 8 people on one team".

Play as a deer hired to do office work, skitter all over the nice tile floor, and don't take too long to complete your deliverables!

Office Deer! Don't get fired!

View on GGJ Website

2014

Friday Night Bullet Arena (Original)


Solo Project
I started working on FNBA while running a booth for the University of Victoria Game Development Club. It was inspired by a free-for-all version of dodge-ball I played in middle school one time, where you had to keep one foot on your node in a grid at all times. If someone else was taken out, you could then run to occupy their node if it was better placed than yours.

I released an early version on itch.io that summer, then teamed up with Dylan Gedig to finish the game in early 2015. The game took about three years of on-and-off work to finally finish, including 6 months of focused work once Dylan and I actually sat down to finish it once school was out.

Bullet bouncin', screen wrappin', local-multiplayer action.

View the updated release on Steam

Older Projects


Ideally I'll be adding older projects here as I have time to do so, but until that time you can find some of them on:

(Some links may be dead)