Shane Breedveld - Games Producer

General Information

Game Summary

You are Gob, who’ll reach his desires no matter the cost or the suffering provoked to the world around him. Survive through sets of challenging and thrilling combat events to get your riches, traverse lush environments and build your community goblins to further enhance your character’s progression.

Key Features

Taking down enemies in style
You will be able to choose your playstyle based on either using melee, magic, or ranged attacks, stringing together combos that unlock devastating attacks to put down your enemies! Unlock more combos as you spend experience putting together your own very unique moveset.

Expand your influence
As you progress your pursuit of wealth and powers you start attracting followers and those that support your quest, setting up a base of operations in which you can spend resources to upgrade the base itself as well as unlock skills and bonuses from the characters in it.

Craft your destiny
As you accumulate gold, build your village up, and find gems of power you can use crafting to enhance your abilities, making your weapons harness elements gaining both active and passive powers.


Development Information

Team size: 10 (5hrs per week)
Project Duration: 1,5 Years 
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Platform: PC

Project Role and Responsibilities

Main Role: Producer

  • Finding and recruiting team members, establishing the base team to make the concept with.
  • Establish a communications contract that encapsulates the duration of the project, weekly time requirement, and meetings.
  • Making a Project Initiation Document including initial scope, project organization, budget, reporting, and controls.
  • Creating a High-Level Planning and using that as a foundation to structure our weekly plannings.
  • Risk management through the usage of a Risk Log.
  • Tracking velocity and progress by providing team members with work logs.
  • Setting up a Community Management structure and planning.
  • Setting Deadlines and Key deliverables and tracking progression on those.
  • Managing scope and decision-making on cutting content.

Secondary Roles: Creative Director and Vision Holder​

  • Write the story for the game, backstory, and lore of each of the zones.
  • Concept the zones and their characters as well as their function to the player.
  • Collaborate with artists to guide them on visualizing the environments and characters providing creative feedback in the iterative process.
  • Create the base concept of the game so that the Lead designer and other designers have an anchor point to build on.
  • Establishing an Art Style Guide and researching similar games and methods that make this style achievable.
  • Establishing prototypes that prove the scale of the world relative to the character.

Tertriary Role: Business Owner

  • Setting up work contracts and NDA’s for the team members.
  • Finding financial resources to support our development.
  • Creating a website for our team on which we can showcase parts of our development and the team.
  • Getting resources and licenses for software to allow for development to start.

Analysis and Process

Setting up the Project
Starting this project back in the first year of my education as a game development student the goal of this project was to get additional experience as a producer and run a full production cycle from concepting to release. Working with students from the BUAS as well as hiring students abroad at other universities (For example our audio and community management departments.). 

Setting up a hierarchy within the team and how work would be communicated back and forth between leads and other team members. Setting up a strong reporting structure since we would all be working remotely and with a very limited amount of hours per week.

Beginning Development
Beginning the concepting phase we looked for USP’s and key defining features for our game, as we settled on souls-like combat in an RPG setting we started to gravitate to creating systems that would make character progression exciting in the form of a substantial amount of player choice and skill requirement in that. A Tetris like minigame to slot your passive bonuses in was one of the results of that.

Progressing further in defining the story of our game I wrote the narrative to in a way to have a comical tone to it, I wanted to create a game that didn’t take itself too seriously while having challenging combat and systems. The different environments and enemies you’d encounter would have to keep challenging the player with new combat mechanics and archetypes, hence I ended up choosing to go with a factions based setup. This way each of the factions would have a certain general type of behavior in combat whilst varying on an individual enemy level.

This came to fruition as we started prototyping our first Sand Chugger enemy (see the concept on the right.), These creatures are heavy and strong and we needed that to be noticed in both their visuals as well as their combat capabilities. My role within this was to provide consistent feedback connecting combat design with the artists to eventually get to a sluggish strong enemy that deals a lot of damage if it does hit the player.

Connecting these variations was a challenging but really enjoyable experience as it allowed me to iterate a multitude of times with designers and artists to get to what I initially envisioned.

Overcoming struggle in Pre-Production
However, due to a lot of the people on the team being students we struggled with members that couldn’t keep their promise on working the five hours a week to consistently push the project forward. This caused people to leave the team and having to recruit and onboard new people, which has to this day slowed down development considerably.

As we had the visuals, systems and, designs nailed down we progressed into pre-production where we used our first tech demo as a proof of concept. This raised team motivation a lot at the time and allowed us to start making content that would reach a presentable state to our audience.

Looking back at the size of our concept and the circumstances with team members leaving due to study priorities we had to rescope and reconcept to be able to complete the project. Re-adjusting our goal to not release on Steam anymore but instead, aim for a Vertical Slice demo where we can show what the intended to be a part of the full experience.

This process required a lot of flexibility and knowledge about the resources that you have left and how you can utilize them best whilst stabilizing the team and raising morale again to look forward once again and continue development.

Challenges Encountered

  • Due to the team members doing this project next to their studies we set on a very limited amount of time to allocate per person to the project (5 hours). This made planning quite hard as content that normally would be done in a week would take us 2 months now. This forced us to create a solid feedback and communication process to share progression and avoid blocks. Doing ”game jams” of a few full workdays in school holidays helped us progress tremendously.
  • While it was challenging I learned a lot about the business side of game development, such as the work contracts, licensing, and NDA’s which I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise on student projects.
  • Dealing with consistent recruitment to fill up people that had to focus more on their studies and couldn’t do this on this side anymore I had to spend a lot of time trying to find new team members and onboard them, which was very costly in terms of time. I dealt with that by having the key deliverables being worked on by the core team whereas the newer members would focus on content that wouldn’t cause dependency issues if not finished in time.

Concepting environments

Main Character Concept

Goblin Tribe Enivronment Concept

Enemy ”Sand Chugger” Boss Concept

Production Documents

Project Initiation Document

To start on a strong foundation I created a project initiation document, setting the goal of the project and explaining the organizational structure. 
This document also included elaboration about the stakeholders as well as how the reporting structure within the team works. This document functioned really well to establish a clear ruleset and guidelines for the project.

Concept Phase Presentation

The Concept Phase presentation that I made had the purpose to more in-depth explain how we would go about starting the game’s development.
This included the tools that we would be using as well as how our weekly time should generally be allocated. It also onboarded joining team members on the key deliverables for the phase and how we go about building our community and reaching out to them.

Features Document

The features document is where we gathered all the game’s features and systems, explaining them visually through one-pagers. This was done to create strong alignment within the team as well as allow for easier onboarding for new team members.

Download Link: Features Document

Shane Breedveld