Client: Aurora 44, Annapurna Interactive Role: Game Designer Tools: Unreal Platforms: Xbox One, Windows 10, Steam
There is a rumble in the distance, and then a light. Through the leaking eyes you make out a peak on the horizon, choking the land in a cloud of ash.
Nothing ever shone so bright.
Ashen is an Action RPG about forging relationships and finding a place to call home. Inspired by games like Dark Souls and Journey, Ashen takes the player through a harsh world where not all is as it seems.
Through the use of a seamless matchmaking system players stumble upon other real players exploring the world. Player's must learn to trust the strangers they cross, building relationships and overcome the difficult challenges presented by the world. Ashen is built by a small and dedicated team based in Wellington, New Zealand. The title is a project of passion and a statement to the world that small teams can build great games.
I was brought on to the project in may of 2017 as a Game Designer to help build out the games systems and the open world areas, alongside the implementation of quests and encounters. Over time the role has changed and shifted. Gaining more responsibility for Level Design of the open world and ensuring a strong line of communication between Design, Art and Programming teams. All the while assisting the other designers when necessary and the continued work on quest design and encounters.
Alongside my level design roles, I have also been an advocate for pushing ashen to accommodate a diverse range of players. Pushing for as many accessibility options as we can implement within our development timeline. As well as attempting to make the game open and accepting of players of various identities. My personal goal while working on this project is to hopefully not alienate anyone who wants to play Ashen.
"In Ashen, you survive together in the light or you die alone in the dark." - ign
"Alone and out of healing items, I fell quickly. Despite my defeat, I came away from Ashen energized" - Shack News
"When a random player appeared in my game I began to appreciate how special Ashen could turn out to be." - Windows Central