This thesis is a reflection of the entire production process and learnings of Trials of the Wolf; an approachable roguelike card game about a wolf, created by Björn Lindholm and I over a period of almost two years. It was born out of our concerns about the endangerment of wolves as a result of poaching in Finland. It was my hope that by allowing for an underlying current of realism to exist within the game, some tangential learning would occur, allowing for players to empathise with their situation. The production was broken up into two major stages: pre-production, and production; my responsibilities being that of design, art direction, and animation. During pre-production, my goals mainly consisted of the background research on wolves as well as the necessary game benchmarking, prototyping, and documentation. Production was the development of the digital game based off of pre-production’s documentation and learnings. It was during this time the most pivots and learnings occurred when evaluated against the entire production. At the end of the production we were able to deliver a vertical slice of the game which entailed our initial production goals: creating a game that was difficult but still approachable with factual undertones. It is my deepest hopes that my research and learnings from this thesis can be used as a guide for others looking to develop their own digital games with a small team and limited resources.
Developed by Arash John Sammander and Björn Lindholm
Art by Matei Molner
Music by Vesa-Matti Mattsson