top of page
Keeper of the Realms
Keeper of the Realms is a 2D Adventure Platformer with light Metroidvania elements.
The player takes the role of Aboninth, a Keeper of the Realms. The Keepers watch over worlds and protect them from the Corruption. One day, the Corruption took the Keepers' homeworld. Now the Keepers follow their endless pilgrimage of redemption from one planet to the next.
The target audience for this game is fans of twitchy platformers such as Super Mario Bros and Mega Man but would prefer less combat and more puzzles and exploration.
Our references included those mentioned above as well as Metroid and Castlevania, which both heavily inspired the movement and level design.
In this project, I filled the role of level designer and animator.
As the level designer, I designed and developed all the level content. This includes the 6 levels in the finished game. I also designed the hub world so that the player could not progress to the next world until they had beaten the previous and gained a new ability which they use to reach the next level.
As the project's animator, I was responsible for all the animations for the player character and the code that made it work.
Similarly to games like Hollow Knight, we had a hub world which connected the player to every other level in the game. These levels are set up in order from left to right. For example, between the first level and second level is a gap that can only be crossed once the player beats the first level. This is because the player unlocks a dash ability which allows them to jump the gap in the hub and continue on to level two.
The Metroidvania elements are somewhat limited, and that was due to our incredibly short development cycle of two months. Originally we were going to have enemies and a lot more puzzles, but we ran out of time. What resulted was essentially a glorified "door and key" system where the player is forced to explore side areas with platforming challenges to retrieve the key and progress.
Due to the limited features of our project, we decided to make the most of what we had. One way that we did this was by adding medals which the player won upon beating a level under a certain time. There were three tiers of medals, bronze, silver, and gold.
We found that the medal system added a lot of replayability, especially for people who felt it was their moral obligation to get every medal for every level. Some medals even required the player to backtrack to previous levels and use their new abilities to shave off a few seconds. Looking back at this, we probably should have made the medals less painful to get. That being said, some people really enjoyed pushing themselves to the limit for a new best time.
What Went Wrong?
The most restrictive factor of this project was by far the two-month development time, and we didn't realize how short that was at first. We had enemies and puzzles and other fun features planned but we simply ran out of time. I feel that we focused on what we knew and did what we could, but we could have done better if we didn't over-scope at first.
What Went Right?
This project was incredibly impactful for me. I went to DigiPen with the intention of being a programmer, but this project made me fall in love with level design. Looking at my favorite games as a kid, this did not surprise me much. I made maps for my friends on Halo 3 and Far Cry and tons of other games with level editors. Overall, I am grateful that my teammates took on the additional backend work so that I was able to focus on what I am decent at.
bottom of page