Pirate101 – KingsIsle Entertainment

Pirate101 - KingsIsle Entertainment

Company: KingsIsle Entertainment
Job Title: Senior Game Designer
Editor/Engine: Proprietary
Other Tools/Languages: Perl
Start/End Dates: May 2011 – December 2013
Primary Duties:

  • Implemented combat and non-combat quest content using proprietary tools.
  • Parsed useful game data using Perl to debug and track problematic issues.
  • Documented implementation standards, wrote tutorials and trained other staff.
Captain Blood Fight
Captain Blood was a level 34 boss in Pirate101 that the player had to defeat to complete an epic quest line on the island ghost town of Miranda. When the fight starts, the entire ghost town shows up to watch. Captain Blood's minions set fire to the Old Sippin' Saloon each round to make it harder for the player to defeat them.


What I was responsible for:
• Set up the NPC Ghosts and Skeletons to spawn at the start of the fight and despawn once the fight ended.
• Set up the card table state object to properly animate when triggered by quest progression.
• Created new combat fire hazard that spawns in random locations on the battle board.
• Balanced the boss fight with enemy minions of various levels to make combat challenging for the player.
• Implementation of cinematic cameras and character dialog.

Duck of Death Boat Fight
The Duck of Death was a level 23 boss in Pirate101 that the player had to defeat to complete an epic quest line on the island of Boot Hill. When the fight starts there are several powder kegs on deck that will cause AOE damage to the player, companions as well as the enemy. When the powder kegs are destroyed they create fire hazards on the battle board that will also cause damage to actors nearby.


What I was responsible for:
• Set up of all custom combat scripting as well as the creation of the powder kegs and the fire hazards that spawn once the kegs are destroyed.
• Balanced the boss fight with enemy minions of various levels to make combat challenging for the player.
• Implementation of character dialog.

The El Toro Rush
El Toro was a companion the player added to his or her crew early in the game and had a lot to do with the main story line. In the video, instead of having El Toro spawn and say his lines like an awkward mannequin, he spawns and runs into battle. The El Toro actor then despawns when combat starts but that is hidden by the fight being triggered.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the room.
• The implementation of the combat and enemies fighting on the battle board.

Moving Actor Cinematic
Another example of me adding movement to encounters instead of spawning actors into a scene.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the room.
• The implementation of the combat and enemies fighting on the battle board.

Adding Visual Effects
This is an example of me adding fire and explosive VFX that are triggered by player interaction. Because most effects and animations where built into very complex state objects by animators I reused what I could find in the project to add story telling elements to help save time.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all interactable props in the room.
• Implementation of delayed VFX based on player interaction.

Thunderbird Spawn Visual Effects
This is another example of me adding VFX to an otherwise uninteresting animation. Art provided spawn in, looping and despawn VFX that had to be triggered by quest progression.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the scene.
• Implementation of all interactable props in the room.
• Implementation of delayed VFX based on player interaction.

Rebuilding the Underwater Shark Fight
I inherited this underwater fight with a shark and had to re-implement the combat to fix multiple errors and exploits.


What I was responsible for:
• Moving all scripting and combat to be instanced instead of public.
• Scripting behind the new doors that needed to be placed in the scene once it was no longer public.
• Triggering combat correctly to avoid the player collecting the interactable before completing the underwater fight.

Adding Animations and VFX to Spawns
As a side quest the player can help their crew members fulfill some of their unfinished business. In this case your crew member Old Scratch seeks out his old master, finds him missing and then accidentally resurrects a fallen enemy in the room that the player must defeat.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of Old Scratch NPC casting animations as well as the casting VFX.
• Enemy spawn VFX.

Reusing the same Battle Board for multiple fights
I was given the task with creating 3 different fights in the same cave scene which required using the same battle board for all fights. This was a challenge and the scripting very difficult to manage. As a result most of the implemented combat in Pirate101 doesn't reuse battle boards.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the scene.
• The implementation of the combat and enemies fighting on the battle board.

Spider Boss Fight
I was given the task of creating a side quest with spider enemies and decided to get creative with actors and props we already had in the project. Some of the camera angles are horrible and there is temporary dialog but this prototype was well received and a much more polished version went into the final game.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the scene.
• The implementation of the combat and enemies fighting on the battle board.

Moving actors with pre-combat dialog
One of the original encounters where I move a non-combat NPC for quest dialog.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the room.
• The implementation of the combat and enemies fighting on the battle board.

Using tilted camera angles with dialog
I convinced the lead writer that we should add a tilted camera angle for comedic value.


What I was responsible for:
• Implementation of all cinematic cameras and character dialog.
• Implementation of all NPC characters in the room.