During my last semester at The University of Texas at Austin, I took the 3D Game Development Capstone Course with Dr. Paul Toprac. After a semester of late nights and hours of playtesting, I’m proud to introduce Zen Juice, a puzzle-adventure game for PC/VR.
The game is currently available for free download on itch.io.
About the Game
You are a monk seeking to restore peace to a distant island. Before you can do that, however, you must complete four puzzles to unlock the gate on the island.
Each puzzle you complete unlocks another portion of the gate. In order to help you solve the puzzles, you have two abilities. The first ability you control is telekinesis. Using telekinesis, you can pick up objects, move them around, and rotate them. The second ability you have is a gluing ability. When you enable gluing, if you touch an object to the one you are holding, they will stick together in the orientation that they touched. Once the two objects are glued together, you can move them around as a single object. When you deactivate the ability all glued objects will detach from one another.
Using these two abilities, you can glue objects together to form bridges and reach otherwise unreachable objects. These skills allow you to solve the puzzles you will face throughout the game.
Throughout the development of Zen Juice, my primary role was as a developer and scrum master for the team. As scrum master, I guided the team throughout our weekly sprint reviews and planning meetings to ensure that we ended up with a complete game.
On the development side, I did all of the programming and design for the waterfall puzzle in the game. Additionally, I was in charge of ensuring that the game had sound. Outside of the title song, which one of our artists, Gwen, wrote, I wrote the other theme for the game, mastered the audio, created sound effects, and implemented all of the audio in the game.
Making this game was a really valuable learning experience for me. I learned about the tools and skills needed to develop a game as well as how to work with an interdisciplinary team.
I think the most important thing I learned, however, is that the game industry really isn’t for me. I’ve always enjoyed making small games as a hobby, but making them for a career just isn’t that appealing to me.
For more about the game, checkout some of the development blog posts I wrote. Also be sure to checkout this amazing video Ben made about the development of our game: