Snapshot Adventures: Secret of Bird Island
2010 Categorized in Game Design, Production
Snapshot Adventures: Secret of Bird Island is a bird photography game in which the player travels the country, unraveling the mystery of their grandfather’s disappearance and collecting photos of both real and fantastical birds.
This has got to be one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on. The concept was unique and interesting, and the game had the ability to appeal to both core and casual gamers alike. For my part, throughout production I was responsible for the level design, macro-game balancing, bird-to-level allocation, as well as various other design decisions related to gameplay.
I used Torque 3D to create trees and place in-game objects (rocks, logs, bushes) to construct interesting levels for players to photograph in. Afterwards, based on information gathered from New York State’s Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I was then tasked with populating those levels with accurate bird types.
I really learned a lot from this project. Not only about game development, but also about how important research is to the design process and success of a project like Snapshot Adventures.
Snapshot Adventures: Secret of Bird Island was released in early 2007 and was met with critical acclaim by members of the casual game community. It was the recipient of Game Tunnel’s 2007 Casual Game of the Year Award, and had the honor of being nominated for “Design Innovation” at the prestigious Independent Games Festival (IGF) in 2008.