Hood: Outlaws and Legends is a multiplayer heist game published by Focus Home Interactive based in Paris, France. Initially employed as a Senior Game Designer, I was promoted to Lead Game Designer having acted upon the role throughout. I was instrumental in the design, development, and delivery of several major gameplay systems which included: 3Cs, Combat, Heist Game Mode, Player Progression, and Platform features further outlined below.
I managed all of the game controls across gamepad and keyboard/mouse – including consideration for both major and minor peripheral differences. I designed all of the core actions for navigation, stealth, combat, and interactions including each of the possible transitions, early exits, input caching, and haptics. In addition, I handled all of the camera work: framing, blends, and transitions for all in-game behaviours and states to maintain comfort.
There are four playable characters, I defined their gameplay roles, skillsets, abilities, and perks, initially focussing on playstyle diversity before promoting teamplay and counters. I proposed using Robin as a template to demonstrate the production investment and expected overall quality for the other characters. Most notably, I was proud and privileged to create the bow and arrow mechanics from conception to launch, many of these learnings have been adapted into an internal knowledge sharing deck.
In terms of combat, I designed the rock/paper/scissors flow taking inspiration from comparable melee action titles: Dark Souls, Ryse, and God of War. I tuned all of the PvP and PvE character values including speed, range, damage, stamina, hit reactions, attack priorities, and other associated behaviours such melee area of effects and ranged glints. I was a champion for enhancing the visceral melee fidelity by pushing the bar for prevalent feedbacks such SFX, VFX, UI and Haptics.
The Heist itself is the core game mode, working together to steal gold from the state. I inherited a core framework that was rigorously iterated upon through extensive playtesting. I pitched the idea for the winching mechanics; promoting a more cooperative and tactical layer to the pressure cooker in the final third of the match. This was in addition to designing and tuning all associated game mode mechanics such as pickpocketing the key, stealing the chest, capture points, and respawn behaviours.
Progression can be defined as several interwoven features such as Perks, Legends, Trinkets, Cosmetics, Achievements, and Challenges. I designed all of the game’s rewards as well as their variety and distribution throughout the player’s journey. This also accounted for post-launch requirements and promoting retention, the Challenges define a foundational layer that can be expanded upon for time-limited events such as holidays or seasons.
I was involved in developing the game across multiple platforms, having access to developer portals where I designed, tested, and updated all gameplay achievements. Specifically for PlayStation 5, I produced all of the adaptive triggers and enhanced haptics functionality for DualSense – with the primary aim of enhancing the feel of the bow and arrow even further. This also involved evaluating and improving all of the rumble behaviours previously designed for other peripherals.
In addition to all of the above, I pitched the concept of The Sheriff; a towering, slow-moving, and reverberating NPC who has the ability to instantly execute any player, who fails to steal the key from his belt, with his bare hands. I also wrote the majority of the game’s flavour text which amounted to character abilities and equipment, hint strings, interaction prompts, options settings, perk descriptions, cosmetics, and achievements. All of which accounted for localisation, compliance, and aesthetic requirements. Finally, I laid the initial groundwork for onboarding and tutorials which was later adapted and iterated upon throughout development.