Game Design Portfolio – Fabian Fischer

My work is fueled by a deep appreciation of the beauty of elegant systems. Hence I aspire to create games that deliver interactive value to players as efficiently as possible.

Below you can find some of the games I worked on. If you’d like to know more, just contact me via email or Facebook!

Crimson Company

“With such a wide variety of unique characters coming out in a different order each time, your strategy is going to change every time you play!” (Jonathan Estis – Roll For Crit)

  • Genre: Competitive Card Game
  • What makes it special: There is almost no randomness in the game, which brings it closer to chess than to poker. At the same time however, it retains the accessibility of modern card games. The gameplay revolves around a unique “board-drafting” mechanism: Both players compete for the same deck of cards and always play them directly onto the three-laned board, using their tactical abilities to outsmart their opponent.
  • What I did: I envisioned and co-designed the game. As CEO, I was also involved in art direction, production and publishing, as well as managing a successful Kickstarter campaign. You can learn more about the game’s genesis on Gamasutra.
  • Reception: acclaimed by critics (reviews) and players (8.2 on BGG)
  • Online: Website

Hyperdrome

“Racing games aren’t exactly a novel concept, but Hyperdrome has set itself apart with its interesting tactical mechanics.” (Jessica Famularo – Pocket Gamer)

  • Genre: Tactical Battle Racing
  • What makes it special: Instead of letting the player take direct control of a car, the game is all about making use of tactical special abilities, such as missiles, shields or mines. The interplay of timing those power-ups and managing resources between attack and defense gets very complex on higher levels of play.
  • What I did: I was heavily involved in developing the original vision for the game, as well as designing core gameplay systems and balancing the power-up abilities. After launch, I monitored player data and supported the game’s development through several update cycles.
  • Reception: rated 4.7 on App Store and 4.4 on Google Play; nominated as “Best Mobile Game” at Gamescom Awards 2018
  • Online: Website

Black Hole Vagabond

“Definitely better than most things on Steam today!” (a disillusioned gamer)

  • Genre: Arena Survival Rogue-lite
  • What makes it special: The game is all about movement. Thus the player’s only ability is to move around the arena. There are several special gadgets that have to be used in non-obvious indirect ways. For example, players can lure turrets into shooting enemies or trigger cascades of explosions.
  • What I did: I designed, programmed and published the game over the course of a few days in a personal game jam using the Unity game engine.
  • Online: itch.io

Travian Kingdoms

“The fact that you are working as a small link in a big chain will certainly appeal to many.” (Mikey Walker – BG Directory)

  • Genre: MMO Strategy
  • What makes it special: Dozens of players work as a team (i.e. “kingdom”) and plan their strategy over several months. There’s a hierarchy within teams with players taking roles such as king, duke or governor. More high-level positions focus on communication and planning while the majority of players provide resources and troops for the cause.
  • What I did: I joined the development during open beta when the game already had thousands of concurrent players. Over several iterations, I streamlined the game and designed features to improve accessibility and retention, such as achievements, daily quests and an in-game help system. I was also responsible for most of the design-related communication with players through forums and blog posts.
  • Online: Website

Auro

“In a way, Auro is like a statement: This is what video games could be.” (Samuel Ratchkramer – The Ludite)

  • Genre: Rogue-like Tactics
  • What makes it special: The game’s design revolves around a single core mechanism: “bumping”, i.e. pushing enemies back. Every verb in the game is tightly connected to this core. This makes the game immensely elegant since there is a lot of depth to the positioning given a fairly small number of rules.
  • What I did: I was one of the game’s leading testers. I closely collaborated with lead designer Keith Burgun to discuss gameplay ideas and balancing changes before and after release. His words: “Fabian’s contributions have been incredibly helpful to me and the teams I’ve worked with. His critical mind, understanding of game design and ability to work constructively with others make him a tremendous asset to any team.”
  • Reception: critically acclaimed (Metacritic: 91)
  • Online: Steam

Empire

“Empire is so tight it squeaks, and I suspect it’s the best game I’ve played this year.” (Owen Faraday – Pocket Tactics)

  • Genre: 4X Deck-Building
  • What makes it special: The game heavily streamlines the 4X formula and adds an element of dwindling resources. This means the player has to constantly be on the move and explore the world map for new opportunities. Combat is card-based and the main progression system is a deck-building metagame.
  • What I did: I was one of the game’s testers throughout its beta phase. My tasks involved finding and tracking bugs, as well as giving feedback on matters of gameplay, user experience, interface design and balancing.
  • Reception: critically acclaimed (Metacritic: 80)
  • Online: Website

Experimental Prototypes

Over the years, I designed and programmed various prototypes to explore gameplay concepts and bring specific aspects of game design theory to life. This proved invaluable in refining my design philosophy.

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