Game Dev Portfolio – Fabian Fischer

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

Below you can find details on some of the games I worked on.

Click a category to expand it!

MAJOR PROJECTS

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 though, it retains the accessibility of modern card games. 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 tactical abilities to outsmart their opponent.
  • What I did: I envisioned and co-designed the game. Additionally, I was 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 (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 players take direct control of a car, the game is all about making use of tactical abilities, such as missiles, energy 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 power-up abilities. After launch, I monitored player data and supported the game’s development through several update cycles.
  • Reception: rated 4.5 on App Store and Google Play (6 months after launch); nominee for “Best Mobile Game” at Gamescom Awards 2018
  • Online: Website

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 common 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

GAME JAMS & SIDE PROJECTS

Lane Stormers

  • Genre: Real-time Card Game
  • What makes it special: The game is a more elaborate follow-up to the game jam project River Rogue. As such, it reflects further on the concept of diegetic timers in strategy games by combining continuous time with a discrete action space. While the game is highly accessible, there is considerable depth when it comes to evaluating the volatile game state and timing moves effectively.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game as a side project.
  • Online: itch.io

River Rogue

  • Genre: Real-time Roguelike
  • What makes it special: The game combines discrete, grid-based movement with a continuous, spatial timer. Players move upstream through a river, constantly pushed back by its flow. There is a stamina system making movement a highly limited resource. This means that players always have to think on their feet to find the most efficient path through the undead barrage.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

Black Hole Vagabond

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

  • Genre: Arena Rogue-lite
  • What makes it special: Players have no direct combat capabilities, but can only move through the randomly generated arena. Therefore, they have to make efficient use of a variety of gadgets to survive. For example, by luring monsters into explosions or a turret’s line of fire.
  • What I did: I designed and programmed the game in a personal game jam.
  • Online: itch.io

MISCELLANEOUS

Arkheim

  • Genre: MMO Strategy
  • What makes it special: It is a modern take on the “build and raid” formula that’s built around small teams (“realms”) and adds complex positional strategy into the mix. Allied and enemy armies are visibly moving around the map trying to advance their own borders, thus creating an intricate web of spatial decision-making.
  • What I did: I supported the game during its closed beta phase and heading into early (open) access as a game design advisor. I designed several meta-game features from the ground up.
  • Online: Website

Auro

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

  • Genre: Roguelike 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 streamlines the 4X formula and adds an element of diminishing resources. This means players have to constantly be on the move and explore the world map to find new resource deposits. 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.


If you’d like to know more or discuss potential collaborations, just contact me via email or Twitter or Facebook!

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