Parallel is a 3D third person action-puzzle game about a woman on a journey through the multiverse to save her family. The game is set in an undefined future laid out across the parallel dimensions of the multiverse: a blissful utopia and a bleak dystopia. The protagonist has the ability to instantly traverse between these dimensions at her will. This traversal mechanic is the essence of Parallel.

I served as level designer on this USC IMGD MFA thesis project. In this role, I helped the director of the game flesh out the list of mechanics available to the player to best suit the experience goal she set, one of fast paced movement and traversal based puzzle solving. I contributed to the level design process by creating rapid paper prototype layouts to test the different mechanics, and later implemented them via greyboxing in Unity, creating the shape and feel of the level using Unity’s probuilder feature.

Finally, I fleshed out and completed the design and look of the levels using the finished art assets.

This project posed a unique challenge as it require the design of “two levels in one”, layered on top of each other. One for the Utopian world, and one for the Dystopian world. Having to consider what the player can do and see in each dimension, and how to create a fluid and engaging environment in both, while promoting swapping between them for puzzles and exploration has helped me become a better designer.

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