Be Water is a 3D platformer made in 9 months for the NYU Game Center by a team of 7.
I was responsible for direction, game design, level design, and 3D art.
At NYU, seniors work together or go at it alone to create one last game before graduation: a capstone project. For my team, that was Be Water.
But for me, Be Water was more than just another project for NYU—it was a personal game concept, one I had worked on for a couple years prior. And at the beginning of the semester, when I had the chance to pitch it to the team, I took it.
As you can see, the rest is history!
From the get-go we wanted the game to primarily take place on a kitchen countertop. We just needed to find the right inspiration.
After scouring listings on Zillow, the team really liked this elongated, U-shaped kitchen we kept seeing. It can be hard to tell with the perspective in-game, but from an aerial view the inspiration is pretty obvious!
Despite the look of the screenshots so far, we had actually planned for an entirely photorealistic direction early on! Heck, I even 3D modeled a whole kitchen sink in the style.
But while we all loved the look of our kitchen countertop, we still weren't sure how to translate the idea of "being water" into game mechanics.
It was one of the more unexplored aspects of my original concept, so a lot of my early ideation was spent exploring potential abilities for our playable droplet.
A personal favorite of mine was a more whimsical take on the concept, inspired by those sticky goo hand toys you often find at arcades.
Eventually, we decided to expand on the ability to turn into steam by including ice, creating a kind of state-changing mechanic.
Once gameplay started getting locked in, I refocused my attention to 3D modeling. As the only 3D artist on the team, it was my job to model each and every asset we needed—including the actual apartment itself!
Once assets were modeled in Maya, they were brought over to Unity and textured programmatically, creating the pastel apartmentscape you can explore in-game.