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Vertical Slice is a single player, meta-narrative experience designed to tell the stories of small-team game development to an outside audience. The story follows a group of developers attempting to create their first game, called Agency, and each level of Vertical Slice represents a single stage in the development of that game. The player experiences this progression through the eyes of Grace, a new producer assigned to the team, exploring and evaluating the current state of Agency, and the team itself.
As Grace negotiates the team and the project, the player experiences the design process of a game — from grey boxes and loose ideas to a mostly-finished product with refined character control, abilities, and level design. Ultimately, the narrative centers on the looming vertical slice deadline, and the difficult decision that Grace must make: pass the project in an extremely fragile state, or cut it before the team completely falls apart.
Completed March 2021.
- Quinn Barker-Plummer (Creative Director, Narrative Lead)
- Hanae El Mansouri (Producer, Playtest Lead, Level Designer)
- Jason Tsai (Technical Director, Level Designer, UI Designer)
- Aixing Chen (Art Director, Environment Artist)
- Dongbo (Bob) Liu (3D Artist)
- Ernes Railey (Lighting Artist, Animator)
- Samantha Westelman (Narrative Designer)
- Carter Yang (Gameplay Programmer)