Side Effects is a dark puzzle-adventure game inspired by Limbo and A Song for Viggo. Players take the role of a man who has been numbing himself with prescription medicine overuse for months. He has purposely tried to suppress a traumatic event. The player uncovers the mystery as the character descends into a psychosis and relives a hallucinatory version of the event. Puzzle progression reveals new bits of information about the event and the character’s role in it.
The character abilities are related to the imagined side effects brought on by the main character’s medicine. Pills have trade offs such as turning on colors but switching off sound. These abilities were used to solve puzzles. As the game progressed the player would gain more pills (abilities) as puzzles would increase difficulty.
The game was an exam assignment in the course Game Development and functioned as a vertical slice for a hypothetical marketable game. We finished the introductory level and first puzzle level, albeit in a early beta rather than a final version.
I worked on the story, character, puzzles and overall level design, and made a couple of textures. Below are a couple of my final one-page designs for level design and puzzles.