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Alchemist Compendium

Summer 2018

An open world Sandbox that rewards Creativity and Ingenuity.


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Take on the role of a wandering alchemist settling into a new laboratory and fulfilling the needs of your local town by completing orders. Your creativity and ingenuity will be key to discovering new and fascinating ways of completing these requests.
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Alchemist Image
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Alchemist Image

More about the Project

Release: 2018


Studio: Octopus 8


Platform: Windows + VR


Skill Focus: Peer-Programming, Technical and Level Design, Numerical Design


Engine and Tools: Unity 3D, Python, C# and Json


Team Size: 8 People


Time Spent on Project: 3 Months

Summary of Contribution

Working as Technical Designer and Peer-Programmer, Alchemists Compendium was developed and created using Unity 3D, exercising industry development methodologies such as Agile and Scrum whilst using GitHub to assist with peer-programming, working closely with the Lead Designer all the meanwhile, the end product contains more than meets the eye.

Throughout its development, and as more dynamic values arose, I managed to delve deep within numerical practices and dynamic dependent systems ranging from systematic weather and infinite numerical alchemical interactions, to algorithmic text generation, keeping up with the games many values and processes, updating the values of each item as they get crushed, burned, and combined by the player.


Each item within Alchemist's Compendium contains its own set of variables ranging from its Sulfur content to its Water concentration. These values then impact the item's tags, with certain alchemical processes taking away or adding to these values, which then dynamically impacts what tags remain or got added.
As an example, the Rose Seed has a Seed tag meaning it can be planted, upon being crushed and turned into a liquid, it loses the Seed tag. The player can then distil the crushed Rose Seed, removing its Perfume tag and combine it with an item containing Rotten or Desiccant, adding a Hallucinogenic tag instead. This allows for items to be distilled, filtered, and crushed dynamically, with each value determining its colour, state, and tags, all of which is then used to determine how these items affect the currently required alchemical specification. The players can also rely on the use of the Microscope to determine what tags each item contains, as well as a clear HUD on each process to show how the values of the items increases and decreases as the process goes on, with some taking far longer than others.
Ultimately, its about the player learning through trial and error, and all their achievements are documented on their alchemical book which they can check at any time.
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Likewise, as an idea evolves, so does Alchemists Compendium, re-iterating itself numerous times as entire systems and mechanics had to be scrapped and redone, eventually settling at an extensively optimised project functional for both VR and keyboard play, allowing for players to become immersed within this environment in numerous ways.

This project further exemplified my opinion on the importance of good prototyping with ideas changing numerous times through development, and challenges arising due to that factor, yet the more experience one attains in development, the better they can learn to handle these issues.

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© Mark Tadros