My name is Tanja and I studied Media Science at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. I am Co-Founder of NightinGames UG (haftungsbeschränkt), our small independent game studio with focus on core videogames. There, I am working as Creative Director with focus on Game- and Level Design. Before, I studied Biology at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. If you are interested in my work, feel free to contact me! Here’s my Resume and CV.
I maintain the Game Design Documents and I am responsible for the storytelling in our games. I enjoy writing dialogues, notes and the overall narrative. I also worked for the daily newspaper in Werne and Tübingen.
Game Jam’s teached me to work with different people to create enjoyable prototype ideas. I coordinate the team and I can make unpleasant and difficult decisions. For me, being a good game designer also means listening to criticism.
I am working with Unity and C# since 2018. I know that I lack varieties of programming languages and other engines. However, I decided to evolve a decent insight in one thing, before I understand little of each. My love and hate for Unity are eternal.
I am improving my Level Design skills by creating different scenes in Unity. There, I embed puzzle ideas, art and code. I always try to achieve something new and I think it is very instructive to watch Let’s Plays to analyse the strategies of games.
I can create decent 3D assets with clean meshes in Maya LT. My strength lies in 2D art since I’ve had more practice there. I use a simple and sufficient Wacom Intuos Tablet. However, I prefer doing my sketches with pen and paper.
Agile Project Management
I work with SCRUM and host my projects on GitLab. We use a structured and iterative ticket system as well as Notion to secure game information condensed in one place. Currently, I use gitKraken Pro. I tried out Sourcetree and Fork, too.
Game Projects // 2022
The Cow Game is an upcoming 3D mystery adventure and exploration game. It will be published in August 2022 on Steam. The prototype was made during the 48h Franken Game Jam 2020. You play a caring mother cow, who is following her calf deep into the woods. You can call for your little one and it will answer you. Can you find your child and bring it back to safety?
The Cow Game is going to be NightinGames first commercial released title on Steam. We worked on it while studying Media Science in Bayreuth and working on part-time jobs. Therefore, it took us awhile to get the game to this point. I used Unity 3D, Clip Studio Paint Pro, gitKraken, gitLab and Notion for this project. My tasks were Game- and Level Design. My key task is designing the open world with different areas. I worked, for example, with the Terrain Tool in Unity to place our custom and self-made assets to create different environments. I am responsible for the Game Design with its documents and the overall organisation. I did some placeholder sprites for the game UI.
Game Projects // 2021
EmpathyX is a serious 2D Point and Click Adventure by SenAm Games for the Karl Schlecht Stiftung about empathy in leadership positions. Empathy is a core competence for good leadership but it has many facets. Although empathy is an important skill in communicative networking, the ability of many managers to empathize is currently decreasing. How can leadership in a crisis still succeed through empathy? And how can empathy be strengthened as a leadership skill for the future? In spring and summer 2021, six teams from the participating institutes developed different game concepts to illuminate empathy from all sides and make it understandable in a playful way.
The game is a playable prototype. I helped SenAm Games six weeks with the Game Design, Narration and Sound Design. Therefore, I used Godot, Codecks and Inkle for the first time. I shortened the texts in Inkle and implemented all sounds in Godot.
Fading is a 3D walking simulator and exploration game taking place in a single room. The game is about a girl who has lost her family in a fire and moved to her only relatives in Germany to begin a new life. Despite all the support of her new family, she cannot let go of her past.
Fading was a small university project for a course and our first fully finished game as NightinGames. I used gitKraken, gitLab, Presonus Studio One, Notion, Unity 3D, Autodesk Maya LT and Clip Studio Paint Pro for this project. My tasks were Game- & Level Design, additional 2D & 3D Art and Narration. My key task was designing a cliché girl’s room so that the collectables could stick out. I build the room in Unity and created the structures (floor, walls, windows and door) and some other assets (radiator, desk, chandelier). For the first time, I worked with the Terrain Tool in Unity to create with assets from the Asset Store an environment. I made some 2D sprites (credit- and family pictures). Together with our main programmer, I created the Main Menu with animations and did the Post Pro as well as some small coding tasks. I wrote the story and the voice lines and edited them in Presonus Studio One. Last but not least, I organised the play tests and the polishing phase as well as the ticket system in Notion.
Free Speech is a game prototype about the freedom of speech. There are many different opinions on the Internet. What is freedom of speech and should some statements get deleted? The player decides by swiping quotes. In the end, the statistics can be compared with other players worldwide.
I used gitKraken, gitLab, Unity 2D, FireBase and Google App Store. My tasks were research, translations and additional programming. My key tasks were the establishment of the database in FireBase and the connection to Unity 2D. I translated non-english quotations to English and searched for appropriate sources for our game.
Untold Stories of Little Glade is a farming simulator with a dark side to it. You can live your best farm life while planting flowers, talking to people, harvest crops or sell some drugs. You decide! The game is made by Sad Dinosaur Noises.
I assisted the Leading Artist with 2D sprites. Following, there are some sprites I created for the game. My main task was environmental 2D art.
Game Prototypes & Concepts
City without Light (2020)
Software: Unity 2D, Clip Studio Paint Pro
Tasks: Game- & Level Design, additional UI Design & 2D Art
Aiko is a young and ambitious assassin who wants to prove her father that she is ready to become the next head of the family.
Heart of the Machine (2020)
Software: Unity 3D, Autodesk Maya LT, Clip Studio Paint Pro
Tasks: Game- & Level Design, 3D Art, Narration, UI Design
Heart of the Machine was made during the 48h Mini Beans Jam. You play a mechanic in a steampunk working space and your goal is to maintain the engines.
Before Winter Falls (2019)
Software: Unity 3D
Tasks: Game- & Level Design, Sound Design, Programming
This game was made during the 48 h Global Game Jam („Home“). The small hedgehog cannot return to his cozy home. Instead the spiny mammal must build a new one with all his strength. You can help him!
Wrong Hatch (2018)
Software: Unity 2D
Tasks: Game- & Level Design, Programming
This game was made during the 48 h Game Jam at the University of Bayreuth. It was a test project for our bigger Point-and-Click Adventure City without Light.
Blackwood Station (2018)
Software: Autodesk Maya
Task: Additonal Art, Sound Design and Narration
The game was made during the 48 h Global Game Jam and it was my first participation in a game project. At that time, I had no experience with modeling or game development.
Commissional 2D Work