Medusa sketchbook. Jacob Gamm MA Digital Games: Design & Theory Brunel university. Mixed Media collage
jacob gamm Games Design sketchbook. Medusa the Gorgon with her Copper wings and Brazen claws. brunel University MA Digital Games: Design & Theory

The Terrible

MA Digital Games: Design & Theory

Dissertation Grade A.

Playing as the newly turned Gorgon (translates as Terrible) Medusa you must come to terms with your new identity and rob Athena of the death she has planned for you. Returning to more classical Mythology Medusa boasts copper wings and Brazen claws, a theme throughout the game.


A stealth horror game; the nature of the first person perspective and cones of sight are flipped when anyone who looks onto your face is turned to stone.


You are the monster and if you kill too many innocents you loose, their names and background displayed to you before you can continue. "You have killed Aglea, mother of two."

Aided by the Three Fates and other female figures, Medusa must collect the items that would later be used by Perseus to kill her, robing Athena of her story.







Early Design

Having previously written my Falmouth dissertation on "The Effect of Postmodernism on the Depiction of Monsters" it become a pivotal design point that I wanted to produce an old style Medusa. Tusks, copper wing, brazen claws, the whole works. Not only this but I wanted to make sure the other mythological figures were closer to true mythology.


Jacob Gamm Sketchbook drawing Medusa the Gorgon. Terrible Games Design Masters Brunel University
Medua the Gorgon Sketchbook Jacob Gamm Concept Art. MA Digital Games: Design and Theory Brunel University. Mixed Media. Mythology
Killing Leads to Failure...

As well as returning to a more classical depiction of Gorgons and other mythological features I also wanted to shift some of the conventions of games design. The first one which game out of my explanation of Medusa as a character was the idea that killing would be the fail condition for the game. otherwise include have an ugly female protagonist, beautiful sexy male 'Heroes' who will try to kill you and being able to kill children).


Imagine the horror you  would feel if your body was transformed into a hideous parody of your past self, such that anyone, your loved ones or strangers, look upon you, they died, faces frozen in terror. Highly focused on atmosphere I used my studies into Procedural Rhetoric in order to try and convey this feeling, as well as making references to Marry Shelies Frankenstein, which had always left me feeling pity for the monster.

The player does not fail when they die, rather when they have killed three people in a single level. Descriptions of those they have killed are displayed for them, unique to every NPC. They must then use the scissors of the three fates to symbolically cut their threads in order to re start at the last checkpoint.

Medusa Weeps. Terrible MA Digital Games: Design and Theory Dissertation painting by Jacob Gamm. Fail Screen.
Games Design Document

Bellow are examples taken directly from the games design document where my artistic abilities aided in communicating ideas and concepts for the game that could not have been executed with the software available, but would be implemented if it came to generating a full game.

The Storyboard bellow follows the players perspective of Medusa after she has fled from the city following the harrowing night of being both rapped by Posiden and then punished for it by Athena within her own temple.


Jacob Gamm MA Digital Games: Design & Theory Storyboard
Jacob Gamm MA Digital Games: Design & Theory Storyboard
Jacob gamm games design document extract. Thumnails from Medusa the Terrible. Stealth and Flight

One problem that I especially struggled with was the Gorgons wings. I could not give the player wings yet not allow them to fly, yet the very nature of flight is empowerment. In games like 'Dishonored,' which I drew on heavily, the Blink effect is one most often used and enjoyed by players.

Eventually the answer game again from the nature of the character herself. Her wings are made from copper and anyone looking up at the moment of flgith would be killed. I implanted a system where flight would generate a massive large amount of noise, and would require the player eyes to be covered, turning someone that could have been empowering, into a risk/reward decision that should make the player nervous to use.

jacob Gamm Terrible Games design document. Athena and Medusa thumbnail
Jacob gamm Terrible games design document. Athenas Shield as used by Medusa
jacob gamm thumnail sketch. Medusa chases Hermes across the rooftops
Ludic Sketch

Creating a Ludic Sketch in ClickTeamFusion 2 was quite a challenge, though it isn't true programing it was very difficult for an insinuative thinker like myself but I believe I created a Ludic Sketch that was sufficient when combined with my Games Design Document to express the mood of The Terrible.

Unfortunately due to the restrictions CTF2's in creating the style of game that I wanted the demo is not in a playable state. Below are some screenshots taken for the tutorial section.