Indie game developer
Studies Game Design and Development (MA) at National Film and Television School
xuhe.games@gmail.com
My Games
 
What am I working on now?

Disconnected - Narrative Documentary Game

March 2019- Present

When we say autistic people have diffulties putting themselves in other people's shoes, have you ever put yourself into autistic people's shoes? Disconnected gives you the chance to do that.

 

Disconnected is my graduate project at NFTS. It is a narrative game telling the story of an autistic girl by various game mechanics, such as platformer game and puzzles. In the game, the player will also hear voices from real autistic people telling their own stories.

I'm the designer, coder and artist of this game, working with a composer and a sound designer. A 10 minutes demo will be finished this October and will be showcased at EGX 2019 in London.

Follow our Twitter to get updates about the game

Twitter_Social_Icon_Circle_Color.png
 
Indie Projects

I founded Grand Neuron Studios in November 2015, and created Memory Detective and Cat Bounce.  

Cat Bounce is a physics-based puzzle game. Use your wisdom to position wool and rubber balls and let them bounce the little cat back to her cozy cardboard box. It is in open beta now on ios App Store and Google Play.

This game is developed all by myself, including all the game Design, code and art (2D art). The main part of the game was developed from June 2016 to September 2017.

It was featured by Google Play Early Access, and selected by Indie Prize (Casual Connect Europe 2019) Finalist. I'm still polishing it based on the early access feedback. It will be formally released at the end of 2019.

July 2016 - Present

Cat Bounce - Physics Puzzles

Memory Detective - Brain Game 

Nov. 2015 - June 2016

This is a brain training game to challenge and train your memory and attention. You will need to focus your attention to remember the fun stuffs for short periods of time in order to pass tests that come later in the game. This game is based on working memory tasks widely used by scientists.

This is my first indie game. I worked with a programmer and a part-time artist. I designed all the game mechanics and levels (game deisgn), and created most of the graphics (2D art).

 

The mechanics of  this game  were inspired both by my previous research and some research from other scientists in working memory. 

  • 100,000+ downloads on Google Play

  • Google Play download ranks (Hong Kong) - puzzle (games) - Top 70

  • Google Play download ranks (Taiwan) - puzzle (games) - Top 100

NFTS  First-year Projects

I started the Game Design and Development MA course at National Film and Television School in Jan. 2018, and created five game demos in the first year.

Focus - an amazing arcade game

In Focus, the player controls the "focus dot" to collect four "targets".  If the player touches the "distraction", it will stick to the player and consume the player's health.

This is a solo project designed and developed all by myself, including game design, code, 2D art, and sound design. It took me one month to develop this game.

  

The idea of this game was inspired by the neural mechanism of working memory capacity. I designed the game mechanics to illustrate the limitation of our working memory and how we can make the full use of it.

 

"Xu has created an excellent, stand-out Code Camp project, which is undoubtedly one of the strongest seen so far on the course for the Code Camp module. "  "Its presentation, delivery and its understanding of the user has a professional flair to it."

-----  Alan Thorn (Unity Development & Design Tutor)

"Focus is one of the best games I’ve seen at the NFTS. It’s a charming game that not only plays well but is also brilliantly presented. "  "I like the stretchy glue effect when you get stuck to a distraction it looks and feels wonderful. "

                     ----- Ted Chaplin (Art Tutor)    

Focus was also selected by Indie Prize (Casual Connect Europe 2019) Finalist!

Battle or Bed - mind-control strategy game (mobile)

Battle or Bed is different from any kinds of strategy games you have played. You can’t drag your characters, you can’t set their specific behavior, but you change their personalities which will then affect their behavior. 

In the game, your goal is to let your villagers protect the village by attacking the enemies and being happy. You lose the game once the enemies destroyed the totem in the village or the happiness of the village go down to zero. Battle makes the villagers unhappy while sleep makes them happy!

This is also a solo project designed and developed all by myself, including game design, code, 2D & 3D art, and sound design. It took me 6 weeks to develop this game.​

Battle or Bed is a charming tower-defense game for mobile with a generally polished aesthetic and innovative game play twists, such as character customization at the level of psychology and personality traits.

-----  Alan Thorn (Unity Development & Design Tutor)

Although the characters are simple, their actions are varied and fun which helps tell them apart and builds a connection with the player. I want them to succeed.The UI emoticons are beautifully designed and the perfect choice for visually assigning character traits.

 ----- Ted Chaplin (Art Tutor)

Happy Land - VR narrative game

The story happens in "Happy Land" where everybody must be happy, while a boy who is detected by the system as being sad. The player acts as an officer who is given the task to “make” the boy happy. The player needs to make choices about what to say and what to do. All these choices will lead the story to different endings.

 

What I want to convey through this game is that evey emotion and memory have their meanings and are part of us as a human. There is no good or bad emotions or memories.

I designed the whole game (game design), did all the code of it, and modeled and animated the character, but also worked with a screen writer to develop the story, an artist to make some of the art assets, as well as a composer and two sound designers to create all the audios. It took one month to develop this game.

There are some dramatic and powerful choices to be made here, and there is a feeling, for me, that a social commentary is also being made.

-----  Alan Thorn (Unity Development & Design Tutor)

I’m impressed that you have created your character and keyframed animations. Although these assets are simple, they are still effective.

 ----- Ted Chaplin (Art Tutor)

 

With Happy Land, Xu managed to create an interestingly uneven experience - in my books, this is a very positive comment - that demonstrates her sensibilities and deadpan sense of humour.

----- Manos Agianniotakis( Game Design Tutor)

A Fake Story About Monsters  - platform puzzle game

This game is designed to break the borders of game genres and flip the traditional hero & monster stories on their head. It starts with a side-scrolling bullet-hell game, but actually the player can solve the hidden puzzles to "change the game".

I designed the game (game design)and did all the code of it, but also worked with a screen writer to develop the story, an artist to create the 3D models, a composer to create the music, and a sound designer to make the sound effects.  It took 6 weeks to develop this game.

Xu challenges traditional assumptions about game genres and boundaries, allowing gamers to change game type... These elements all hang together well to build an experience that is intriguing and still drops enough in-game hints to motivate the player forwards to exploring more of the level and game.

-----  Alan Thorn (Unity Development & Design Tutor)

The character design is excellent. I like the balance of shapes within the hero character.

 ----- Ted Chaplin (Art Tutor)

Scrap 3D first-person adventure game

In Scrap, the player explores different rooms in a  space station and collects a power cell from each room to deactivate the AI who is in control of the space station.

I made this game with five of my classmates. Each of us created one room. My room, as showed in the video, is the signal center of the space station. I designed and  modeled this room (level design, 3D art), with an interesting puzzle (game design and code) in it.  I am also responsible for the sound design of this game (working with a sound designer). We spent two months developing this game.

Full playthrough video of this game: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJbEgKEWDt0

"Although Xu’s room is the smallest space in the Space Station, I found it one of the most rewarding. The lighting is great. There is the right balance of tone to make all the form and details readable.

                               ----- Ted Chaplin (Art Tutor) 

             

"‘Scrap’ is unquestionably one of the strongest Hello World projects created on this course so far, both technically and artistically."     

-----  Alan Thorn (Unity Development & Design Tutor)

Projects in other studios

Top Football Manager

May 2014 - Nov. 2015

Top Football Manager is an online mobile football manager game. Players can create their teams, cultivate their players, bid on or scout for premier players, arrange tactics, and have real-time matches with others. 

I worked as lead game designer for that project for more than one year. I was responsible for the improvement and design of most of the functions (only except the match AI system), such as transfer market, training, and some social features.

  • Top 10 in Google Play’s Top Free Sports Games of 84 countries.

  • Featured on Google Play homepage (global)

  • Top 10 in App Store’s Top Free Sports Games of 140 countries (No.1 in 31 countries).

  • Featured on App Store category pages (global)

Achievements:

Game Jam Projects

Jelly Boys - platformer

The theme of this game jam is "Dualism". In Jelly Boys, the player controls two characters at the same time. For example, if the player press right arrow key, the two characters all move forward. The goal is that one character needs to die while the other needs to live.

 

I'm one of the two Level Designers of this game.

It was voted as the best game among all four groups.

My Publications:

1.  He X, Zhang W, Li C, Guo C (2015). Precision requirements do not affect the allocation of visual working memory capacity[J]. Brain research, 1602: 136-143. (SCI, Impact Factor 2.75)

2.  He X, Guo C (2013). Capacity and Resource Allocation of Visual Working Memory [J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 21: 1741-1748.

3.  Li C, He X, Wang Y, Hu Z, Guo C (2017). Visual Working Memory Capacity Can Be Increased by Training on Distractor Filtering Efficiency[J]. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 196. (SCI, Impact Factor 2.463)

4.  Li C, He X, Guo C (2015). The Storage Mechanism of Multi-feature Objects in Visual Working Memory[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 47(6): 734-745.

 

ABOUT ME

SCIENCE

DRAWING

ART

PSYCHOLOGY

EMOTION

BIOLOGY

GAMES

EXPRESS

EXPLORE

CODING

INDIE

STORY

I learned biology for my bachelor degree.

I learned psychology for my master degree. I did some research on psychology and published them.

I worked as a game designer in several game companies.

I became an indie developer.

I published my first indie game.

I learned coding by myself, and developed my first Unity game.

Now I am in NFTS studying how to make better games.

  • Twitter
 

© 2018 by Xu He