Florian Veltman


the Endless Express

It's a game based on a prototype I made with some friends for the 7dfps challenge in 2014, we decided that the world and the ideas we had for the project deserved to be expanded upon.
The scope of the project was quite large. I've done all the programming on the game, and was also doing everything related to the engine—making the shaders, building the levels, wiring the dialogue,…
I do consider my main activity in the project to be the game and level designer though, as that's the part I was most interested in.
The game is very content-heavy, most of the assets were one-off elements that don't appear anywhere else in the game, so that was quite a bit of work. I feel like the game is, on the development-side, very close to a point-and-click adventure game in structure.
The various people I worked with on this project is what gave me the energy to work on a project of this scope. Being able to brainstorm and think about the various aspects of the game with other people as passioned about the project as myself, was probably one of the most important factors in creating this experience.
The pause menu in the game, is a physical space appearing in fornt of the player when pressing the "pause" button. The pause menu is a very common part of games, having it be integrated in the game world, allows us to use this space that always travels with the player, be part of the story.
The absence of details at the horizon was a deliberate design decision: by doing so, the player knows where to focus its attention, the amount of assets we needed to create is significally decreased and the space feels less empty and emanates a "cosy", interior feeling despite being set outside.
Based on the feedback we've had, we plan to add more content and change certain train connexions, as the critical path is not obvious enough. This was on purpose, to incite the player to explore things, but we realised that the current version lacks foreshadowing that'd help you figure out where to go. People have told us that the game punishes the player for exploring, which was not the wanted reaction.
We plan on releasing the game during spring 2016, giving us time to add new content and adjust the game based on the feedback we've had.

Life is Short

a short interactive experience for a project by the NFB and ARTE, called interactive haikus. You can play the game over here, the game takes about a minute or two to complete.
Without spoiling the game and purely from a design perspective, I wanted to toy with what the player's learned by playing the game.
During the whole game you learn to do certain things, but at certain points I decided to subvert the player's expectations by changing the rules.
This very systemic change is, in my eyes, the way interactive media can tell a story. So I used this sort of mechanics switch to communicate a narrative switch, to have it have a greater impact.
Initially, I wanted the players to discover how to play the game purely by trying to interact with the game, that way I wouldn't need any text to explain anything. The game's pace as well as the audience of the TV networks incited me to change this, and tutorialize each micro-game. In the end this turned out to be an opportunity to give the player some breathing time.
At first I wanted the game to revert back to the previous scene whenever you'd lose, but this happened to be too punishing for the player. Instead, the game lets you try the micro-game over and over again, until you succeed. This had an added advantage of allowing me to discard the assets of the previous micro-games, saving on memory usage.
The intention was to have a more varied array of interactions for the player, but the various input possibilities and the amount of time I had, limited my iteration possibilities. One of the bigger lessons learned while working on this project was to prioritize gameplay programming to allow for more iteration on that front—because that's what the player interacts with most!


I wrote my graduate thesis on the topic of written storytelling in a multimedia context; that's why my graduate project was also about how to present narrative text on screens, without necessarily relying on the concept of pages. Instead, the text was linked to geographic points in the experience's world.
The main challenge in making the experience, was to make it as accessible as possible to people not used to digital devices. This was mainly due to the audience I had, which was comprised of book editors, illustrators and the likes.
The game was meant for tablets.
You hold the device up as if you were taking a picture, to look around, and press the screen to move along a set path. This appeared to be the most intuitive approach to have the non-initiated audience, to move and interact with the first person experience.
One skill I acquired during the development of this project, was to have the game teach the player how to actually play, without breaking the fourth wall too much—I also learned that if you haven't yet built a proper narrative and haven't pulled the player in too much yet, it's not much of an issue to actually break the fourth wall early on.
The story focuses on the experience of a patient that has been hypnotized to cure her recurring phantom pain. The project being a vessel for the ideas I proposed in my graduate thesis, I chose the topic of hypnosis as a metaphor of a narrative experience having a lasting impact on the subject.

The project was presented at the graduate exhibition of the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.
(more images coming soon)


Besides my degree work, I also made a few small projects with some illustrator friends from my class, when I was studying illustration.
I made this project called Safari with Alice Meteignier, which is about discovering and wandering through a strange internal world wrapped onto itself.
We wanted to basically concentrate on the act of wandering, which is something you don't really do in most forms of expression. So it was an exploration of all the weird things that are possible when having even a tiny bit of agency.
Besides that, the game was also an exercise in style, exploring new forms of image creation and working with someone who isn't used to producing game-ready things.
3D space being something new to the illustrator I collaborated with, we decided to treat each image differently, experimenting with various notions and properties of depth and space.


Besides my degree work, I also made a few small projects with some illustrator friends from my class, when I was studying illustration.
I made Faux-Pas with Maïté Grandjouan, which is about a premonition of a very mundane accident.
You can walk around and open these various doors, taking you to weird places that all kind of relate to the event at the end of the experience… There's a room with a bunch of fish on the floor and curtains as walls, which are elements seen at the end of the game; in another room there's this carpet that's liquid like water, which (p)recalls the accident, etcetera.
It's mainly an excercice in both style, narrative, and working with someone who's not used to a games-related pipeline.

a christmas greeting card

The first time I experimented with three.js was when I was studying illustration at the art school I went to, and a lot of people were making sort of season's greeting cards and images.
I decided it'd be interesting for me to make my own season's greetings card, so I thought of making this sort of diorama thing.
Since I was an illustration student, I was thinking a lot about sequential art like comics and the likes, so that probably influenced my choice of telling the complete story in one picture, while still having the various stages of a story being told—basically like a page out of a comic book.

The Dead Rest Beneath Us

Here's a game I made for the Ludum Dare game jam #29, where the topic was "beneath the surface". While brainstorming on this topic, I thought of when you're buried, you're basically beneath the surface. This got the ball rolling for me to think about death in games.
Usually death in games is just a minor penalty, you either get multiple lives anyway, or you just get set back a bit. Death is truly made to be a minor obstacle. Another thing that is related to this, is the fact that obstacles games must always be surmountable. You must always be able to overcome death and win the game.
So I decided to just run with this, even though I was a bit off-topic for the game jam.