DYLAN NELKIN
makes games!

Digital Games

Zenith Junction

Zenith Junciton is a digital deck-building RPG where players use tiny sets of cards to defeat massive foes.

Zenith Junction was my MFA thesis at the NYU Game Center, and was co-developed with Palmmy Sivarapornsakul, who came on halfway through development and redesigned the UI.

During the development of Zenith Junction, I had to not only design the card game itself, but transpose the tabletop design to a digital implementation. The difficulty of creating a digital card game can't be overstated, as it required creating systems that were scalable and flexible, so the design space could stay open for new cards. It also required a ton of testing to make sure players could make it feel as natural as playing tabletop. I also developed all the 3D assets, and delved into shaders and technical art to give us the 2D-meets-3D look we were looking for.

ZJ was also a 2020 Indiecade finalist!

Follow our progress and check out our demo here!

Knockdown TV

Made as an MFA studio project, Knock Down TV is a simplified fighting game about performance, combat sports, and televised fighting.

Our goal was to create a fighting game that is simple but still exciting, and still has the essence of competition that other complex fighting games have captured.

This was developed with four others over the course of a semester. I acted as co-lead programmer, and my contributions included the game's state machine, the loading and game management, technical art, and some art assets.

Download it here!

Midnight Market

Midnight Market is a narrative puzzle/bartending game set in a ghibli-inspired storefront.

This was developed in a four-person team as a final project in a Narrative Game Studio course over the course of roughly two months.

I acted as sole programmer for this project, which had me create an Ink parser for Unity, develop a puzzle-like crafting system, and incorporate assets into the project. I also contributed significantly as a writer.

Download it here!


AstroSprint

A six-week project made for an undergraduate course on casual games, AstroSprint is a continuous runner game about planetary exploration. In AstroSprint, rather than an endless runner, we aimed to make an enclosed runner, made interesting using gravity!

AstroSprint made with HTML5 and the Phaser HTML5 Game Framework.

I worked on the level loading system, the art assets, optimized it for mobile, made a large number of levels, and played other minor support roles.

Play it here! (It's great on mobile!)

Visit the GitHub Page


Tabletop Games

Buyout!

Buyout! is a board game about building skyscrapers and urban development. Buyout! was produced as the final project in a graduate game design course.

I was one of three designers of Buyout!, one of my main responsibilities was finalizing the rules copy.
You can read the rules here!

Jailbreak!!

Jailbreak is a card game where 3 prisoners are pitted against 1 warden. The Prisoners must collect the necessary resources to break out of jail, by any means possible.

This was part of a 3-week sprint in an undergraduate game design course. On this project, I produced the art assets and designed the majority of the action cards.

  • Card Mockups

Dude, Last Night

Dude Last night is a storytelling card game with a raunchy and wild twist. Players must use their storytelling abilities and cards they draw to get to the end of the story in whatever crazy, bacchanalian way possible.

For this project, I acted as art director and as one of four card designers. This was the final project of an undergraduate game design course.

Robo Draft

Robo Draft (working title) is an in-progress drafting card game based around invention, creativity, and skill. It is made for quick, competitive games with large groups of gamers.

This is a solo project, currently in the early stages of development.

You can read the current design document here.

Prototypes

All of these games were made solo in a week or less! They may not be perfect yet, but they're neat!

CORN

An idle game all about making corn.

You can play it here!


Mushroom Hunting

This prototype is essentially a "superstition generator." To find mushrooms, players either have to press a random key, click the screen, or use their voice. The problem is, the method of input changes every few mushrooms, forcing players to find a new "superstiton" that works.

You can download it here!


Xs and Os

This is a prototype of a style of digital essay. Something like a walking sim, but with more rhetoric. The prompt was "make something that's definitely done" and this was my answer.

You can download it here!


A Long Drive Under a Low Moon

The goal for this project was to make a game about "anticlimax." So, I wanted to capture the feeling of uneasy buildup one feels while driving down a long country road at night. The result is an "endless driver" where you can listen to some music and drive on a procedural road... forever.

You can play it here!


The Raid

Made as a final project for an undergraduate course focused around server-side architecture, The Raid is a multi-user game where players all must work together to defeat a huge boss. The Raid is designed to be a spin on a "clicker" game, where instead of being a solitary action, players have to work together to amass clicks.

The Raid is a solo project written with node js and utilizes websockets, mongoDB, and redis. The client for the raid uses Jade templates and the Phaser HTML5 game library.

Play it here!

Visit the GitHub Page


Waifu Quest

Waifu Quest is a mashup between a Dating sim and a classic turn based JRPG.You might walk around getting into battles with monsters, but instead of clashing swords, you've got to woo the monster away!

Waifu Quest was created in the Unity Engine in a 3-week sprint project.

In this project, I worked on the battle mechanics, the state machine, and produced most of the art assets.

Visit the GitHub Page