My name is Jani Elojoki and this is my website. Here you can find information about me along with my portfolio and CV.
I am a Finnish game designer living in Belgium. I am currently employed as the lead game designer for two educational games made with Unity, "Magis - The Story of Rune Grove" and "Magis - The Magical Adventure" for MIELI Pohjanmaan mielenterveys. More information about the projects can be found in the Portfolio section.
I have previously worked as a game designer for the University of Jyväskylä, where we created a short visual novel game as part of a larger web course called Youth Compass (in Finnish); and as a localization test associate at Lionbridge Poland, testing games across all genres and scopes, including multiple AAA titles.
I have a bachelors degree in Business Information Systems, graduated from Tampere university of applied sciences (TAMK). I studied in the branch of game production and specialized in game, level, and narrative design.
I am extremely passionate about games and like to design, write and test them. I also enjoy level and sound design, mostly because these two things often go unnoticed even though they have a big impact on the player experience.
Outside of games, I am a very independent person and love nature and travelling. I have visited almost 20 different countries and have lived in Bruges, Belgium for a 6 month period for an exchange student program and Warsaw, Poland for 13 months for my previous position in LQA, and currently living in Antwerp, Belgium.
My skills include:
In this section you can find some in-depth descriptions of the projects I have participated in during my career, education as well as my free time. Clicking on the images will either open a larger version of the image or open a PDF document.
My focus is on game and narrative design but on this page you can also find some artwork I have done for prototyping different game projects.
This project, called "project well-being", consisted of development of two different games, Magis - The Magical Adventure, and Magis - The Story of Rune Grove. For the first, I joined during development to take over from the original game designer during their parental leave. My task was to add more game mechanics and puzzles to the already-existing base game, which was already nearly finalized in terms of world, story, and progression.
For the second, I was able to envision and create the game from scratch.
Each time, the game team consisted of a graphics artist, and a psychologist who wrote most of the dialogue. My role as game lead was to outline scope and ideas to the other team members as well as draw deadlines. Afterwards I would also do revision on the dialogues and describe ideas for more graphical assets to the graphics artist.
Below are most of my tasks during the project:
The two games are educational adventure games and they were designed to be used in school environments. Their aim is to help teach children skills that improve their ability to handle emotions and identify values in order to help them deal with inter-personal as well as personal problems in and outside of school.
More information about the games and project available at https://www.magis.fi/ and https://www.hyvaollakoulussa.fi/.
Magis - The Magical Adventure is a game for 4th - 6th graders where the player becomes a wizard apprentice in a magical game world and is faced with fun and interesting challenges. The game is available as standalone browser version, on App Store and on Google Play.
Magis - The Story of Rune Grove serves 1st - 3rd graders instead. Players uncover the events taking place in the magical worlds surrounding Rune Grove while helping the enchanted creatures that live there. The game is available as standalone browser version, on App Store and on Google Play.
In my free time, I have been developing an RPG using Unity. The goal has been to find ways to build systems myself, instead of relying on plug-ins for the sake of learning Unity and C# more in-depth.
At this stage I have finished designing the world, its history, factions, events and the story yet to unfold. In-engine I have completed the necessary system programming to facilitate playing the game, which includes everything from moving in the overworld to how combat progresses from both enemy and player sides.
The current phase of production is finalizing the story progression logic and adding in whiteboxed prototype scenes for the overworld navigation to be possible.
A playable prototype is available here, but please bear in mind that the game is still completely missing art assets at this point, excluding some placeholder art I've added to make things a bit clearer for debugging.
During this project I was in charge of creating a visual novel type game to be a part of a larger web course called Youth Compass (in Finnish)
The goal of the game was to offer a different type of medium for the web course, where the game's events and themes were reflected in the course itself.
The game story and plot was outlined and designed by the psychologists working on the web course, and art assets were created by the graphics artist. I implemented dialogue and art assets in Unity and wrote the code to have the game be playable.
I also created soundscapes for the game's environments by combining and editing different sounds and effects.
A key in this project was to optimize file size for the final product to keep the web course light-weight.
This game project was funded by the University of Jyväskylä and building the game sections took 5 months in total.
The game was designed to be split into sections; the sections are available to play here (in Finnish):
Below are some examples of the soundscapes I created and are used in the game:
Outdoors in a city near a moderately busy street.
Waiting for a train on an outdoor platform.
Small hostel room next to a busy town market.
Small seaside town boulevard.
Inside a restaurant.
In a nature park close to a waterfall.
Near a demonstration event outdoors.
Sitting by a fire in the forest in the evening.
During my internship at Meanfish Ltd, I worked on an educational mobile game. I focused on game design, progression design, creating backgrounds for characters, creating the game logic with an in-house editor program, and QA testing.
The goal of the game was to teach people with physical or mental impairments to live on their own. The game focuses on introducing safety measures and preparing the player for different kinds of risks and possible encounters one might face.
This game project was funded by the Aspa-foundation.
The game itself is no longer available, but here is a YouTube introduction video for the game (in Finnish).
Two example level layouts for the RPG that was designed for my bachelor's thesis. (Adobe Illustrator)
Early class icons for RPG classes.
3D model for a surveillance camera. (Blender)
Finished levels for a cartoony 2D medieval themed sidescrolling platformer game. (Adobe Photoshop)
Low poly 3D model of a hawk for a nature park project, textured. (Cinema 4D, MudBox)
Advert design for a made up Drone company. (Adobe Illustrator)
In this section you can find my thesis written in 2016. The abstracts can be found both in English and Finnish.
This thesis focused on designing the start to a game and tools that make that possible in the best way. The main goal was to design a guiding start to a game, also known as the tutorial. Instead of using prompts or windows on the screen that block the player's view, the goal was to teach the player how to play the game without using any things that take the player out of the game.
Instead, this was done with different kinds of hints such as using audio or the game environment and art that also add to the experience itself. The main problem was that all the design was theoretical and no actual playable game was made as that would have been out of the scope of this thesis so there was no way to test the systems that were designed.
Results of this thesis consist of design for the game's core which includes mechanics, art, audio, narrative and level design. The main focus was directed at level design because it would provide a sound basis for further design of the other elements.
The goals set in the beginning were met and the game's core was designed into a working system whose elements work together smoothly. This core is then easy to take further and expand upon to create a full game.
Key words: game design, tutorial, script, level design
Tämä opinnäytetyö keskittyi pelin alun suunnitteluun sekä työkaluihin, joilla sen toteuttaminen onnistui parhaiten. Tarkoituksena oli suunnitella pelille sujuva ja johdatteleva alku, eli tutoriaali. Sen sijaan että ruudulle ilmestyy ikkunoita jotka kertovat pelaajalle mitä tehdä, tarkoituksena oli opettaa pelaajalle, miten pelata ilman asioita, jotka katkovat pelitilannetta.
Tämä tehtiin erilaisten vihjeiden avulla, jotka koostuivat esimerkiksi äänistä, ympäristöstä tai grafiikasta. Näillä voitiin myös lisätä peliin sisältöä, samalla kun opetetaan pelaajaa etenemään. Isoin ongelma oli, että peliä ei pystytty tekemään pelattavaksi tai testattavaksi resurssien ja ajan riittämättömyyden vuoksi, niinpä peliä ei voitu testata.
Työn tuloksena saatiin pelin pääpiirteet, jotka koostuvat mekaniikoista, grafiikasta, äänistä, tarinasta sekä kenttäsuunnittelusta. Pääosin keskityttiin kenttäsuunnitteluun, koska siihen voitiin tukea muutkin osa-alueet, jotta saatiin pelin alusta toimivampi kokonaisuus.
Tavoitteet saavutettiin ja pelin alku saatiin suunniteltua ja kaikki osa-alueet toimivat yhdessä. Tästä voi jatkaa eteenpäin koko pelin työstämisessä. Pelin osa-alueita voi jatkaa helposti, koska päärakenteet ovat jo suunniteltu.
Avainsanat: pelisuunnittelu, tutoriaali, käsikirjoitus, kenttäsuunnittelu
In this section you can find my up-to-date CV as well as essential contact information.
LinkedIn: Jani Elojoki