Hi, I'm Levi Stenton! I'm an Australian games development graduate from SAE Qantm where I studied to major in design while also specializing in writing for games, or more specifically, narrative design, quest design, and world building.
I'm an indie developer living in Brisbane and I've had the pleasure of working on a variety of different projects over the years, with the most notable found here in my portfolio. These include Good Morning, Seen, Tempus, and Arena of the Bored Kings. For all of these projects, I have been lead narrative/world designer, ensuring that they each deliver a rich story with a detailed world to emphasise and reinforce it, no matter the scale.
While the aforementioned fields are my specialization I have also spent a large amount of time with UI and UX design. The most notable examples of this in my works are Arena of the Bored King's spellbook-esque main menu, and Seen, my social media messenger clone inspired by Kyle Seeley's 'Emily is Away'.
For as long as I have been playing games I have always been fascinated by the way the world can inform the beholder, the way it can tell stories through so many different ways: narrative, environmental, and dialogue. I have always found it to be such a profound and powerful experience to bring what would start off as a simple idea to life, then build around it to form a deep and immersive picture. I'm extremely passionate about creating an emotionally evocative experience for people to be drawn into, something that will make them laugh and cry, hate and love.
My dream is to spend my life making the world a better place, to change it for the good. Through games, my favourite medium and hobby, I hope to achieve this by any means, whether small or large. I strive to make games that can make people appreciate the small and treasure the big, games that inspire those to see the beauty of life and teach compassion and humility. I have taken an enormous amount of inspiration from media like Dmitry Glukhovsky's 'Metro Series' and Andrzej Sapkowski's 'The Witcher Series' which entirely explore the themes of moral and ethical problems drawn from the modern day.
Want to get in touch? Contact me here!
Good Morning is a feeling-based game centred around the idea of home. On the original project I worked as the vision holder and one of the level designers for my Studio 2 module during my studies. But recently I have revisited this project and compeltely re-designed the core systems and overall user experience from the ground-up using my more recent set of skills, resulting in a much smoother and stable experience as opposed to the previous student project where I had far less expereience as a designer and programmer.
The core idea of the narrative (carrying out your morning routine) was entirely my responsibility, along with designing and creating the world around it. These features have still persisted to the latest re-visiting of the game.
The Living Room.
Seen is a story based game centered around the idea of an emotional event in our lives: rejection. I worked on this game as it's sole developer, being responsible for everything for my Studio 2 module during my studies at SAE Qantm. As the sole developer, my priorities were to evoke an emotional response from players through an experience that they would find relatable. The rest of the game was molded around that idea and familiar environments that could be related to it, i.e Facebook's browser messenger, a likely ground for communication.
The Social Media.
Tempus is a story-based walking sim based on the idea of making a game entirely set within one location without any bipedal characters. I worked on this game as vision holder and the lead level designer for my Studio 1 module during my studies at SAE Qantm. I designed the narrative progression along with writing and directing the script, while also, as vision holder, being entirely responsible for idea of the core loop and the intended experience.
Arena of the Bored Kings is a splitscreen arena game where both players face eachother in a duel. I worked on this game as the only and lead designer for my capstone project during my studies. My responsibilities were to concept, design, and implement the writing, UI, level, and menus.
The Character Selection.
Dealing & Taking Damage.
A collection of the cards I designed for the customhearthstone subreddit.
For this design I considered that, as a banshee, she would be capable of Psychic Scream, as per the Battle for Azeroth cinematic trailer. But she is also much, much more powerful than just that alone, with this version drawing the minions to your side, but at great sacrifice, as per the Forsaken way. This could be used as her tradition effect, stealing an enemy minion at the cost of one of your cards, while also being capable of clearing the board and leaving you with a nice 5/5 at the cost of a large portion of your deck.
Arena of the Bored Kings is a splitscreen arena game where both players face eachother in a duel. I worked on this game as the only and lead designer for my capstone project during my studies. My responsibilities were to concept, design, and implement the UI, level, and menus.
The Character Selection.
Dealing & Taking Damage.
“Have you ever wondered why darkness is eternal? An unending void of lightless space, that’s all it really is. But have you ever actually asked yourself why it is that the dark is what always goes on, not light?” Whispered Arthur to his companion, Isabelle, as they stared up towards the sparkling sky coloured in a deep velvet black. “A better question is: why was it that the darkness came first instead of the light.” Retorted Isabelle slyly and unmoved, confident she would outwit him at his own game. Arthur scooped her hand up into his and intertwined their fingers to form an unspoken bond that represented the beginning of a game of thought. She turned her head to meet his, their eyes locked and she gave his hand a confirming squeeze in response to say that she too was ready to let their dreams dance together. “Well first ask yourself, why was there nothing first instead of something? Who decided that nothing came before something instead of the other way around, hmm?” Arthur finally spoke, turning his head back up to the night sky and breaking the intense silence. There was another long moment of silence before Isabelle finally turned her head back to the great slate of spotted charcoal above. Before she set loose the words caught in her throat all that could be heard was the gentle breeze brushing through the thicket of wheat that surrounded the hill they lie on and the slow rustle of the dry maple leaves that effortlessly detach themselves from their former body and gracefully glide through the air to eventually settle around the two chittering minds below. “There’s always something, but there’s always nothing as well. They balance themselves out, wouldn’t you agree?” Isabelle finally let out, confusing Arthur with her blatant contradiction. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean, if there’s something, I’m not entirely sure nothing can exist since something must fill in the nothing’s emptiness?” Arthur responded with doubt in his voice, she had taken him by surprise. He believed his logic was sound, but Isabelle then put his doubts to rest with her next statement. “I see where you are coming from, my dear Arthur, but this brings us back to light and dark again. Light always overwrites darkness because darkness is just the absence of light as common knowledge tells us. So then we answer that with: nothingness is the absence of something. But obviously there is always something- we are something. We take up space, no matter how little in existence. Even in death we represent something. To quote Einstein: ‘Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.’ End quote. If you think about it we are technically immortal, our matter I mean, we’re always something.” That was finally the end of Isabelle’s train of thought. Of course she had more to say, but she was more curious to see how her dearest companion would reply first. “That makes plenty of sense, I see where you’re coming from. But no matter how you put it, nothing will always be somewhere. Not here of course, there will always be something around us at least because we are something, even beyond our passing. To use your quote that means no matter where we go in whatever form we will always mean something because we are made of something.” “Ha! So you do agree with me. Something and nothing coincide with a special equilibrium.” Isabelle quickly retorted with a spriteful attitude. “I think you misunderstand me, my dearest. What I’m getting at is that nothing can never truly exist to us. Something is always there. Space could be a whole lot of nothing, but not to us, literally speaking because we can’t actually see just nothing We can’t even be in nothing because, as I said, we are something” Arthur pondered for a moment realising that he still had more to say. Isabelle stayed quiet patiently and listened with intent, the way he thought captivated her. “In a broader sense though something is currently occupying the nothingness of the universe. Think of a vacuum for example, if it’s even a quarter full it’s not empty, we don’t class it to have nothing in it. I believe the same goes for space. There’s a bunch of giant floating rocks, balls of fire, and holes that suck in something to create nothing…” Arthur let out a long sigh and threw his head back abruptly the moment he finished the word. “What, did you realise that I’m right?” Isabelle giggled to herself. “Oh dear, no. I’ve just realised that we’re going to have to debate whether black holes make something into nothing, or follow Einstein’s rule.” Arthur reluctantly responded with a bit of bite. Isabelle turned her head to face his, his followed shortly after. He could clearly see a grin on her face, and she could clearly see that he was growing tired. Isabelle’s hysterical laughter finally broke the silence. “Hang on we haven’t even answered our first question! ‘Why was it that darkness came first instead of light’, remember?” Isabelle was clearly determined to outsmart him with her sound logic and sly quips. Arthur on the other hand was taking this far too seriously for his liking. His current expression almost made it seem like he was desperately scanning his mind for way to answer that, he almost felt as though his last few statements could have. Eventually he just opened his mouth and responded with whatever escaped, he was growing tired. “Light is something, darkness is nothing. Can nothing ever overpower something? Of course not, but on the contrary something needs nothing to be something. On a slight tangent that’s why I believe good and evil shouldn’t be represented by light and dark. Evil isn’t the absence of good, well, technically it is but that’s about the same as saying an apple is the absence of an orange. It’s true, but it’s also something else entirely-” Arthur drew in a deep breath preparing to continue. “-Evil is human nature, contorted and twisted, chaotic and malignant: it’s a disease. One that’s impossible to cure because there will always be some of it in us. Evil cannot be absent because evil is as much of something as good could ever be, easier to be fact. That’s why we find evil so enjoyable I believe, because it’s succumbing to our inner nature.” Arthur finally finished, inhaled deeply, and then let out a slight yawn. He squeezed her hand to draw her attention back in case she’d lost it to his endless flow of dark dilemmas. She quietly responded with another squeeze back to reassure him she was listening the whole time. “Alright Mr. Morbid, that’s enough of that. How about we save that for another evening, smarty-pants. You look like you’re about to fall asleep.” Teased Isabelle, trying to contain her devilish grin, she truly loved these games of thought. “I suppose you’re right. Do you think if we slept here we’ll be bitten by any bugs?” Arthur asked, obviously too lazy to get up. Isabelle curled her body over to his and laid her head on his heart, feeling the rhythmic beat of his life blood coagulating through his warm outer-shell. “I think you always find something to worry about.” Whispered Isabelle soothingly into Arthur’s chest. “There’s nothing out here but you and me.”
Brilliant red skies, the gentle breeze whistling in your ears. Your eyes flutter open, the harsh blinding light of the sun seems to penetrate into your very mind, filling it with only light. Light… You raise your hand to shield your eyes from the piercing beam, the light breeze tugs at it like a kitten to a ball of yarn. As your senses start to reawaken from your deep and empty slumber you begin to feel a comforting wave of water licking at the bottom half of your legs in the breeze. As strange as waking in this strange place may seem, it’s serene and tranquil. It is complete silence. At last your body activates and you feel a sharp pain in your back. As you attempt to sit up to quell the ambiguous pain you realise that you are on a beach, but sand replaced with stones and the smell of salt water replaced with a refreshing crisp aroma to the air which sends shivers down your back. Your vision fixates into the distance, realising that there are tall snowy mountains far into the horizon. As your curiosity hungers to know more, you indulge it and stand. The water laps at your bare feet, and the wind whispering your thoughts into your ear. “Where am I?”, the wind instinctively tells you subconsciously. As you pan across the horizon, you notice that the snowy mountains trap you in a stone prison, and the winds that still whisper in your ears bring you to the deduction that you are in a valley in autumn, verging on the edge to winter. After your surroundings sink in and you begin to gain your bearings you notice a small driftwood flask that’s made from three branches spiralling out and upwards spherically. The winds once again whisper in your ears. “It is yours, your are its. Expend the liquids of nature and life with this as the catalyst to your creation.” Without thinking you pick it up. As your fingers caress its rough design it seems to resonate with your very being, as if you had picked up your own beating heart. The winds die down and the water stands still. There is silence once more. WORK IN PROGRESS
Aryse extended his arm across the huge tome and pulled it’s ginormous chain-bound leather cover over to a randomly chosen page. Dust kicked up into the air, creating an almost opaque, choking screen before his eyes. He quickly rubbed the blinding substance from his glasses with one swift movement with his gilded handkerchief in hand. Once the dust had finally settled, it revealed the first page of the tome. The title had almost completely faded but from what Aryse could make out it had been written as: ‘The Darkbound: Djinnis and Djinns’. “At last I will have your heart, my dear Athessia. At last we will be together.” Aryse found himself saying. He immediately realised what words had just escaped him and quickly cleared his throat in hopes that he wouldn’t betray himself like that again. The darkness here, it listens to you. Tries to bargain with you- but it always gets the upper hand. Aryse nervously scanned his surroundings but all he saw were corroded old stone pillars and rotting oak bookshelves that held thousands of books in this enormous room. This Library was no ordinary library. He knew the stories were true, about the dark cultists and how they would kidnap women and children from their homes and sacrifice them to this malignant artefact he so eagerly sought to find, he would never dare ask himself why they did these vile things. His fingers trembled as they slowly caressed the page, his eyes desperately scanning each word to ensure he was reading the correct incantation. What price will I pay he wondered, what will my lover’s heart cost me. The sound of something hollow tumbled behind him, Aryse spun around without hesitation. He peered into the thick veil of darkness that smothered the aisle of bookshelves that marked the entrance to the symbolic square he stood in. To his surprise it was but a pile of dust-covered, bleached bones that became guilty of the noise. The skull that sat neatly at the top had slipped from it’s throne of bones and crashed against the cold, hard marble floor. He turned back to his duty. This was his right, he believed. He stared back at the monstrous book before him with trembling hands and watery eyes. He was ready, his whole body ached to have this terrifying encounter over and done with. He drew in a sharp breath through his nose and exhaled it through his mouth just as swiftly with quivering lips. He drew his dagger from its sheath that rested tightly against his hip, and before beginning the ritual, found himself admiring it’s features. A gold-plated handle that adorned rubies and sapphires throughout its grip to create a charming, but ergonomic hold. A large spherical pommel of onyx held by a snake’s jaw with emerald eyes gleamed up at him in the light of the candles that surrounded the site. A wickedly curved and serrated blade beckoned to be used with malicious intent. With the blade gripped tightly in his right hand he flipped his left to face him, and in one swift and practiced move he sliced diagonally, letting his life blood seep from the wound and drip onto the pages of the book. As the blood connected with the pages it immediately vaporized into a small stream of red mist. Aryse took no time to waste, he immediately began reading the incantation from the pages. His voiced echoed deeply throughout the hollow library and seemed to speak back to him with a voice that was no longer his own. Word by word, syllable by syllable he spoke without doubt or hesitation. His heart was true and because of this, once he finished the incantation, the runes inscribed upon the page began to glow a bright and magnificent red. “Speak.” A voice ordered him. It spoke with neither emotion nor intent, it simply commanded. Aryse cleared his throat and prepared to commune with a force that was unimaginably powerful and terrifying. The voice, although completely immaterial, seemed to see Aryse’s every move. He felt unseen eyes penetrating through his mind and peering into his very soul, scouring his very essence and reliving his entire life in a few brief seconds. Aryse knew he was unfolding before the immaterial being although he hadn’t even uttered a sound yet. His legs grew weary, his eyes flittered from fatigue, his entire body felt damp with cold sweat. He began to doubt himself, he began to doubt his cause. Aryse opened his mouth to speak but all that bellowed from his quivering body was a hesitant and brief exhale. The immaterial voice waited patiently, it read him, it knew what he wanted, it only waited to hear the words emerge from his brittle, inferior being. Aryse closed his eyes for a moment and collected his thoughts. In one brief burst of courage he spoke clearly and with a succinct goal. “I demand my wish be granted, O’ immense and divine force beyond my inferior comprehension.” The demon heeded the small man’s demands. It spoke not for what seemed forever. “And what would your wish be?” It finally commanded once again, yet this time with a softer voice. It felt warm and welcoming, almost friendly. Aryse thought that perhaps his flattery for the demon had won him some favour. This thought in combination with his burst of courage emboldened the feeble man, he spoke his demands as if he knew he would succeed. Aryse cleared his throat before he spoke. “I have a love for a dear maiden, for she is the most fair and beautiful the world shall ever hold witness to. Her tender skin, a blessing to touch. Her sun-kissed locks, ah, smell sweeter than the golden syrup from a maple tree. And her eyes, oh her eyes… The most rich shade of amber, as if she were born a true gem.” The formless voice waited patiently for the insignificant man to finish his meaningless ramblings, it had all the time in the world to spare. “She has become my wo- No, she is beyond my world. She is a heavenly soul forged from the astral energies of the cosmos. Her presence begs that even the gods weep in joy as she strides by mere men. WORK IN PROGRESS
Upon the black, bubbling, dying shore of the lake stood the silhouette of a proud man. But not a man of flesh and bone like you and I, but a man of cloak and dagger, shadow and secrecy. A sneering grin fixed along his cheeks and a furrowed his brow in contentment. A brief chuckle escapes his toxic maw as he rests grevious claws upon his hips and breathes his first breath of victore. He had won. I write to you, my sole and only ear to listen. My last, tattered paper and the only decent thing to write with as I scrambled through my pockets to find my now forever lost journal. As I am huddled in a small cove I can feel the eyes of something beyond, something truly terrifying peering through my eyes as I desperately seek a solution to my unsolvable problem. So here I sit, in a decrepit, foul smelling hole, with nothing but tattered clothes on my back and a broken will to progress. By the time this letter gets to you my fate will be beyond any mortal’s hands. Do what you must to ensure the lake’s venom never reaches beyond the valley’s mountainous bones. I will tell you how it all began; in hopes that whatever information I provide here will be of any use to containing this nightmare, or even stopping it all together. My name is Devin Treesight and I am, as my last name might suggest, a florist. I study the trees in this valley because they are something different. The local travellers and wayfarers nicknamed this place the ‘Eye of Ire’, taking the phrase ‘the eye of the storm’ and applying it to a static geographical position. This is due to the surrounding land outside the Eye being extremely dangerous. Most travellers that make it into the Eye (if they even do) stay for quite some time in fear that they may never make it back, or even home. You may wonder why I, a florist and not an explorer, have found myself within the calm of the storm. The flora within this valley is the most remarkable within the entirety of the known world. My book, alas now to never be completed, was a study on the life here and how it’s remarkable properties could cure many of mankind’s diseases. But now this sacred and tranquil sanctuary is tainted with black magic and a necrotic hatred has consumed it’s waters and soon to be it’s wildlife. I have managed to procure a variety of the wildlife. No fauna unfortunately, but that is not within my experience and I fear shoving small ‘sacred’ rodents into a bag of useful herbs and flowers will do more harm than good. If my body is never found I can only hope that this letter and my satchel are. I will be tying a few bright orange leaves when I know I am truly safe and store the satchel somewhere unwanted hands cannot reach it, but still see it. For all I know I am the only hope this land has. But now that I have gotten that out of the way I will continue with my recollection of events leading back to when this atrocity begun. Being a florist, I was studying the flora here. At the time I was inspecting the response of the local insects to a specific medicinal plant that seems, through a trial of examination, to regenerate the lost limbs of the insects that consume it. Remarkably I noticed the Nectum-Beetle regenerate it’s lost antenni within under the span of five minutes. This is REMARKABLE news. I hypothesise that this could be because the plant, when ingested, reignites the structural blueprints of the body and redirects all nutritional intake towards rebuilding the lost appendage. This will not only come as life-changing news to amputees, but repair their lost appendages in under a week! If only I could live to see the look on their faces when they wake up with the hands they thought they’d never have again. Forgive me, I have side-tracked myself a second time. I am writing what comes to mind as the most important details of my expedition. But yes, there are specimens of the plant mentioned before, which I have named ‘Nectum-Nutrius Treesight’, after the beetle that assisted my discovery. After witnessing this wonderous discovery I noticed a man waking up on the beach of the lake. At first I assumed it was just a tourist celebrating the success of this journey here. But after closer inspection due to my intrigue, I noticed the man was completely naked and unconscious. My first instinct was to help the poor man, but the moment I went to stand my target had awoken. To my surprise he looked lost. But to my greater surprise I noticed he was gripping a strange root in his right hand WORK IN PROGRESS