Jonathan Persson

Game Design Portfolio

Hi! My name is Jonathan, and I’m a third-year game design student at Uppsala University. I’ve previously studied for three years at a high school game design program and have worked as a game designer on the card game The Bazaar. In addition to projects made during university, I’ve taken online programming courses and constantly work on personal projects.

  • The Bazaar
  • Responsibilities
  • Learnings

Remote work on streamer and esports team owner Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk's strategy/card game "The Bazaar". You build your strategy throughout each game which makes every game a new experience. While a competitive game, The Bazaar aims to reach a broad audience with simple, yet deep design.

Project Type: Professional (small team)
Strategy/Card Game, Deck-builder
Duration: 9 months (ongoing project)
Engine: Unity
Platform: PC & Mobile

Joining the small development team, my role was to help with all aspects of design. I mostly worked on what I and the other developers felt would contribute most to the project at the time. Partly due to time zones, I worked individually and brought materials to meetings for discussion.

  • Overall had my hands on everything design and some UX/UI
  • Figuring out design guidelines and goals (target audience, complexity, amount of player interaction, etc.)
  • Balancing design space and simplistic design
  • Figuring out possible card mechanics within current systems
  • Class archetypes and their card types/synergies

As my first game design job, I naturally learned a lot about the process of making a game as a team and specifically working with other game designers. Here are some of the learnings/realizations I had:

  • The high importance of being concise and clear when suggesting changes/mechanics
  • Importance of having a common project vision and goals when making design decisions
  • The value of studying other games, especially within the same genre or type
  • Ortus
  • Responsibilities
  • Learnings

Ortus is a second-year student project developed over two months in Unity. Solve 3D environment puzzles utilizing your boat and its remote control. Explore a water-filled cave system on a distant planet.

Project Type: Student Project (9 team members)
3D Puzzle, Adventure
Duration: ~8 weeks
Engine: Unity
Platform: PC

With the help of the whole team, I was responsible for the game's design and project management. My primary focus was on prototyping puzzles on paper and then building the levels in-engine.

  • Environment puzzle design
  • In-engine level building
  • Sound design and implementation
  • Project management

I wanted to ease the player into the game mechanics and puzzle style similar to what you do in smaller puzzle games with lots of puzzles. The biggest problem encountered during development was that we could only fit a few puzzles with the style and development time we had. This 

  • Value of bite-sized learning 
  • Balancing puzzle difficulty for a wide audience is tricky
  • A variety of Unity features and plugins that I hadn't used before
  • The Stump
  • Responsibilities
  • Learnings

The Stump is an arcade game with three unique competitive mini-games played with up to 4 players. This student project was made during my first year at university during an arcade course. Play as woodpeckers catching insects, racing/eating larvae, or forest mice storing food.

Project Type: University Project (6 team members)
 Arcade, Party Games
Duration: 10 weeks
Engine: Unity
Platform: PC (designed for homemade arcade)

I pitched this project to my previous group after bouncing ideas with some friends and family. As the "producer", I mostly worked with what I felt necessary, or interesting at the time.

  • Thematic and gameplay concept
  • Project management
  • Environment art (took and edited photos)
  • Unity scene management & art implementation
  • C# scripting for minor systems and details
  • Quality assurance
  • Sound design

The Stump was the first project worked on full time during University. Therefore, I'd say it mostly was learnings of bringing games to finished states. Here are some other learnings:

  • Assume implementations won't work perfectly, allow time to adjust and make changes
  • Plan more time for polishing
  • Personal Project
  • Responsibilities
  • Learnings

My first digital solo project was made during the summer break after my first year at University. It's a simplistic puzzle game where you merge water droplets onto a specific spot in x amount of moves. Merging droplets change their size which affects their movement patterns. The project was mainly to practice my Unity development skills but also got to practice some design. 

Project Type: Personal Project
Duration: Some work during summer break
Engine: Unity
Platform: Mobile

I worked on this project fully on my own and only used assets made or taken by myself. Here are the areas I spent the most time on:

  • Paper prototyping
  • Working inputs for both mobile and PC
  • Environment art
  • Shaders & "procedural animation"

Unity Development
As intended, this project taught me a lot about the process of making a game from scratch. I've been making games in Unity for quite some time, but I've never been programming the major parts, especially alone.

Personal preferences
Doing the project myself, I learned a lot about what I enjoy doing when making a game. Design is a no-brainer, but I surprisingly enjoyed programming a lot. I also love art and making stuff look good, but I've known for a while now that it's not something I'd like to focus too much time on.

Time management
I spent way too much time on things I thought were cool but time-consuming. In this case, I tried to make a blooming animation for the flower. This was much harder than I'd hoped and should've been cut earlier.