Hey there! I’m Tom Hermans, and I’m a Game Designer that specializes in User Interfaces, User Experience, Puzzles, Narrative, Level Design & Game accessibility. My passion is to help make meaningful game experiences for a global audience. I also have knowledge about marketing, psychology, and programming. In my free time, I read books, take a walk, go swimming, or play games and write about them.
I just graduated, so I’m currently looking for work either in the Netherlands or remotely—please contact me if you’re interested. Thanks in advance! — Last updated: July 2019.
Half year development time — Unity
Team of 7 — Steam — Game Designer
Herald is an award-winning narrative game by Wispfire about colonialism in the 19th century, in which players experience an adventure with lots of dramatic twists aboard the HLV Herald.
I was in charge of setting up story scenes for Book 3 of Herald. By placing characters, camera positions, and props, then sequencing the dialog texts and animations with Wispfire’s in-house dialog editor, I helped implement the vision of the writer and animators into the game. I also worked a lot on QA, both reporting and fixing bugs, for which I was credited in Herald Patch 1.2.0.
Half year development time — Unity
Team of 4 — Steam — Game Designer
Winkeltje is a shopkeeping game by Sassybot, where players can customize their shop by placing furniture, items to sell, decorations, and planning the building layout.
I was responsible for coming up with new systems to support the long-term engagement of players, balancing, making content and implementing it with C#. I also helped with community management and QA. I’m also credited for the Dutch translation of Winkeltje, and helped set up a community translation process for other languages.
One year development time — Unreal Engine
Team of 35 — Steam — UX Designer
Arboreal is a year-long project to create a game in the vein of Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon—a laid back farming and adventure game.
I did market research, UX strategy, and UI and UX design for this project with Unreal’s GUI editor and Blueprints.
Two year development time — Game Maker Studio
Team of 3 — Windows & Browsers — Hobbyist Developer
Mobility! is the side project I’ve developed for two years. Born out of my love for precision platformers, my goal was allowing as many players as possible to enjoy the game! It was featured by itch.io, PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, and selected for INDIGO 2018. I kept a devlog with notes about new additions or changes made during development, which you can reference here.
Three weeks — HTML5/Puzzlescript
Solo project — Browser — Solo project
“How to make a puzzle game” is an article with playable examples (an ‘explorable’) for the Explorables Jam 2018.
I present a series of puzzle design guidelines that I use for my own games like Tahira’s Tower and Sokobanana, and provide playable examples, often a badly designed example and a good one. These allow the player to learn the subject matter better by seeing and experiencing different designs.
8 week development time — Custom Game Engine
Team of 16 — Windows target platform — UX Designer
Nebelkampf is a digital board game with hexagonal tiles, made with a custom engine. Fog of war mechanics only allow players to see the tiles their units are looking at—each unit has a different view range and other special abilities that can be used to gather information.
I helped playtesting the game, and made visual research, wireframes, and mockup animations to make the game as clear as possible, and this helped me to understand the basic of UX, and encouraged me to continue with the role on later projects. I also birthed the name “Nebelkampf”.
16 weeks — N/A — Solo project — Board game — Game Designer
Edge of the Sky is a board game I designed from scratch. Players explore a game world that’s constantly expanding on the lookout for elements, which give points when matched together. Edge of the Sky was released as print & play game on itch.io, and a single prototype version of finalized quality was made using the board game workshop. It was shown on the IGAD Showcase Day as a “Best of the Year” project.
I attended the Global Game Jam with two programmers and one artist. My goal was to just experience an on-site game jam, and to have a lot of fun making a game! The theme was Transmission, so we made an espionage game set during a war.
A 3D version of Sokoban, the classic box pushing game, resulting in a hard but fair ambient puzzle game. Sokoban has also inspired some of my other projects, like Picross Pushers, combining Picross and Sokoban, and Sokobanana, which adds a slipping mechanic to the mix.