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’m looking for an internship starting February 2019—let me know if you want to offer an interesting collaboration!
Half year development time — Unity
Team of 4 — Windows — 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, as well as balance and making content. I also helped with community management and QA.
One year development time — Unreal Engine
Team of 35 — Windows target platform — 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.
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, and Rock Paper Shotgun. 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, and provide playable examples, often a badly designed example and a good one. These allow the player to learn the subject matter better by trying everything out in advance.
8 week development time — Custom Game Engine
Team of 16 — Windows target platform — UX Designer
Nebelkampf is a digital board game with hexagonal tiles, since we had a special engine available for this type of game. 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”.
48 hour game jam — Unreal engine
Team of 4 — Game for Windows — Game Designer
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.
On Friday, we brainstormed the core game idea and set up the backlog. On Saturday, I made the system of the secret codes, made the game map & playtested the game idea. On Sunday we ran short in time, so I implemented audio into the project and help polish it up.
A 3D version of Sokoban, the classic box pushing game, designed as a very hard but fair, ambient puzzle game. Sokoban has also inspired other pieces of my work, like Picross Pushers, which combines Picross with Sokoban, and Sokobanana, which adds a slipping mechanic to the mix. The boxes in Tahira serve multiple purposes—you can push multiple boxes lined up next to each other, put them on top of each other, use them as stepping stones or staircases, and more. This way, I could create lots interesting puzzles & dynamics using just the boxes as a single mechanic.
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.
A prototype for an Unreal level. The theme I chose was that of an airship/zeppelin hangar, with the level being set on the roofs, the insides, and platforms connecting them all. While making this, I focused on level design and learning which geometry and pickup placement best supports Unreal Tournament gameplay.
A two-week game jam game with a team, with a custom mat with pressure plates as controller. The player plays a giant, and has to stomp villages with their feet. I helped create the design, then balance and test it.