Monster Mode (Senior Thesis Project)

Monster Mode is a toys-to-life IOS platfomer game with an original storyline and custom graphics. The project is aimed at revitalizing children’s interest in physical toys by creating a method of play that unites both the physical and the digital. Physical action figures are able to interact with the fully playable mobile platformer game by unlocking content within the game when the action figure is physically placed on the “portal” device. The action figures have been 3D printed with fully designed packaging. The game and characters are part of an original narrative that is centered around a constantly reemerging theme that is familiar to most, while still remaining fascinating – monsters. The game features a mechanic that allows the human player to transform into various monsters they have unlocked, each with their own unique ability.

Orignal Storyline:
Three teenage friends, Zoey, Blair and Ethan, build a portal to explore alternate dimensions. Zoey accidentally crosses through the portal to the Dark Realm and is taken captive by the villain, an evil knight that was exiled to the Dark Realm during an ancient ritual. He needs Zoey to build him a portal so he can unleash his monstrous army upon our world. Ethan and Blair cross over to rescue Zoey but the portal malfunctions and exposes them to Dark Matter. This gives them special transformation abilities. They arrive in different areas of the Dark Realm but can communicate with Zoey via their smart watches so she can help them along their perilous journey.

Actual Gameplay Recording:

Controls & Features:

Game Characters:

Ethan Sprite Animations:

Ethan Monster Mode (Werewolf) Sprite Animations:

Bat Enemy Sprite Animations:

Slime Enemy Sprite Animations:

Coin Sprite Animations:

Healing Heart Sprite Animation:

Extra Life Skull Sprite Animation:

Dark Matter Energy Sprite Animation:

Checkpoint (On and Activated) Sprite Animation:


The other half of this project is toys-to-life. The concept is that the player can expand their monster collection by buying more action figures and if a monster action figure is placed onto the Portal Zone the player can press the transform button (See control diagram below) transform into the monster they have physically standing on the Portal Zone. The player’s character would become that monster and be able to use abilities unique to that specific monster for as long as their energy bar remains above zero. If the project expands other monsters characters are planned and will expand the transformation options.

The action figure is articulated at the arms, legs, and head. I designed the joints and modeled the entire figure in 3D modeling software; ZBrush for the look of the head, torso, hands, and sneakers. I used Rhino3D to model the joints and split the body parts to allow for articulation. The parts were 3D printed, sanded heavily and hand painted. The stand was modeled in Rhino3D and 3D printed, sanded and painted. The portal area was laser cut from acrylic plastic and the spiral was engraved into it. The caution striping was applied from custom designed and cut black and yellow vinyl. I added an AC power adapter and LED lights inside the Portal Zone for when it is active. The packaging below was printed and laser cut for the unique contour of the Werewolf characters outline and the hanger hook.

Front Packaging:

Back Packaging:

Thesis Show: