About Planet X

Planet X has been recruiting for more student members! Learn about what they do below and see images of the game. You can also join the WeChat group and be up-to-date on the latest news by scanning the QR code on the bottom of the page.

Planet X was initiated by Nathan (Cao, 2022) and sponsored by Humanities Research Center as part of PETAL Lab in 2018. It remained to be only an idea and theory until 2019 when Nathan expanded the group. Skylar (Hu, 2023), Eric (Qu, 2023), Leiyuan (Tian, 2023), Audrey (Liu, 2023), and Nathan, formed the first development team. From 2019 to 2021, the team continued working on the conceptualization of the game, and successfully established the game world, including numerical systems, gameplay mechanisms, and artistic styles.

In the summer of 2021, the team worked on Planet X as an SRS project and made huge progress. The team participated in China University Students Game Development Summer Camp, not only learning developing tools and accumulated experience, but won first prize at the summer camp. 

In the fall of 2021, Skylar took over and became the team leader when Nathan graduated from DKU. Qirui (Zhao, 2025), Xulei (Huang, 2025), Lining (Yang, 2024), Steve (Xue, 2024), and Cedric (Zhu, 2023) joined the team. From then on, Planet X witnessed more progress in content and programming. 

In the fall of 2022, the team shifted again as Lining and Cedric left, while Kelvin joined. The core members were limited to Skylar as the team leader, Leiyuan as the artist, Kelvin as the programmer, and Audrey, Xulei, Qirui as the content designers. With their efforts, Planet X became a Windows demo with a full turn-based feature, a sophisticated numerical system, and well-structured gameplay. The demo can be downloaded through https://duke.box.com/s/qep0mdiannbvma2zlovxhdi7xleejm6m.

Unfortunately, Planet X has to say farewell to Skylar, Leiyuan, and Audrey since they will be graduating spring of 2023. Qirui will takeover as the future leader of of Planet X.

Project Members and Their Roles

Content Designer (Haiyi Lui, Xulei Huang, Qirui Zhao)

Recently we have been working on adding more detail to the  content of the game. Which includes but is not limited to major events, story line, policies, technologies, and consequences of events and policies. We also refined the major framework of the game and finalized the core gameplay. Until now, we accomplished 60+ pages events design, and 100+ pages policies template, providing details on descriptions, functions, predicted outcome and corresponding numerical values. At the same time, we have designed multiple storylines for the project and created multiple country settings to enrich the game.

We also cooperated with the programmers and art designer for the latest update. Based on the former discussion and consensus of the game, we were formatting our literacy content into a unity editable version that can be directly read by a computer. At the same time, we were communicating with the art designer about the functional need of UI design.

Programmer (Yuanjun Lin, Junxuan Hu)

As programmers, we successfully built the game using C# and Unity Engine. The game now has a full turn-based feature with all gameplay mechanisms implemented. We also created a template for content designers to fill in so that the program can be directly read and executed. Hopefully, the next programmers will continue working on the existing framework and add more graphic animation and interaction.

Art designer (Leiyuan Tian)

I work as a visual designer for the game. My recent contributions to the project include a set of user interfaces (UI) and illustrations for event descriptions and diegetic scenes (e.g., the environment of a conference room).

Project Members’ Experiences

Content Designer (Haiyi Lui, Xulei Huang, Qirui Zhao)

  1. Teamwork

Based on the need of multi-perspective creation and completion, our work relies heavily on efficient teamwork. Following the current division of labor in the game industry, our team is divided into three basic roles, content designer, programmer and art designer. Each role can better combine the interests and strengths of the members and increase the perspectives of the game. We have great leaders and sub-group leaders that refine each members’ work and contribution. In the designing process, we often hold group or sub-group meetings to understand different needs and expectations. Frequent communication also provides chances to understand the challenges and difficulties of the sectional design avoiding quarrels as much as possible. 

2. Opportunity of creation and fantasy

In Planet X, each of us brings our interested topics and fields into the creation of the game, the story line and the artwork are not a cold industrial outcome but contain our own fantasies and predictions to the future world. Cthulhu, steampunk, Cyberpunk, Amazon culture, sci-fi…… you may find all these fantasies in our anecdotal design and event background. Planet X provides us with the opportunity of our interests and vision of the potential future. 

3. Global challenge and responsibility 

During the content designing process, we were able to incorporate major global challenges and learn their basic backgrounds, causes, difficulties and possible outcomes. Not only does it encourage us to care more about the environment, but also the reasons behind humanity. When designing the solutions for those global challenges, we have adopted an interdisciplinary vision, combining knowledge from natural science, social science and art and humanities.

4. Professionally of game design

With the depth of the design process, we were gradually closing to professional game design. We have learned how to work with collaborative software, professional art designer software, UI, UX software and the major game design programming. We have adopted the experiences of other game design studios to improve our efficiency. We also attended lectures, design camps and summits to communicate with other designers, exchanging our ideas and catching up with the innovation of the industry. 

 Programmer (Yuanjun Lin, Junxuan Hu)

As a programmer, I enjoyed working for Planet X. I had many opportunities to collaborate with other programmers and even designers and artists using Dev-Op tools such as Git. These  are skills you cannot learn from CS courses considering these are necessary for real life. I also liked it when I designed program structures, staying overnight and trying to improve the time and memory cost. I always feel like designing and creating. Surely, there are things that boringly repeat and problems that you cannot solve no matter how much you try. However, when seeing a whole new world appear in my hand, the sense of achievement is worth everything I worked for.

Art designer (Leiyuan Tian)

My interest in the Planet X project was initially piqued by its conceptual uniqueness that highlights the significance of global collaboration in solving wicked environmental issues, through the medium of a video game. ​​I was thrilled when I was accepted into the project as a first-year student at DKU. My first two years on the Planet X team were spent mainly on helping with concept design while improving my digital skills related to UI/UX design, digital art, and Unity,the game engine. With the support from the Humanities Research Center, I sharpened my skills through various learning experiences;an independent study, a paid summer project development period, and a game design summer camp in Shanghai. I also took related Media and Arts courses to inform my practice with guiding theories. It was also during this period that the game concept design was completed, and I joined to provide a needed and better understanding of the visual experienceSince then, I have been focusing on the production of various visual components.

Looking back, I can’t be more thankful for this journey I shared with some of the best colleagues on Planet Earth. We also worked on two other small game projects during the past three years, and I learned so much from them about creativity and communication in an interdisciplinary work setting. It has truly been a rare honor to be able to learn, have fun, make friends, and meanwhile contribute to something that may one day become bigger than myself.

Team Members

Game Designer

Xulei Huang

Haiyi Liu

Qirui Zhao


Junxuan Hu
Yuanjun Lin

Art Designer

Leiyuan Tian

Images of the Game