Genre : VR-Arcade
Length : 6 weeks
Status : Prototype
Team : 2
Engine : Unreal Engine
Plateform : PC

What I've done :

  • Studied an original story to translate its core into Game Design
  • Programming of the whole prototype
  • Balanced Core Feature
  • VR Controller, Physical suitcase & bullet interactions
  • Simple AI Behaviour tree

I was a Game Designer & programmer intern at EBIM-Studio for 6 weeks and it was my first experience using Unreal Engine. I worked with the artistic director but was entirely responsible of the prototype developement.

The project

"Now Future" is a dark sci-fi french comic book out of which I had to make an Arcade VR Video Game. The prototype is set on a training simulation and is Tower defense. The player has a suitcase which lets him block attacks in a large surface when open & repel bullets in a smallest one when closed. Each suitcase also has some powers that get charged by catching repeling bullets, like the ability to aim and shoot from the suitcase itself.

Game Design

Once the core gameplay architecture established, it became obvious to me that the project was missing a strong vision and direction. The team does have very different video game interests and didn't see the same end intentions in the project. Even though I worked on a prototype, I had to design with the more ambitious end product in mind . The game being and adaptation, we were often doubting between fidelity and evolution.

That's why I started to organize meetings when we were all available to talk about it. It wasn't easy to do since each member of the company is working on different projects simultaneously, but the meetings we were able to have were very productive.

Core Gameplay

In my personal vision of Game Design, a project should revolve around few strong principles and most importantly : its core mechanic. In this project, it seemed obvious that projectile reflection was our core, the player had to choose between using a smaller part of his shield to reflect bullets or deploy it entirely to defend a bigger area.
Testing, it didn't feel enough. Very passive, the player would spend half of his time arm up targeting an enemy and waiting for the bullets to come, the action is to slow and the rythm was bad. We would have to find and implement tricks to smooth the process and that's where I worked on invisible tweeks like timing handling and player targeting forcing enemies to shoot

Level Design

Many important problematics for the project's future couldn't be developed during my internship.
We quickly agreed on a VR experience based on constrained real movement with a minmum zone of 1.5m x 1.5m rather than using any teleportation type to move. Although, I did think about different games phases were we could teleport the player in the level from zone to zone once an objective accomplished.

The player should be able to have different ways of approaching a situation and have tools to do it as he wish. Several elements would affect this option and that's why I planned different situations.

Unreal Engine

I spent approximatly the first two weeks working on learning the engine. Once I had the basics, I joined the official project and started to develop actual features.

Although, I learned and experimented new Unreal's elements al along the internship.

  • Behaviour trees & blackboards
  • Classes in C++
  • Authorization of c++ functions & components
  • Classes in blueprint
  • Projectile movement : angles calculation and bounce forecasting
  • Perception System
  • Blueprint interfaces