Week 3: Level Design and Time

During this week i worked on getting some form of level design working and in engine so i had somewhat of a clearer idea as to how it would look. I have been utilising an asset pack called Stylized Desert Environment. This pack provides me with appropriate assets that i’ll use to create the games environments. Using several other assets i have gathered, i was able to create the intended look for certain areas of the game, such as the crashed ship. Using the landscape tool i was able to put something together to make it look buried into the sand.

In addition to creating the level blockout, i wanted to give the environment some life and movement instead of a static landscape. I got round this issue by creating a day & night cycle, every 5 minutes an in game day will pass, the sun sets, the area gets much darker. I found the casting of the shadows really made the area feel more active. To add to this affect i also added in a Wind directional source, this lets me affect the environment and materials of plants so they blow in the breeze. this small detail gives the scene more life.

Week 2: Prototyping

I wanted to get working in engine as soon as possible, as im not too much of a fan of pre-production work. so once i had my idea in mind and a direction i wanted to take the project, i began working on producing a prototype straight away. I’m more confident working with the Unreal Engine so that’s where i started, i utilised the tool’s templates, opting to use the Top down template as a good starting point, deleting the code i didnt need, from there i started to get a working camera. As in this project the player never directly controls a character, they would spend their time controlling an overhead camera.

Once i had the camera controls how i wanted, i started work on character AI. in Tantalus, the player oversees the safety of both the campsite the survivors have scrambled together and the survivors themselves. These survivors will come in two variants, Crewmen (Blue characters Below) and Scouts (Red characters). Crewmen are the cogs of the game, these characters will scavenge resources such as Wood and Metal from the surrounding environment and the ships wreckage. They will also construct buildings in the camp. Meanwhile Scout characters will act as the camp’s defence, They are the surviving members of the ships security force. These Scout units protect the camp and crewmen from hostile wildlife the player may encounter however most importantly they reveal new locations on the map, Ie. a scout character that has been sent off, may return with information on the whereabouts of some ship wreckage.

Getting AI working for these characters and getting roles set up for them will be a large time consuming task.

Week 1: Start Of The Project

The first week of Final Year Project has started and we have been tasked with creating a project solely by ourselves. As a designer i could of chosen to make a game prototype, a UI design, a Level or several other design tasks. After some time deciding what i wanted to work on and putting some ideas for my project proposal, i have decided to create a working game prototype for a Top Down, Settlement Survival game. Which i have name Tantalus.

Tantalus is a single player experience where the player will have to guide and manage a group of survivors of a spaceship crash, constructing a settlement and trying to survive on a strange world until help can arrive. The player takes on the role of the ship’s captain, and will have to send the survivors out to gather resources from the nearby environment, salvage what they can from the shipwreck, All while trying their best to maintain a strong SOS signal so the survivors can be found.