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About - The player must protect and rescue a supposedly harmless alien from a hostile environment
Timeline - 2 weeks
Role - 3D Artist
Tools - Unity Particle Effects / Autodesk Maya
Platform- Oculus Quest 2
Contributions - Planned the enemy and object placement and iterated it with playtesting.
- Worked with my teammates to create, implement and iterate the core mechanics of the game
- Created 3D models of the trees, golden tower, opening room and used particle effects to create the missile fired by the enemies.
Overview of the final level. It originally began as maze, but we thought it might become frustrating for players trying to navigate it. After some iterations, it boiled down to this. I made the tower as a visual waypoint to orient and guide the player
The chopper that the player starts inside
The mirror shield the player uses to defend Franklin
Prompt- The guest helps character A who is afraid of character B
My team knew we wanted to make a game where the player was incentivised to protect character A (Franklin) because character A would look harmless and helpless. We were inspired by the look and feel of Playdead's Limbo and Inside. In both, the main character feels like they are totally at the mercy of a harsh environment. It is only because of the player's guidance that they survive.
To translate this kind of experience to virtual reality, we knew we needed to foster a sense of tactile first person point of view interaction to build connection between Franklin and the player. Inspired by the interaction between the main character and Trico in The Last Guardian, we made a mechanic were, at the first meeting and after every enemy attack, Franklin would run away in terror and could only cooperate if the player touched and soothed him. He would then follow the player.
Level Design, including asset and enemy placement and creating an effective sense of journey was difficult. We debated on whether to create a direct route, maze or an orientation point. A direct route, we thought, provided little mystery and intrigue. A maze could be more interesting. However, in making it, we quickly realised that being trapped in a maze was not fun at all. We settled on a visible waypoint combined with some element of mystery as the player works though way through the level.
In terms of combat, as their could be no shooting mechanic, I thought of a means the player can defend themselves and Franklin from character B. As character B fires lazer bolts at Franklin, I thought of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon album cover. I thought of creating a shield that acted like a refraction prism and redirect lazer bolts back at character B. Character B always attacks without provocation, specifically aiming to hurt Franklin.
At the end of the experience, when the player and Franklin are surrounded by character B's without any means of escape, Franklin reveals he has powers that can abolish all of character B. Again, similar to when Trico develops a strong enough bond with the boy to defend him in The Last Guardian, this moment was meant to represent the bond the Franklin develops with the player. The player has succeeded in their task of defending Franklin (character A) from character B.
Post Mortem and Lessons Learnt
- When making decisions or suggesting changes, it is important to always make them with the overall vision in mind. This means other team members understand your point of view and are more likely to accept and implement the change.
- I learnt a lot about how to compromise whilst working on this project. When other team members wanted to stick with the maze and I wanted to make a direct path, I proposed a compromise on taking elements from both ideas. This was the sense of creating an indirect path with a clear goal destination visible to the player at all times.
- We realised towards the end that there was a lot of world building that was missing and we did not have the time to focus on.
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