Over the summer Unreal Engine hosted another game jam, I teamed up with 3D artist Lee Stockton for this game jam. The theme was “That escalated quickly” and ran from 16th of August until the 21st of August.
We split the roles between ourselves, I did the game and level design and Lee created the 3D models required for the game.
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We initially had the idea of an endless climber which would grow more and more difficult over time, I came up with the idea of utilising a climb system so as not to be a monotonous platform game. We came up with a few ideas of where the game was going to be based and felt while designing the level it would be best to be an inside and make an element rush the player to the end of the level. We then came up with the idea of a miner trying to escape a mine shaft, where an explosion caused the flooding of the mine itself.
This idea then evolved further by making it about a cave dweller whose home becomes flooded from an unknown source and the water begins to rise. This is how we both utilised the theme, as the water escalated quickly and so did the difficulty of the platforming sections.
I took the lead on the project as we had to both work on the jam around our jobs, We split the jobs up between ourselves and I began work on the character/game mechanics and blocking out each of the five levels. While Lee was given the job of character modelling, rigging and creating the models to populate the levels.
The video above showcases the character mechanics, level block out and the climbing system. The climbing system utilises a capsule trace that searches for a custom collision, this is in front of the player. This gauges how far away a player is to the capsule and uses line traces to detect ledges and edges. When the capsule and the custom collision is a positive result the animation will be played for climbing or hanging as well as moving on the ledge.
When it came to moving while on a ledge this used capsule collision to check for corners and if it can turn, there is also another collision above the character that checks for ledges above and if they character can climb up, dependent upon these being true an animation would be played based on the movement of the character.
While creating the climb system I also implemented a camera move system based on where the character was, this was inspired by the game Fez. As the game was a side scroller it was locked in the Y axis for player movement. With the camera movement system Alan implemented this adding the ability to run on the X axis instead of the Y axis, this gave the game more depth and showcased the areas in different ways.
Below is a screenshot of the character Lee created for the jam.
Lee used Maya and the ARTs plugin to create and rig the character, once the character was completed i implicated the character into the game and set up movement states and animations. The model had to be edited a few times in this process due to painting weight problems and clipping with the animations.
The images above showcases some models created for the environment, after this I worked on the look dev of the levels to add a cave effect, adjusting the lighting and post processing.
Below is a video of the game being played upon completion ready for submission to the summer jam.