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First Person Shooter

Survival Horror Project

INTRODUCTION

This Level is inspired by Metro Exodus. I set out to create an immersive First Person adventure that included survival aspects and small puzzles to force the player to think further.

This was a solo school project that included specific requirements. The Level had to be set on an island and it had to be fully set dressed and playable.

This project includes
Level Design and Scripting.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Developed over 4 weeks

  • Unreal Engine 5

  • Level Design

  • Set Dressing

  • Lighting & Atmosphere

  • Optimizing Performance

  • AI Scripting

  • Assets used : Abandoned Russian Buildings(FreshCan-Props), Brushify, Landscape Pro 2.0(STF3d-Materials)

PRE-PRODUCTION

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REFERENCES

Gathering references is always my first step as this greatly accelerate my workflow and will also serve as the foundation of the entire project.

For this project I was heavily inspired by the Ghost Island which is a real location situated near Japan. The atmosphere of the Island also reminded me of games such as DayZ, Last of Us and Metro so I added them as well to give me a source of inspiration.

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DESIGN ON PAPER

Once I have all the references I need, I will then make a quick design on paper of the Level I have in mind. For me this is a crucial step that I cannot overlook, even if my final result is often not the same as my paper design because of the multiples iterations I will go through, it will still be a great asset to help me create my first Blockout.

At this stage I also like to take a list of notes of the key aspects I want to add in the Level.

BEFORE & AFTER OVERVIEW

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ITERATIONS

During my Blockout process I had to make a lot of iterations to make sure the travel times were not too long or even too short where the player could never have a breather. I also wanted the intensity to progressively increase as the player advanced in the Level.

LEVEL WALKTHROUGH

EASING INTO THE LEVEL

My goal was to start the Level slowly but tense, I wanted the player to feel in control of his surrounding but also on his toes. As if he was being observed or "not alone".

To achieve this I created a Funnel into a path in the forest, while the player advances along the path he can hear distant sounds which doesn't make him feel in imminent danger but does create an eerie feeling of danger.

ANTICIPATION

Before the player encountered any enemies I created Anticipation by adding Blood on the floor and walls to tell the player that danger is becoming more and more imminent.

The Blood also lead the player to the Assault Rifle which will be both really useful later on but also tell him that there will be uses for it at some point.

FIRST ENCOUNTER

Since the player was able to explore the first part of the Level without any encounters, it created a false sense of security which then greatly accentuated the first encounter with mutants.

While this is not meant to be a jump scare it should definitely give the player a good scare and make him more careful and aware of his surroundings

AFFORDANCE

While letting the player explore on his own is great we don't want him to be completely lost since that would make his experience a lot less enjoyable.

To remedy this issue I added Affordance to discreetly guide the player. Using yellow paint or even crows flying by they unconsciously guided the eyes of the player towards where I want him to go.

GRAND FINALE

Once the player successfully navigated through the map and arrives near the escape he will be ambushed by a large amount of mutants in a dark and dense forest.

The main goal of the Grand Finale is to really put the player under a lot of pressure and anxiety so that when he escape, it will feel twice as satisfying and relieving.

AI SCRIPTING

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CUSTOM AI

Even though my main focus was the Level Design, this project did include a lot of Visual Programming. I wanted to challenge myself by creating an AI that would patrol and react to multiples senses such as sight, noises, taking damage and scripted events. It was my first time making an AI this complex and I absolutely loved it!

FULL PLAYTHROUGH AND CLOSING THOUGHTS

This project thought me a lot regarding both Level Design and Scripting. Going through the entire process of drawing my map on paper, making a Blockout in Unreal and then making a fully playable Level out of it was really challenging but so satisfying and fun to do.

If I had to do it again I would improve the Level by adding a little more scripted events. I feel like once you get used to the mutants they lose their scary aspect and the game becomes less stressful and immersive. But overall I'm still extremely satisfied with the result and I managed to achieve my expectations for my 4 weeks deadline.

Thank you for reading.

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