Role: Lead Designer, Gameplay Programmer
Engine: Unreal Engine 4, C++
My contributions, tldr version;
Game design, level design, player control and vehicle simulation programming, dynamic networked destruction system, player networking, all economy systems, Hud & UI design/implementation, Art/Visual Direction.
Despoiler is a Team Objective arena racer where players pilot hovercraft across the desolate wildlands, scavenging the valuable scrap they need to unlock utilities, upgrades, and win the game. Coming to Steam 2018.
Click play above to check out the steam release trailer for the game!
Designed and implemented many core gameplay elements and mechanics. I’ve highlighted some of my design work below.
Designed player input and control mechanics/systems for intuitive, fast, and exciting piloting that’s easy to learn with a higher skill ceiling that rewards practiced and experienced pilots.
Contributed heavily to weapon and unlockable utility design, devising unique asymmetrical gameplay opportunities for each. Balanced weapons for their intended tasks (eg. the harvester’s scatter-gun is extremely well suited to mining scrap but can outplayed in a fight by skilled combatants with the base vehicle’s machine gun).
3d Aim Assist
Designed and Implemented an intelligent aim assist to suit our unique 3d reticle system. Allows aiming to feel fluid, reliable, while remaining skill-based.
Designed the gamemode with a focus on accessible combat paired with strategic objective focused escalation.
Players harvest and scavenge scrap (which works as armour when carried on their hull and is spent to respawn), and deliver it to their base to unlock upgrades for the team. The fight over an ever depleting resource prompts a strategic race to scavenge as much as possible whilst not feeding it back to the enemy on death, and thwarting enemy efforts to scavenge this valuable, multi-use resource & currency.
I was responsible at a high level for the overall player experience goals of each level, and worked on many levels taking them from greybox through to final layout and art alongside our other level designers. All levels were designed to amplify the strengths of our game and mechanic design.
We designed each level to offer a unique gameplay experience that required players to adapt their skills and strategies to different situations. Some maps require intricate and agile piloting whereas others suit a more brute force approach.
Shallows is about the ebb and flow in and out of combat. Skirt under a looming cliff, or drop into the arena from above.
Dunes is for those long sweeping routes, leaving your foes in the dust. Cutting in through a rocky crevasse then bursting out into the sunlight
Wasteland is all about intricate and zippy turns, and strategic use of terrain and utilities to navigate obstacles.
Shallows (pictured) is some of my favorite work. I focused especially on efficient use of visual space to lead players through the level. From any location the player will always be able to see clearly their choices in terms of where to go next; which resources are nearby.
Check out my blog post series that goes into some more detail on my level design work
Physically simulating and networking hovercrafts, network replication of gameplay (hybrid client-server authority), and replicating destruction are a few of my contributions to the project.
Unreal Engine's C++ and Blueprint (visual scripting) are incredibly powerful and enabled code efficiency where required, and rapid prototyping throughout the project.
Traditional UI has it's place, but for this project I wanted to better use the screenspace available and opted for spatial and Diegetic UI for the majority of our HUD.
The radar, health, armour, and utilities are all displayed on the player's vehicle leaving the edges of the screen free from clutter, and immersing the player more in the game environment. Inspired by other games that have done this in the past like Blur/Split-second which have lovely spatial implementations of their own.