A project I finished while I pursued my education and submitted as a final project for my Game Production class at Columbia College Chicago, this is a first person shooter runner. The player is tasked with chasing an npc through a straight level, filled with obstacles that the player must avoid. During all of this the player must also subdue the npc by shooting them a certain number of times.
This was a solo project so I was in charge of the concept, the design, the programming, sound, and art assets found. A few art assets like the npc model and the gun model is standard assets in Unreal 4.
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What type of game will this be? Platform game, runner.
What kinds of puzzles or player challenges might you include? Player challenges will include: stationary obstacles the player will have to avoid (walls, parked cars, etc.), moving obstacles the player must avoid (other people, projectiles), possible collectibles for the player to collect for a better score at the end of a level.
What are the basic rules for your game? The basic rules are the game are as follows: 1. The players character is always running forward, they cannot stop the character from moving. 2. The player can only move left or right, not forward or backwards. 3. When the player touches an obstacle or enemy, the player will die and must restart. 4. When the player catches the running criminal, the player will win.
Overhead Map Design Points - Keep in mind this game is meant to be an Infinite Runner/FPS, therefore the player will always be moving forward as will the one enemy on the screen. Multiple Paths - There are many paths the player can possibly take in this level, some paths are more beneficial than most with special collectibles that increases the players speed as they pick them up. The player could even jump over most obstacles in the level but for the sake of simplicity the players path only covers the ground, not taking jump into consideration. Local Fights - The level is constantly broken into smaller sections, with very specific points is where the player might meet up with the enemy, if they are not following the enemy the whole time. Each section has their own dangers and strategies that could be used to get around them. Collision Points - With the goal of the game requiring the player to chase and catch this criminal enemy in red, there are meant to be many points where even if the player loses track or splits off from the enemy it's only a matter of time until they meet back up again for only a small window of time so it's the best the player takes advantage of these few points in the level. Reference Points - The reference point on this map is so much present in the environment, but it's the enemy itself and even the collectibles present in it. If the player chooses to follow the criminal they can know a safe way to make it through the environment but also the collectibles would be hidden in such a way, should the player see then up ahead it could give the player a clue on how to maneuver through a route to get to them. Defense Points - As this is an infinite runner the player is always moving, therefore always in danger at hitting obstacles. There are few points of defense in this level with one could be considered longer or more spacious areas to give the player some breathing time and try to expect what's coming next. Another defense point is the air, in the air the player is always safe, though jumping only takes so long and landing on top of an obstacle could results in a game over, the player is safe while jumping when used correctly.
FPS Runner Convexity of Choices
FPS Game Mind Map
Looking back at this project, the biggest hurdle I can recall was getting a hang of Unreal 4. This was my first and, at the time of writing this, my only project in Unreal 4. The struggles with Unreal 4 was getting used to the features the engine offered and how it differed from Unity, and the blueprints system took me a while to wrap my head around and work in efficiently. Some features of my project suffered from these delays of learning, such as wanting to increase the player's speed if the accomplished certain objectives and even increase the NPC's speed over time.Most of all I believe what suffered most were my art assets. Obstacles I planned like benches or light poles or cars became simple red and blue cubes. While these simple cubes were effective I believe, it was still disappointing to have to have such simple assets to me. But I managed to get the hang of blueprints and managed to get my vision out, albeit in it's simplest form due to time constraints, but I believe it is still an enjoyable experience.