Nim

Role: Technical Level Designer

Development Time: 4 Weeks (2019)

Tools: Unreal Engine 4

Team: 12
 

Contributions:

  • Tutorial Level

  • Opening and End Cinematic

  • Initial Prototype

About

 

Nim is a Third-Person Puzzle Platformer with a Hook and Tethering Mechanic where the player can Tether Physics based Objects together in conjunction with a Swing Mechanic in order to traverse the environment. 

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Mechanics

Hook and Swing 

Swing Across gaps.

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Hook and Tether

Tether certain objects to anything in the environment.

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Slow Motion

Slow Down Time to easier Hook while flying fast

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Tutorial Level Design

Tutorial Level

Introduces the Mechanics and Components in ...


a Safe way with no enemies and plenty of checkpoints.

  • Each Mechanic gets introduced and then re-iterated with an evolution to solidify the learning process.
  • By keeping it linear, I could more easily predict where the player would look, which was crucial since it was decided that we had to use In-World Tutorial Prompts.





Tutorial Play Through
Complete Play through of the Entire game available Here

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Starting Area

The first obstacle the player gets to and ...


by getting to it, they're point of view is directed toward the Swing Tutorial Prompt and the Hook point needed to do the Tutorial.

  • The Hook point draws the player attention with Moving and Glowing fireflies. By looking at them they glow even stronger, giving the player feedback that they are interact-able.
  • The Swing is later re-iterated but with an evolution with several points that has to be swung from in a row while in mid-air in combination with the Slow Motion Mechanic





The Vista

The Vista Presents the End Goal to the Player and ...


the path they need to take to get there.

  • I use In-Game Text in the Block-Out Phase to emphasize the concept and sight lines etc. of an Area to the Artists so they can get a better understanding of it when they exchange the blockouts.
  • The Path goes in an arch toward the End Goal, this is so the goal is always visible to the player, which can give them much better direction throughout the level.





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Introduction to Swing

The first obstacle the player gets to and ...


by getting to it, they're point of view is directed toward the Swing Tutorial Prompt and the Hook point needed to do the Tutorial.

  • The Hook point draws the player attention with Moving and Glowing fireflies. By looking at them they glow even stronger, giving the player feedback that they are interact-able.
  • The Swing is later re-iterated but with an evolution with several points that has to be swung from in a row while in mid-air in combination with the Slow Motion Mechanic





Introduction to Tethering

The players point of view is again directed to ...


the Tutorial Prompt since it is in line with where the player is moving toward.

  • Note the arches that the branches form that aims to help guide the player toward where they want to go.
  • The Draw Bridge is broken and the player have to tether it to the other side. This introduction makes it easier because its simpler to tether something that can only move in one axis and cannot fall down like the other physics objects.
  • Tethering later re-iterated but with loose Physics Objects so the player can learn and practice it bit by bit and in an easy way.





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Introduction to Slow-Motion

The first obstacle the player gets to and ...


by getting to it, they're point of view is directed toward the Swing Tutorial Prompt and the Hook point needed to do the Tutorial.

  • The Hook point draws the player attention with Moving and Glowing fireflies. By looking at them they glow even stronger, giving the player feedback that they are interact-able.
  • The Swing is later re-iterated but with an evolution with several points that has to be swung from in a row while in mid-air in combination with the Slow Motion Mechanic





Ends with the Culmination of All Mechanics

The final part of the Tutorial has the player Hooking and Tethering a ...


Swing-able Log, then utilizing it to Swing Across.

  • The player have to again re-iterate on the core mechanics that are used throughout the game but this time in combination with each other.
  • Makes use of lanterns and branches to guide the players point of view, and pop-lights behind the branches to make them more visible to the players point of view.





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Cinematics

The Cinematics are made in Unreal Engine 4's Sequencer.

Opening Cinematic

The Intro to the World

The goal of the cinematic was to first give a soft introduction to the World and ...


its Setting, then introduce our Main Character, and finally Hint at the players objective.

  • I try to achieve the intro to the World by having it fade in from a Starry Sky before it slowly moves down into the forest and settles on a shot of the Secluded Tree where our Main Character is.





The Intro to the Character

The first obstacle the player gets to and ...


by getting to it, they're point of view is directed toward the Swing Tutorial Prompt and the Hook point needed to do the Tutorial.

  • The Hook point draws the player attention with Moving and Glowing fireflies. By looking at them they glow even stronger, giving the player feedback that they are interact-able.
  • The Swing is later re-iterated but with an evolution with several points that has to be swung from in a row while in mid-air in combination with the Slow Motion Mechanic





The Intro to the Main Goal

The Vista Presents the End Goal to the Player and ...


the path they need to take to get there.

  • I use In-Game Text in the Block-Out Phase to emphasize the concept and sight lines etc. of an Area to the Artists so they can get a better understanding of it when they exchange the blockouts.
  • The Path goes in an arch toward the End Goal, this is so the goal is always visible to the player, which can give them much better direction throughout the level.





End Cinematic

(The End Cinematic doesn't have SFX or Music yet)
Utilizing the Healing Effect to transition from Sick to Healed Tree

The Goal of the Cut Scene

The goal was to show that the Tree is poisoned and that the character heal it.


  • First the camera pan closer to Tree so that you can see that it is purple and poisoned, it pans upward so the player can take in its entire size.
  • In the next shot there is a close up of the character as she unleashes Healing energy that the travels toward the tree.
  • I use the effect to cover the camera naturally with a white fade out, when the camera fades back in the tree is green to hint that it has been restored.





 

The Prototype

  • The player can Hook and Tether puzzle components and NPCs together for a lot of potential Emergent Gameplay solutions to puzzles. 
     

  • The Cable itself can be interacted with to knock over Enemies or bounce on.
     

  • Served as the foundation for the project. 
    Unfortunately it turned out to be too difficult to make the puzzle components fit and work art-wise so almost everything had to be cut.

Mechanics & Puzzle Components
Vista to End Goal - First Art Pass

Overlooks the End Goal and the way the player has to traverse to get there.