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 Secluded Tree is where the Guardian Spirit, Re-Awakens...


after years of slumber when the forest is threatened.

  • Is located outside of the Village that has been overtaken by enemies, thus giving us designers flexible distance to teach the player the Mechanics before they get there.
  • Overlooks the games End Goal and the path the player has to take to get there.





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

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.





Introduction to Tethering

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 Slow-Motion

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.





Ends with the Culmination of All Mechanics

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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Cinematics

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

Opening Cinematic

The Intro to the World

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.





The Intro to the Character

In the next Shot the camera pans toward our Main Character ...


and sees her Awaken.

  • The camera keeps a low position and looks up at her, this is to make the player look up to this character which could make them subconsciously see her in a good light and want to play as her.





The Intro to the Main Goal

In the final shot she walks out of the Tree while the camera ...


pans around her and centers on the End Goal and then Pans toward the path that leads to it.

  • Keeps the Character within the frame to enforce that this is what this character sees and wants to go.





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
Nim - Tethering Swing Combo