Project C

(All Art, SFX and Animations etc. are placeholders)

Role: Game Director, Project Manager, Programmer and Writer

Tools: Unreal Engine 4, WWise

Team: 5
 

Contributions:

  • Game, Level and Narrative Design

  • Game Director

  • Project Management

  • Blueprint & C++ Programming

  • Story & Cinematics

About

Project C is a Narrative Driven First-Person Puzzle Platformer with a Time Manipulation Mechanic that plays like a blend of Portal, Quantum Conondrum and Braid which sees you solving Time and Physics-based puzzles by Slowing, Pausing and Rewinding Time. 

The game takes place in Ancient mysterious Ruins beneath a great Mountain. 

Its First Section is complete with 14 Levels designed to naturally teach the player the Mechanics and Components of the game while keeping both their wits and skills challenged. 

This project is what best represent my skills as a Game, Level, Narrative and Technical Designer as I've Designed, Programmed and Written everything.

ProjectC_WorldOverview
ProjectC_WorldOverview

ProjectC - The Valley
ProjectC - The Valley

ProjectC_StauesTombRoom01
ProjectC_StauesTombRoom01

ProjectC_WorldOverview
ProjectC_WorldOverview

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Complete Walkthrough
(Art, SFX, Music and Animations are all placeholders.)
Highly Recommend playing it first to get a better understanding of the design by solving the puzzles yourself.
 

Gameplay

Slow

Slow Down Time for puzzle solving and platforming

ProjectC - Slow
ProjectC - Slow

ProjectC - Slow
ProjectC - Slow

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(Hover Over for More)

Rewind

Rewind Time to traverse the environment and activate components again. 

ProjectC Rewind
ProjectC Rewind

ProjectC Rewind
ProjectC Rewind

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(Hover Over for More)

Pause

Pause Time to use objects as platforms or re-direct their velocity. 

ProjectC - Pause
ProjectC - Pause

ProjectC - Pause
ProjectC - Pause

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(Hover Over for More)

Puzzle Components

The games most basic components used for building the puzzles.

ProjectC - Cube
ProjectC - Cube

Physics Based Cube that is in three variants with slightly different features.

ProjectC - Cube
ProjectC - Cube

Physics Based Cube that is in three variants with slightly different features.

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(Hover Over for More)

 

Design

The Game Design

Power Lines act as Leading Lines to guide the players eye toward ...


the direction they are supposed to go.

  • The player often have clear Sight Lines to the end goal of the level and the leading lines make sure the players see it.
  • Pillars and such are used for Framing to also aid the player into seeing the goal when they have a sight line toward it.





Ideation

That Hints at the Characters Past and why she has come ...


to the ruins (Currently only Logic is Implemented with Placeholder .mp4 files). These will be told in a very abstract way with inspiration from "La Jetée", "Knight of Cups" and "Tree of Life" where the emotion and feeling of the memory she has can guide its artistic style.

This is to keep production costs down but also because it is fitting for the story that is presented in those flashbacks. These can occur when the character find themselves in a state of waiting or dreaming that allows their thoughts to wander naturally.





Re-Imagining

The Original Prototype.
Portal 2
Portal 2

Portal gave me good inspirations when it came to the Puzzle Components and Spatialization. Using the Components to control where the Player / Cubes can move to and create puzzles utilizing that.

Quantum Conondrum
Quantum Conondrum

I got a lot of inspiration from this game for the Slow Motion Mechanic and it's platforming elements and Level Design Style with great hallways that you fly through on Spawning Objects.

Antichamber
Antichamber

For the original Prototype i borrowed heavily from Antichambers simplistic Art Style since it was the only kind I could make and still have the game look somewhat visually interesting.

Portal 2
Portal 2

Portal gave me good inspirations when it came to the Puzzle Components and Spatialization. Using the Components to control where the Player / Cubes can move to and create puzzles utilizing that.

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Inspirations for the Original Prototype
ProjectC - Home - Vista
ProjectC - Home - Vista

ProjectC - Home - House
ProjectC - Home - House

ProjectC - Home - Swing
ProjectC - Home - Swing

ProjectC - Home - Vista
ProjectC - Home - Vista

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The Intro Flashback Concepts
ProjectC_WorldOverview
ProjectC_WorldOverview

Project C - Entrance Paintover
Project C - Entrance Paintover

ProjectC - Statue Room Paintover
ProjectC - Statue Room Paintover

ProjectC_WorldOverview
ProjectC_WorldOverview

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The World and Ruins Concepts

That Hints at the Characters Past and why she has come ...


to the ruins (Currently only Logic is Implemented with Placeholder .mp4 files). These will be told in a very abstract way with inspiration from "La Jetée", "Knight of Cups" and "Tree of Life" where the emotion and feeling of the memory she has can guide its artistic style.

This is to keep production costs down but also because it is fitting for the story that is presented in those flashbacks. These can occur when the character find themselves in a state of waiting or dreaming that allows their thoughts to wander naturally.





The Art Style

The Game Play

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





ProjectC - Time Manip Device
ProjectC - Time Manip Device

ProjectC - Time Manip Device
ProjectC - Time Manip Device

ProjectC - Time Manip Device
ProjectC - Time Manip Device

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Time Manipulation Device Concepts

The Level Design

ProjectC_Lvl3
ProjectC_Lvl3

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

ProjectC_Lvl3_4_WhiteBox
ProjectC_Lvl3_4_WhiteBox

ProjectC_Lvl3_1_WhiteBox
ProjectC_Lvl3_1_WhiteBox

ProjectC_Lvl3
ProjectC_Lvl3

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

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Level 3 - From Sketch -> White Box -> Concept -> Block out
I usually clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if time lets me
ProjectC_Lvl5
ProjectC_Lvl5

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

ProjectC_Lvl_5_1
ProjectC_Lvl_5_1

ProjectC_Lvl_5_2_Paintover
ProjectC_Lvl_5_2_Paintover

ProjectC_Lvl5
ProjectC_Lvl5

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

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Level 5 - Tomb Area
I usually clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if time lets me
ProjectC_Lvl9
ProjectC_Lvl9

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

ProjectC_Lvl9_2
ProjectC_Lvl9_2

ProjectC_Lvl9_3
ProjectC_Lvl9_3

ProjectC_Lvl9
ProjectC_Lvl9

I like to clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if there is time but I didn't have it

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Level 9 - Transition From Dark to Natural Light Sky lit and the Courtyard that follows.
I usually clean up the First-Draft Sketch in Photoshop if time lets me

The Approach To Level Design

When designing the levels I took a lot of inspiration from ...


Portals Design Principles where each Mechanic and Component gets introduced and then re-iterated with an evolution or combination with something new to solidify the learning process and give variety to the game play by always making the player use a mechanic or component in a slightly new way.

  • With this approach, and the set of Mechanics and Components I had, I could decide early on what Mechanics and Components would get introduced in what order, where the simplest would be introduced first. Thus giving me an idea of what a level was going to be about before I ever even put pen to paper. This made coming up with the puzzles for the level much smoother since i knew what was going to be re-iterated and what was going to be introduced.
  • I always start with top-down sketches and it proved invaluable to really spend time with them and find the ways the player can break the puzzle and fixing them before moving into the engine.
  • The Narrative and Art also gave direction to the theme of the level. I wanted variety in terms of the Atmosphere and Mood, which is why the game starts off warm and welcoming as the player learns the basics and gets a Hint at their End Goal. Then gradually gets darker, where the characters is meant to be in a more vulnerable state when the Antagonist is hinted at. Afterwards becomes more brighter at a Sky lit Courtyard which ends with her seeing the ruins she has traveled through from a new perspective, giving closure and puts her in a reflective state where we can explore her mind.
  • These emotional beats that I wanted the player to have shaped the levels atmosphere and mood.
  • This approach is something that would continue to be used in future Sections since new Puzzle Components and Areas of the Ruins will be introduced, so in a sense The Tutorial Design is relevant throughout the game.





Sightlines, Leading Lines & Framing

Power Lines act as Leading Lines to guide the players eye toward ...


the direction they are supposed to go.

  • The player often have clear Sight Lines to the end goal of the level and the leading lines make sure the players see it.
  • Pillars and such are used for Framing to also aid the player into seeing the goal when they have a sight line toward it.





Power Lines act as Leading Lines
Power Lines act as Leading Lines

Pillars Frame Sight Line to Lvl Goal
Pillars Frame Sight Line to Lvl Goal

Sight Line to Section End Goal
Sight Line to Section End Goal

The roof is falling down, drawing the players view upward. Through the hole in the ceiling the Sections End Goal is visible.

Power Lines act as Leading Lines
Power Lines act as Leading Lines

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(Hover Over for More)

The Tutorial Design

Intro to Slow-Motion

Power Lines act as Leading Lines to guide the players eye toward ...


the direction they are supposed to go.

  • The player often have clear Sight Lines to the end goal of the level and the leading lines make sure the players see it.
  • Pillars and such are used for Framing to also aid the player into seeing the goal when they have a sight line toward it.





ProjectC - Slow Motion 1 - Lvl3
ProjectC - Slow Motion 1 - Lvl3

Introduction to Slow Motion with Simple Platforming and No Pits

ProjectC - Slow Motion 2 - Lvl4
ProjectC - Slow Motion 2 - Lvl4

Then re-iterates Slow Motion but with added challenge over Pits and Introduces the Blue Force Field Puzzle Component and that they are safe for the player.

ProjectC - Slow Motion 1 - Lvl3
ProjectC - Slow Motion 1 - Lvl3

Introduction to Slow Motion with Simple Platforming and No Pits

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(Hover Over for More)

ProjectC - Throw 1 - Lvl5
ProjectC - Throw 1 - Lvl5

Re-Iterates on the previously introduced Component which was the Force Field in Combination with something new which is the Throw

ProjectC - Throw 2 - Lvl5
ProjectC - Throw 2 - Lvl5

Then Throw in Combination with the Slow-Motion.

ProjectC - Throw 1 - Lvl5
ProjectC - Throw 1 - Lvl5

Re-Iterates on the previously introduced Component which was the Force Field in Combination with something new which is the Throw

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(Hover Over for More)

Intro to Throw

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





Intro to Pause

The next shot switches back to the over the shoulder view ...


where we see the pedestal open up and reveal the device within. The camera pans behind her back to the other shoulder, to Hide when she picks up the device, to cut down on custom animations.

  • This is also so the camera has a clear shot of the mountain top with just a bit of pitching.





ProjectC - Pause 1 - Lvl6
ProjectC - Pause 1 - Lvl6

The Ruins themselves controls the flow of time here as Pause is Introduced to ease the player into it.

ProjectC - Pause 2 - Lvl7
ProjectC - Pause 2 - Lvl7

Re-Iterates Pause in the next level but with interactable Cubes so the player can learn their behavior.

ProjectC - Pause 1 - Lvl6
ProjectC - Pause 1 - Lvl6

The Ruins themselves controls the flow of time here as Pause is Introduced to ease the player into it.

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(Hover Over for More)

ProjectC - Rewind 2 - Lvl9
ProjectC - Rewind 2 - Lvl9

The player eventually have to use the pieces to follow them up in order to progress. Note the shot of the Tower through the ceiling toward the direction where the player is most likely to look.

ProjectC - Rewind 3 - Lvl9
ProjectC - Rewind 3 - Lvl9

After the player have received the Ability they have to prove that they can use to avoid Lazers.

ProjectC - Rewind 2 - Lvl9
ProjectC - Rewind 2 - Lvl9

The player eventually have to use the pieces to follow them up in order to progress. Note the shot of the Tower through the ceiling toward the direction where the player is most likely to look.

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(Hover Over for More)

Intro to Rewind

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





The Narrative Design

The Premise

The story is about a young girl whose brother one day disappears mysteriously. ...


Afterwards the girl found a glowing blue pendant that seemed to guide her somewhere far away. Desperate and out of options she followed the strange Pendant in the hopes of finding her lost brother.

After years of travel, driven by her guilt of the past, she finally found a glimmer of hope as she stood in front of a great Mountain covered by war torn ruins. A familiar blue glow could be seen through the swirling clouds in the mountains top. This is the where the pendant guided her to, this is the where she would finally find the answers that she has been seeking for for so long.





The Character

The Main character has a lot of character and emotions but can also ...


show two dimensional elements so she can be used as a vessel for the player involvement. She is a middle point between characters like Link from The Legend of Zelda and Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue where she might not speak much but her expressions and actions show who she is and what her feelings and thoughts are.

It is a very Personal Story with a heavy focus on the character and what she is going through, her inner conflict, how she will be forced to deal with it and what she hopes to find. This is what differentiates the game from other Indie First-Person Puzzle platformers where often times the player might not know or see the character they play, and where most of the story is told through a narrator.





Project C - MainCharacter01
Project C - MainCharacter01

Project C - MainCharacter02
Project C - MainCharacter02

Project C - The Boy
Project C - The Boy

Project C - MainCharacter01
Project C - MainCharacter01

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Main Characters Concepts

The Theme

That Hints at the Characters Past and why she has come ...


to the ruins (Currently only Logic is Implemented with Placeholder .mp4 files). These will be told in a very abstract way with inspiration from "La Jetée", "Knight of Cups" and "Tree of Life" where the emotion and feeling of the memory she has can guide its artistic style.

This is to keep production costs down but also because it is fitting for the story that is presented in those flashbacks. These can occur when the character find themselves in a state of waiting or dreaming that allows their thoughts to wander naturally.





The Structure

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





The Storytelling

2D Flashback Memory Sequences

That Hints at the Characters Past and why she has come ...


to the ruins (Currently only Logic is Implemented with Placeholder .mp4 files). These will be told in a very abstract way with inspiration from "La Jetée", "Knight of Cups" and "Tree of Life" where the emotion and feeling of the memory she has can guide its artistic style.

This is to keep production costs down but also because it is fitting for the story that is presented in those flashbacks. These can occur when the character find themselves in a state of waiting or dreaming that allows their thoughts to wander naturally.





ProjectC-Home1
ProjectC-Home1

ProjectC-Home3
ProjectC-Home3

ProjectC-Home1
ProjectC-Home1

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ProjectC_Intro_CloseUpOfChar
ProjectC_Intro_CloseUpOfChar

ProjectC_Intro_CloseUpOfChar
ProjectC_Intro_CloseUpOfChar

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3D In-Engine Third-Person Cutscenes

Made in Sequencer that focuses on the current events that is happening when ...


she arrives at the ruins. They aim to give it a more cinematic feel that can enhance the atmosphere and mood as well as make the player get a closer connection to the Character by actually seeing her expressions and body language.

The Third-Person cutscenes will mostly tell of the most important current events while the First-Person Cutscenes has the smaller events.





The First-Person Cutscenes

The Main character has a lot of character and emotions but can also ...


show two dimensional elements so she can be used as a vessel for the player involvement. She is a middle point between characters like Link from The Legend of Zelda and Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue where she might not speak much but her expressions and actions show who she is and what her feelings and thoughts are.

It is a very Personal Story with a heavy focus on the character and what she is going through, her inner conflict, how she will be forced to deal with it and what she hopes to find. This is what differentiates the game from other Indie First-Person Puzzle platformers where often times the player might not know or see the character they play, and where most of the story is told through a narrator.





ProjectC - Statue Cutscene
ProjectC - Statue Cutscene

ProjectC - Statue Cutscene
ProjectC - Statue Cutscene

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Cinematics

Here I break down the most Important Cinematics and the thought process behind them.

Since it is all made with placeholder art, animations etc., they are intentionally a bit slower paced than what the final versions will be since I find it easier to trim down a shot and make it faster paced when you have the final art compared making a shot slower paced and longer. 

In the game you can turn on/off the Cinematic References and Descriptions.  

NOTE Some of these cutscenes are out of date as they has been revised, this page will be updated soon

Opening Cinematic

Goal of the Cinematic

The Goal of the Cinematic is to give a soft introduction to the world and character as well as give a small hint at what the character is doing there.

The Introduction to the World


  • It starts with several shots of the world and its Rocky, Desert Setting. The characters footsteps can be heard echoing throughout the valley.
  • In the last world shot there's a bird hopping around that breaks the static-ness of the previous shots.
  • It flies away as the character walks into the frame and this marks the transition from introducing the world to introducing the character.




The Character


  • When we first see the character she is slowly walking through the valley, hooded and with a walking stick, this is to build suspense where her face is not fully revealed until a little later.
  • The pacing is deliberately pretty slow in these shots to build atmosphere and mood.





Opening Cut Scene
(Art, SFX, Music and Animations are all placeholders)
ProjectC - Intro - TransitionToChar
ProjectC - Intro - TransitionToChar

ProjectC - Intro - TransitionToChar
ProjectC - Intro - TransitionToChar

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Focus Transitions softly from the World to the Character. 
ProjectC - Intro - Entrance
ProjectC - Intro - Entrance

ProjectC - Intro - Entrance
ProjectC - Intro - Entrance

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I utilize References to communicate concepts and ideas.
ProjectC - Intro - CloseUpOfChar
ProjectC - Intro - CloseUpOfChar

ProjectC - Intro - CloseUpOfChar
ProjectC - Intro - CloseUpOfChar

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The Style of the Third-Person Cutscenes are a bit similar to MGSV where the camera almost acts as a person that is following and observing the Main Character throughout the game events.

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





The Transition to First-Person

Power Lines act as Leading Lines to guide the players eye toward ...


the direction they are supposed to go.

  • The player often have clear Sight Lines to the end goal of the level and the leading lines make sure the players see it.
  • Pillars and such are used for Framing to also aid the player into seeing the goal when they have a sight line toward it.





ProjectC - CutsceneToFirstPerson
ProjectC - CutsceneToFirstPerson

ProjectC - CutsceneToFirstPerson
ProjectC - CutsceneToFirstPerson

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The cut scenes transition softly into game play, this along with no loading screens creates a more seamless experience.

The Pedestal Cinematic

Pedestal Cut Scene
(Art, SFX, Music and Animations are all placeholders)
ProjectC - PedistalCutsceneTransitio
ProjectC - PedistalCutsceneTransitio

ProjectC - PedistalCutsceneTransitio
ProjectC - PedistalCutsceneTransitio

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Goal of the Cinematic

 The goal was for the character to Receive the Time Manipulation Device and by doing it, re-awakens the Ruins and getting a Hint to the overall End Objective.

The player can Slow, Pause and Rewind Time ...


with great flexibility which works well with the platforming elements of the game that challenges the player to do so.

  • The player can in sense decide the difficulty of the game on the fly where the slower the time is, the easier it will be.
  • In combination with several different Puzzle Components that is designed around this Mechanic as well as the Players spatial movement, gives the game variety as the Mechanics and Components are carefully introduced and re-iterated upon to not only teach the player the rules and logic but to keep the game play fresh.





Transitions from Game play into Third Person Cut Scene

The Time Manipulation Device

The next shot switches back to the over the shoulder view ...


where we see the pedestal open up and reveal the device within. The camera pans behind her back to the other shoulder, to Hide when she picks up the device, to cut down on custom animations.

  • This is also so the camera has a clear shot of the mountain top with just a bit of pitching.





ProjectC - PedCutsceneTimeDevice
ProjectC - PedCutsceneTimeDevice

ProjectC - PedCutsceneTimeDevice
ProjectC - PedCutsceneTimeDevice

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Pedestal Open, revealing the Time Device. Something at the Mountains Top Reacts to her presence, hinting its the End Goal

The Mountain

Made in Sequencer that focuses on the current events that is happening when ...


she arrives at the ruins. They aim to give it a more cinematic feel that can enhance the atmosphere and mood as well as make the player get a closer connection to the Character by actually seeing her expressions and body language.

The Third-Person cutscenes will mostly tell of the most important current events while the First-Person Cutscenes has the smaller events.





ProjectC - PedCutscenTransitionToFPS
ProjectC - PedCutscenTransitionToFPS

ProjectC - PedCutscenTransitionToFPS
ProjectC - PedCutscenTransitionToFPS

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Transitions from what we last saw her looking at to First-Person

The Tower Cinematic

The Tower Cut Scene
(Art, SFX, Music and Animations are all placeholders)

Goal of the Cinematic

The goal was to give the player a natural transition from the current Section to the next one and get to see the Ruins that they've traversed through from a new perspective which could give them a better overview of the size of the ruins and a feeling of accomplishment. 

I also wanted to present in the Second Memory here in a natural way.

Transitioning Into Memory Flashback

Power Lines act as Leading Lines to guide the players eye toward ...


the direction they are supposed to go.

  • The player often have clear Sight Lines to the end goal of the level and the leading lines make sure the players see it.
  • Pillars and such are used for Framing to also aid the player into seeing the goal when they have a sight line toward it.





Project C - Tower Cutscene
Project C - Tower Cutscene

Project C - Tower Cutscene
Project C - Tower Cutscene

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A Shot of the Ruins the player has traversed but from a new perspective. Long close up of the girl as she is holding the pendant tightly and thinks back to the day she found it.