Game Production Breakdown

Prototype Milestone

This is a blog containing my work and contributions for the game Merry Mayhem. This is a way to present my individual work of my senior capstone game design workshop. Merry Mayhem is a top down isometric stylistic shooter made in 4 months by 10 incredible talented individuals. This semester I took on the role of Lead Designer and 3D Artist. What sets this apart from the different games I’ve been a part of, I could implement much more of my design ideas than I ever had in a group project before.
 

During the concept phase, the team went back and forth about what exactly we wanted to do for our game. But we all knew that no matter what conclusion we came out with, we wanted to focus on making a FUN game this time around. In the end, we came out with amazing ideas for the game with a feasible scope in mind.  

 

As Lead Design, I helped organize the team’s initial ideas and acknowledged everyone’s input so that everyone had a say in the overall design. As the weeks went by, me and a few others helped organize the collective thoughts to make them cohesive, and created our Concept document laying out the fundamentals of Merry Mayhem. With that being said, I can proudly say that this entire game was a team effort and it wouldn’t be as great as it is today without everyone’s input.  The one thing that I am truly happy about though was that the team decided to go with my suggestion for the game title and main character, (Pax) and it stuck ever since.

Pax's Gun

I took on the job of modeling and texturing Pax’s gun during the first weeks of the project. I modeled and UV’d it in Maya 2016, then textured it in 3D coat. I also modeled her holster but it unfortunately didn’t make it into the game thus far.

Prototype Layout

From the beginning, our prototype had to be a reflection of what our game was capable of. Knowing that we were going to start with the 3rd level, I decided to design the prototype simulating the Cowboy Alien Land. It’s small and basic, but displays destructible, versatility, enemy encounters, and environmental obstacles.

Enemies

Below are the breakdown of enemies and their classes. This was also a collective team effort when it came to deciding on what we wanted our game enemies to be like.  However, the design team worked in more depth to finalize the different attributes of each.

Level 1 - Candyland

Melee​

  • Regular

  • Suicide

​Ranged

  • Regular

  • Toxic (AOE)

Level 2 - Plantland

Melee​

  • Regular

  • Suicide

​Ranged

  • Regular

  • Toxic (AOE)

Heavy

  • Regular

  • Berserker

Level 3 -  Cowboy Alien Land

Melee​

  • Regular

  • Suicide

​Ranged

  • Regular

  • Toxic (AOE)

  • Shielded

Heavy

  • Regular

  • Berserker

  • Shielded 

Final Boss - Master of Chaos (MC)
  • The Master of Chaos acts as a Heavy Berserker class but is a bit more stronger to stay standing longer.

Vertical Slice Milestone

For Vertical slice, we decided to fully make the 3rd level because it’s the only level that had every enemy type and Pax’s abilities. During this stage I focused on finalizing the level design and figuring out how we were going to line the borders of the map. In Maya I made 5 sets of walls. I made two different types of textures (outside walls and cave walls) for them and made sure they could be placed next to one another without clipping.

Pax - Design

Because this is such an important part of the game I worked with the design team to make Pax a character that the player will feel comfortable using. Below are the skills, moves, and abilities given to her.

Basic Moves

Movement - Left Analog Stick 

Aim - Right Analog Stick

Dash - A Button

Sword Swing - Left Trigger

Shoot - Right Trigger

Special Abilities

Gravity Trap - Left Stick Button

Sword Tornado - Left Bumper

Flame On - Right Bumper

Gun Projectiles
Flame On 

I went in and changed her bullet material to be more of a red color because she is the villain of this story. Also, I implemented one of my teammate’s particle effects onto the bullet. After the flame on ability was done, I implemented the particles to the balls falling and placed the decal into the blueprint for when it’s cast. With the Gravity trap, I took the model made by our lead 3D artist and placed an animated material inside to replicate the concept art.

Gravity Trap Animated Swirl

Concept Art by Gabriel Ramos

Level 3 - Design

These are wire frames and full screenshots of the 3rd level. I fully boxed out this level and placed the rocks meshes along the sides. As lead, after the border was done, I marked off different segments of the map and assigned level population while referring to these numbers.

Because there are a few explosives and destructible objects, our programmer made a base blueprint for them and I went in and made different ones for each destructible for each level. Lastly, the enemy placement work flow consisted of grouping enemies together and testing out the encounters to make sure that it flowed nicely with the game and didn’t feel too overwhelming. Each enemy is placed in a specific spot and in that spot, a target is placed and assigned to that enemy. Whenever the enemy is within range of the player they will chase them until a certain radius. If connection is lost they stop pulling aggro and run back to their target. This basic Blueprint was created by our programmer and implement by my design team and I.  

Walls and Layout
Destructible Blueprints
Enemy Markers

Level 3 - Lighting & PPFX

This level is the first one I placed lighting and post processing effect in and is essentially my first time messing with lighting as a whole. I placed 3 different post processing volumes in the scene (Outside, Cantina, and Cave) along with a directional light, skylight, light mass importance volume, and atmospheric fog.

Alpha Milestone

This milestone was indeed the hardest of my entire school career. Because we only has on level from vertical slice, for alpha we needed to make 2 more levels and a tutorial/Boss level. Because every level was a completely different theme and design, it was hard work trying to implement everything that we wanted. In the end, we worked for weeks straight getting everything we wanted in and looking ready for presenting.

Level 2 - Design

Level two is our Plant Land and below is the wire and lit outline of this level. This level has two critical paths with both starting on a elevated bridge platform. The player is taught right away how to use the spin tornado (the second ability). The goal for this level layout is to have two separate experience either way to decide to take. This eventually gives replay value to the level.

Tree Borders
Traps

In this level, we introduce two types of hazards and the first one being the traps. I designed this to be where the player is caught when walked over and can only use their ability taught, the spin tornado to get out. If they have aggro on them and needs to wait for their cool down, after 2 seconds, the player will be able to use their basics swing and hooting attack.

Water

The second hazard which is seen in this level is the water slowing. Every time the player walks through the water, they end up walking through the water collider which slows the player down to a certain percentage.

Destructible Blueprints
Landscape

Only Plant land and Cowboy Alien World has a terrain landscape. And at first I decided to manipulate the height map with the different brushes. But because there were some lighting issues and clipping of decals, I had to resort to just using the landscape for painting on materials. This is essentially why I used this tool in the first place. I can paint multiple textures together with a digital painting method. Below shows the setup of my materials and the landscape detail panel for both levels.

Level 1 - Design

Level one I had the least say in. This is candy land and our creative designer got to design the layout for this level. It consists of two different critical paths also. How I contributed to this level was implementing the textures on the walls and floors while fixing geometry and UVs of the border geometry.

Persistent Level

I was told by one of my teammates that using the persistent level and adding sub levels could be used as a great work managing flow for the design team. After much research, I went ahead and set up different sub layers with in the main level and had the team work on their assign level. This help us greatly because After setting this up, everyone could work in the same level at the same time without checking out the main level. The only requirement this needed was that each level needed to be full loaded always.

Level 1 Walls and Icing

For Candyland, I made modular icing pieces that went on the top of the cake walls all around the borders. Doing this gave the walls more a 3D feel so that they didn’t stay a flat geometry.

Throne Room - Design

This level is used as the Tutorial and Boss level. It was boxed out by our creative director but I implemented the textures and made all the assets used in it. Below are the items I modeled and textured for this level and what it looks like in the editor.

Asset Creation and Placement
Lighting and PPFX

This room is also the last level set up the lighting and PPFX for. I will say that hits were the most challenging for me because it was supposed to feel like it’s indoor and trying to find the right balance for the shadows was challenging. I will say that Im extremely happy with the way it turned out.

© 2018 by KRISTAL NEMBHARD

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