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Tiinesmann Week 3- Project Proposal

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Overview

For this project, I plan to create a 2.5D point and click adventure game built using Unreal Engine 4. The central premise of the game is as follows; A family move into an old house. The child of the family goes to explore and eventually stumbles upon an odd character in the attic (Current idea is a vampire) who gives them tasks and grants them magical abilities upon completion. These abilities will be centred around the elements and used to complete future tasks.

Rationale and Motivation

I wanted to challenge myself to make a polished demo in UE4. I’ve been playing a lot of 2D side scroller puzzle/adventure games recently and have been really enjoying them, and since I’ve always loved point and click style games I wanted to create my own.

I’ve made 2D games in the past using the Construct 2 and RPGMaker engines but have never made one (to a polished result) using an industry standard engine. I want to create a polished piece for my portfolio that I can include a download link to so that those who view it can play some of my work.

Technical Overview

Software

  • Unreal Engine 4.21.2

  • Photoshop CS6/CC

  • Premier Pro

  • Audacity


Project Deliverables

After researching what the engine is capable of and what has been accomplished using the engine in the past, I have decided that my goal for this project is as follows;

● Create a vertical slice introducing the characters and the basics of the mechanics of the game.

o Inventory with pickups

o Clickable dialogue with characters

● 1 task for the player to complete, with fully polished puzzles

● Branching Dialogue (Introducing the PC, introducing Terry (the Attic guy), completing the quest)

● Fully rendered player character and Terry

● Design document

● Weekly Development Blog


Music/Sound

I will be using sounds from a humble bundle I bought, along with sounds from Freedsound.org, and sounds I create myself.


Movement and Interaction

The player will control movement using the A and D keys to move left and right through the scenes and interact with objects and their environment using the mouse. There will be an inventory system which will allow the player to use items to help them complete tasks. Areas for Investigation For this project I will need to look into the following topics; ● Level design of 2D Narrative Driven Games; This will help me create an all-round better product, and make the demo more enjoyable for the player

● Maya and Substance Painter; I will need to use these to create the 3D assets for the game

● Narrative themes in similar games; This will help my game stand out and allow me to make something unique.


Background Research

I have looked at several games from this created in a variety of engines. These games include both modern and classic examples from the point and click adventure genre.


What are point and click?

Point and click games are either controlled using only the mouse or using the A/D keys to move the character, and the mouse to interact with the scene. Players must use logic and clues scattered throughout the scenes to complete tasks, solve puzzles and progress the story.


Why am I researching this genre?

There has been a resurgence of 2D adventure games in recent years. Some examples would be Double fines Broken Age and Fran Bow. These games have sold well, but their designs are flawed. In both cases, I’ve found that the player (myself, and youtubers who I watched play afterwards) stopped making progress at similar points in the games. In Broken age, this is in the second act, when the player must solve a puzzle in the Vella section using information gained in Shays section. The stories had been entirely separate before this point, so the sudden need to progress in Shays story to progress in Vela’s was an odd change. The Point and Click Puzzle Design video by Game Maker’s Toolkit explains this issue in more detail.



I want to make a modern style point and click game (like Fran Bow [2015, August 27], OxenFree [2016, January 15], SallyFace [2016, December 15] etc.), with the correct balance of hand holding and allowing the player to figure things out on their own.

I’ll be focusing on older games (Sam and Max [1993], Day of the tentacle [1993]) to create a more pleasant user experience within the genre while using the modern examples to advise my visual and narrative design.

Laura Ward Indie Games Development Q5063663

Ethics My project should have no problems regarding ethics. The age rating I have in mind for the final product is Teen, or 12A. As the game is a point and click game with no combat, blood or incredibly graphic scenes, it could possibly be suitable for a younger audience, but as it has supernatural themes and is based entirely on using logic and hints to progress, I would rather keep the age rating higher.

Schedule - Set up via Hack’n’Plan I created my schedule using the Hack’n’Plan Webware. Unfortunately, I’m unable to share a link as users must be invited via email to the project. However, I will be inviting my supervisor and second reader to the project so that they can view it.

References

1. Game Maker's Toolkit. (2015, August 12). Point and Click Puzzle Design | Game Maker's Toolkit. [WebLink]

2. Humble Bundle. (2019, November). Humble Music and Sound Effects for Games, Films, and Content Creators Bundle [WebLink]

3. Killmonday Games. (2019, April 22). Little Misfortune.

4. Hack’n’Plan. Webware. [WebLink]

5. No Code. (2017, February 27 ). Stories Untold.

6. Gabry, S. (2016, December 15). Sally Face.

7. Night School Studio. (2016, January 15). Oxenfree

8. Games, Killmonday. (2015, August 27). Fran Bow.

9. Taika Waititi, J. C. (Director). ( 2014). What We Do in the Shadows [Motion Picture].

10. Tim Schafer, Double Fine (2014, January 28 ). Broken Age.

11. Justin Achilli, Rose Bailey, Matthew McFarland, Eddy Webb. (2011). Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition. White Wolf Publishing, Inc (USA).

12. James, R. (2008). Synapsis.

13. Handler), L. S. (2006). A Series of Unfortunate Events. 14. Holly Black, T. D. (n.d.). The Spiderwick Chronicles. Simon & Schuster.

15. Shan, D. (2000). The Saga of Darren Shan. HarperCollins (UK), Little, Brown and Company (USA).

16. DoubleFine. (1993). Sam & Max Hit the Road.

17. Lucasarts, D. F. (1993). Day of the Tentacle.

18. LucasArts. (1992). Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

19. Krome Studios Melbourne. (1982). The Hobbit.

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