It was thought by the team that designing a 2D/3D side scrolling game with a maze type level structure would be simple and effective. A sort of graphic update on 16-bit side scrolling games of yesteryear. The aim for the player was to make their way to the bottom of the level, in order to add a simple puzzle element to the game obvious routes were blocked such as doors leaving the player to search for an alternate route such as breaking a grate or vent to gain access to an adjacent room.
The levels appearance is that of an abandoned ship that was built with limited resources. So I made a conscious effort to not include any pre made assets that come with UDK. Below is my first attempt to visualise our idea in UDK.
Enemies would appear in the form of hallucinations of the dead passengers that would appear in certain rooms, at this point the environment itself such as pipes and boxes were considered as a weapon for the player as well as some sort mutated hand which would give the character great strength.
The main problem with this level layout was when it came to controlling the character and re configuring its aiming. Due to limited tutorials available and little knowledge we decided to use UDK’s default view (first person).
Although as the screen shots below show I did come across a tutorial on setting up a 3rd person view similar to Gears of War that I experimented with but aiming the character would still have been an issue.
The learning curve “Engine Room”
The next idea was to split the ship into two separate UDK levels the first being the living quarters which included areas like the communication room and medical bay as well as the mess hall and cockpit. The second level was the engine room of the ship which was accessible via elevator access in the living quarters. The main objective this time was to have the player start in the living quarters and to be navigated by the use of a voice over to the cock pit, after some dialogue they are then told to make their way to the engine room. When the engine room is reached a cut scene occurs where a huge hole rips into the hull of the ship and the level fades out.
In order to make the level more interactive back story in the form of notes scattered around the level as well as recordings was one simple Idea we thought could be implemented to immerse the player. The following video includes the basic layout of the engine room as well as a few kismet sequences I had picked up such as animating a door in matinee using an interpactor. Enjoy….