First person survival-horror, Puzzle, Simulation
Level Design, Level Artist, Game Design
Unreal Engine 4, Perforce
The Unseen is a first person survival-horror game. You are on your way down to the colony’s automated water treatment plant to repair broken machinery when you realize something is deeply wrong. What at first only seemed to be another day at the job has now turned into a nightmare. Your company Paraple Corporation has provided you with a multitool. The multitool has two different modes. One for interacting and repairing, another for scanning. With the multitool you can scan for broken machinery and repair it. But something else gets picked up by the scanner, something unknown.
The main goal was to create an environment that felt empty and with a magnifying feeling of being alone. With verticality without jumping, high ceilings and wide open spaces, but at the same time crooks and crannies the player could hide in and places for puzzles to be solved. Another aspect of the map was not too much backtracking but still reuse some areas for an hub-like area in the middle of the map.
This was achieved thanks to feedback, prototyping and iteration of the state of the game as I progressed.
From paper to blockout to finnished level
Worked on set-dressing
UI & CREDITS
Scripted and implemented UI and credits in blueprints
Prototyping in blueprints
Scripted multiple gameplay mechanics in blueprints
We started off by creating an overview of how the levels layout could be and decided to have a sort of hub-area in the middle of the map where the player would return to multiple times. This would also have the functionality of being a safe area. Having a hub-like area would also make it easier for the player to navigate throughout the level.
I sketched up a paper-map to visualize the layout and where to place puzzles and enemy encounters before starting in the editor. I also added secret passages that's only accessible from the area the main goal is in.
AREA 01 - PART 1
After the level had a basic block out, I started with the set dressing to give life and a bit of a character to the level. I wanted a feeling that nobody had been down there for years and that it wasn’t safe.
I wanted to keep a clear line of sight to the first obstacle and puzzle the player is introduced to. For this I added catwalks in the ceiling to add guiding lines forward, “framing” the two focused objects.
I also added some fallen catwalks to make the facility seem more old and abandoned and to submerge the feeling that no one has been down here for a long time.
AREA 01 - PART 2
For the second half of the starting area, I wanted it to feel like you as a player enters deeper into the ground/facility, so I decided to add some stairs to add a bit of verticality.
In the first blockout, the stairs was just a straight line down, but when I started to set dress I changed it into a more "facility" like staircase. A also made one of the staircases broken to lead the player on the right path.
Another thing here that got moved in later iterations is a puzzle components due to players interacting with it before they got introduced to the mechanic behind it and didn’t know what to do.
In the main hall, or hub-area as we called it, I wanted to add an extra feeling of the facility being enormous, so I added a view-window in the form of a shaft going down under the focused object in the room. This resulted in adding depths and volume to the area. I also, as in the other rooms, added a bunch of catwalks and stairs in the ceiling to add an extra layer of that you, the player, are only on one of many floors.
This area was initially intended to only be a window the player could look through to get a feeling of the vast size of the facility but ended up as the “ending room” of the game / demo. This meant it needed a massive facelift. I kept the size of the room but added more hight to make it feel even bigger. I also changed out the water tanks to sort of a river or channel in the middle, surrounded by pillars, machines and doors.
With directions from the art department, (see pic 1 to the right), I created the main menu. They wanted the effect of the text / button indenting when hovered which was something I've never done before but I accepted the challenge with open arms.
The way I made it work was to create an invisible box in front of the text which I changed the size of which in turn moved the text to the desired location. I then implemented this to all the different menus in the game.
I created an animation for the credit scene, then looped it but before each loop starts, the text in each field is changed to the next in line. When the last one is displayed, it starts over from the start again.
We wanted a way to indicate what the player could interact with in our world, so I created a small animation for the ingame crosshair, it gets more visible and focused.
After this I felt something was missing so I made two other separate animations, one for when the player starts interacting and one for when the player is interacting. Then I blend between these to get the full effect you see in the game.