My TFG project, a vertical slice of a Twin Stick Shooter.
Windows, Mac, Linux
Unreal Engine 4
Blueprints Visual Scripting
Team Size: 4
Game Design, Level Design, Technical Design, Gameplay Scripting, UX Design, UI Design, Lighting, 3D Animation
This project was developed in order to finish my degree with a full game designed and scripted by me.
To develop this video game, I made it with Unreal Engine 4 by using Blueprints Visual Scripting, creating a Twin Stick Shooter that mixes RPG and Souls-Like elements.
Project Design Goals
- Finish my degree with a complete video game developed with Unreal Engine 4
- Improve my Unreal Engine 4 skills, using its different tools for a 3D video game
- Improve my narrative skills scripting a story that breaks the fourth wall
- Improve my game designer skills developing a video game that mixes multiple genres
In development by
- Germán López Gutiérrez (Me)
- Elvira Gutiérrez Bartolomé
- Francisco Montiel Díaz
- Alejandro Moreno Segovia
Stigma Protocol: TFG Project
For the development of the video game it is necessary to answer a series of key questions in order to clarify the intentions and needs of the project.
What is the game about?
The video game tells the story of Adam, a human belonging to an organization known as The Drivers, a special forces that inhabit a ship called Entelechia, which orbits around the planet Earth. The goal of Adam and the rest of the Drivers is to finish with an alien race known as the Seraphim, because they dominated the Earth and a large percentage of the human population was exterminated, being strange to find more than 500 humans in a city. What Adam does not know is that there is an entity that will help him move forward, although in the process he will lose his personality. Adam will come to realize this and will seek to reveal himself against this entity, breaking the fourth wall in the process and discovering the existence of the player.
Why create the game?
In recent years, many famous directors such as Davey Wredden, Dan Salvato or Hideo Kojima have sought the most interactive way to introduce the player as a participant in the fictional world. For this, one of the most important resources has been the breaking of the fourth wall, a tool used for the first time in Greek theater, which has been in continuous evolution until today, reaching the field of video games. Works such as Doki Doki Literature Club!, The Stanley Parable or Metal Gear Solid have sought ways to involve the player directly with the characters, being the main theme of this project to determine whether character and player can generate a direct connection through the breaking of the fourth wall and the course of a plot, making use of the analysis of different key video games and the implementation of the techniques analyzed in the development of a real video game.
The interaction between character and player is a concept that has not yet been sufficiently deepened and gives rise to mechanics yet to be studied. Therefore, a video game that has as its main axis a protagonist with personality conflicts where the player can force him to make decisions he does not want, can cause interesting situations such as the protagonist to reveal himself against the user who controls him, putting his decisions before his decisions and creating a common thread where character and player must coexist in order to reach the end of the adventure between the two of them.
What is the main objective of the project?
The main objective of this video game is to determine if the character and the player can generate a direct connection by breaking the fourth wall and the direct involvement of the player with the fictional characters.
Which are the differentiating aspects of the game?
- Direct involvement of the player by reading data from the system on which he/she is playing (username, save files, etc.).
- Mix of the genre “Twin Stick Shooter” with a level design typical of a “Soulslike”.
- Differentiation between the avatar or protagonist entity and the player himself, being both different entities that interact with each other at different points of the plot.
Unreal Engine prototype
Taking into account all that was stated in the previous section -focused on the development of a complete videogame- we have proceeded to develop a game prototype. This prototype will be used to collect, through a questionnaire, the necessary data on whether or not it manages to convey the feelings of immersion and the feeling of breaking the fourth wall.
The story takes place in Neo-Osaka, a city surrounded by military settlements after the arrival of the angels. Adam, as a member of the Drivers, is sent to this city in order to defeat the Seraph in it. During the mission, he will meet two people who will ask him a series of questions that will make Adam doubt his own being, as he believes that what he answers is not what he really feels. The adventure concludes with Adam revealing himself against the player’s control, ending the demo at that point.
Secondary Questline: A Ring for the Living
In the city, Adam encounters John, a weapons expert with a crestfallen attitude who lost his wife earlier that day. He will ask Adam to find his wife’s ring and return it to him, as he wants to keep a memento of her, but does not have the ability to go on his own due to the dangers in the area. In addition, John assures Adam that he will receive an upgrade for his rifle, since, as the weapons expert that he is, he has the knowledge to enhance the offensive characteristics of the weapon.
Adam, after finding the ring and returning it to him, receives the upgrade for his rifle, but not before affirming to John how strong his feelings for his late wife appear to be. John then asks him if he has ever loved anyone, a question that breaks Adam’s mind, since the question is not his to ask, but the one who controls him, the gambler. Finally, after giving an answer, John and Adam say goodbye and go their separate ways.
For this prototype we designed a single level segmented into areas, similar to the areas of the Dark Souls video game, whose genre, the Soulslike, is the one we want to reflect in the level design. A total of 4 distinct areas have been defined:
- Streets of Neo-Osaka
- Commercial area
- Military settlement
In this scenario, we have taken advantage of the mechanical characteristics of the video game, such as verticality. These mechanics are applied in the placement of enemies on surfaces such as vehicles or in the implementation of zones in lower layers -as is the case of the commercial area-, or the existence of shortcuts, adding the ring of John’s wife next to a ramp through which you can quickly return to the initial area. As the scenario is divided into two vertical layers, a layout has been made for the upper zone.