Game Jam

I am beginning my third and final year with a Game Jam. The class have been split into groups of six and told to create a game within three weeks. The theme chosen for us is ‘New Perspectives’ and we must focus on keeping this at the core of our game for the duration of Game Jam.

Our Idea

The player is involved in a social experiment gone wrong. They start alone in a waiting room and are guided through the facility by the voice of a man. The tasks begin simple and are created to build trust between the player and the mysterious guide. As the player completes more tasks, their sanity and morals are tested through sinister encounters and decisions. The tasks become more disturbing and the guide starts to turn on the player. He begins to show how unhinged he is as he switches from screaming at the player to being really polite. As the player nears the end of the experiment, they are told to enter the office of the guide. When they go inside, they find him dead on the floor. Was it really him guiding them or was it just the player’s own mind gradually deteriorating? We believe this hits the New Perspectives theme in two ways. Firstly, each player will have to make difficult moral decisions within the game. The grim outcome of those decisions will be seen in a museum room at the end of the game but every player will see something different depending on the decisions they have made along the way. Each player will choose based on their own moral compass, meaning that every player’s perspective on the ‘right’ choice will be different. Secondly, the ending of the game is open to interpretation. It is up to the players to decide if the guide was there all along or if it is just a voice in the player’s own head as they lose their sanity.

Line Trace Blueprint & Master Interact

I started by creating a basic line trace in the First Person Character Blueprint. The line trace makes it easy to aim at an interactable object and it links to the Master Interact blueprint. The Master Interact forms a bridge between the line trace and an object. All interactable objects can be made as a child of the Master Interact and will be triggered by pressing ‘E’.

Door Blueprint

Next I created a blueprint which opens the a door. The door slides open using a lerp and actors in the start and end location. This opening is triggered by a button to the side of the door which has been blueprinted to press down and lift up again when interacted with.

Elevator Blueprint

The first image shows the blueprint for a button. This is blueprinted to press down again but when pressed, it spawns a key on a table across the room. 

The second image is the key. Instead of ‘spawning’ in, the key actually just toggles its viability on. Then, once interacted with, it changes the ‘IsLocked?’ boolean on the elevator door and destroys itself

The third image is the elevator door which remains locked until the key is picked up. Once the player has interacted with the key, the door will swivel open when interacted with.

Door Blueprint – Updated

Here I have updated the door blueprints and have optimised them much further. Rather than calling on actors for the door and button movements, these are now on billboards within the viewports. This instantly cleans up both the blueprints and the level. The button press is now on one timeline making it far easier to read the blueprint and it also triggers a red light above the door to turn green, this indicates that the door is now unlocked.

Elevator Blueprint – Updated

I have also improved and expanded on the elevator in the level. 

The first image is the blueprint for the two buttons that spawn the key. These are both now moving using one timeline and a billboard for the press movement. When one is pressed, it also disables the other one to prevent any glitches or bugs with spawning the key.

The second image is the key which works well and did not need any alterations.

The third image is the elevator. This reads the IsLocked? boolean from the key to prompt when the door opens. Then inside there is a triggerbox to close the door. The player must then press the button in the fourth image to decend. The button in the fifth image then tells the elevator to open the second door.

The fourth and fifth images show very simple commands which tell the elevator when the doors and floor can start their movement.

Drop Wall and Torch Blueprint

The first image shows a simple box collision that triggers two false wall panels to drop into the floor. This is used to reveal the endpoint of the room that the player is about to enter. Next is a torch that the player must pick up to see their way through the next room. The second image shows the blueprint for the torch on the table to disappear. This casts to the first person character and toggles the visibility of the torch that is already attached to the camera. 

The third image shows the custom event to toggle the torch visibility on. It is also linked to a line trace that was initially experimental. The test was to see if the player could pick up an object that will be destroyed when dropped. The crate is still a work in progress and may be added or scrapped depending on the success.

Moral Decision 1 Blueprint

As part of our game, the player is expected to make certain difficult decisions based on scenarios that test their morals. The more unpleasant outcomes of these decisions will be shown in a museum themed room at the end of the game. Here is the blueprint for these decisions.

The player presses a button to decide the outcome of the decision. Both buttons work off a single timeline and a billboard to create a press animation. If one button is pressed, the other is instantly disabled to prevent issues in the museum. Both buttons are wired almost the same. They both open the door to the next area and both toggle the visibility of two sets of stairs. The buttons are located on a raised platform but, once pressed, the button switches the location of the stairs in order to confuse the player and guide them more effectively to the newly opened door. However, each button corresponds to a different spotlight located in the museum room. This means that the highlighted sections of the museum change according to the players choices, this emphasises the severity of their choices at the end of the game and makes the player want to replay to see the different outcomes.

Moral Decision 2 Blueprint

As part of our game, the player is expected to make certain difficult decisions based on scenarios that test their morals. The more unpleasant outcomes of these decisions will be shown in a museum themed room at the end of the game. Here is the blueprint for these decisions.

The player presses a button to decide the outcome of the decision. Both buttons work off a single timeline and a billboard to create a press animation. If one button is pressed, the other is instantly disabled to prevent issues in the museum. Both buttons are wired almost the same. They both open the fireplace to the next area. The buttons are located on a desk and, once pressed, they toggle the visibility of 2 artefacts in the final museum room. This means that the museum will change according to the players choices, this emphasises the severity of their choices at the end of the game and makes the player want to replay to see the different outcomes. (Moral Decision 1 Blueprint has now also been updated to toggle visibility of artefacts rather than a spotlight.)

Final Playthrough

This is a video showcasing my blockout and blueprint work on the whole level. All that is left now is to place in assets and textures and then to package the game ready for submission.