Shrines

I created Shrines along with three teammates for the Prototyping II course at Full Sail University. We were tasked with designing, implementing, and iterating mechanics in the Unreal Development Kit to create an engaging gameplay experience. The project lasted a total of one month from preproduction to completion.

After a bit of experimentation we arrived at the idea of using a point-and-click interface, and wanted to try something a little outside the norm for that style. What we ultimately came up with was something of a point-and-click platformer, where the player must click to various positions to safely navigate a deadly environment. This is done by navigating the character to shrines that grant it temporary power-ups.

Each of the three different shrines grants a different ability when clicked on. Those abilities are:

Speed Boost: The time it takes for the player’s avatar to move from its current position to the next spot clicked by the player is greatly reduced.

Lens of Truth: Otherwise invisible objects in the environment are revealed to the player (bridges to cross over lava pits, for example).

Invulnerability: As the name suggests, the player takes no damage and can safely move past otherwise deadly obstacles.

The largest challenge was fine-tuning each mechanic so that it was useful but not overpowered. This included tweaking the duration of their effects, how fast Speed Boost allowed you to move, and attributes of that nature. Scripting, testing, and iterating on these features was the bulk of the work throughout the month.

In addition to that process, I worked on the game’s visual elements to ensure different events were being clearly communicated to the player. This included setting up a light system to visualize the power-ups, color-coordinating them and the the accompanying shrines, and making sure none of the level’s visual features clashed with them. The entire lighting system was implemented using Unreal Kismet.

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