Project Breakthrough was created for an assignment in my second year at Full Sail University. In Game Design II, we were given the task to make a game based on the concept of "deception." The idea was to create a game within the month as a "game jam." We were given the option to team up or work solo. In my case, I chose to work solo.
My overall idea was to make an action FPS that involved sneaking/distraction tactics. The goal was to give the player an option as to how they navigated past the enemy AI. The player could sneak, attempt to fight, blend in with guard uniforms, and throw objects to distract the enemies. With this concept came many challenges, such as balancing the mechanics so that the player wouldn't rely heavily on one over another. Getting this right involved a lot of playtesting and reiteration, on top of hours and hours of programming. Breakthrough works on Windows and can be downloaded below!
About the Project
Because this was a solo project, I was in charge and responsible for all aspects of the game. The ones that took the most focus were as follows:
Enemy AI - I was new to making AI in Unreal at the time of creating this project. I spent a lot of time trying to get the base functionality incorporated into the AI. This included basic movement, behaviors that allowed the AI to become distracted, code that made the player invisible to the AI, and the ability to chase/lose the player.
Combat - Combat in this game is limited to the player. The enemy AI don't actually shoot or attack but rather chase after you. When they catch you, you lose, and the level starts over. Nonetheless, creating the combat system for the player took some time. It involved ammo, reloading, damage, and more. Initially, I was using projectiles that would fire from the gun and deal damage on collision but found that using a line trace worked far better. This system took a lot of balancing to get right, as I did not want the player to rely on combat to navigate the levels.
Level Design - The game consists of three levels; the first floor, the second floor, and the third floor. Each level began as a basic bubble diagram and eventually evolved into a more detailed level design document (these can be seen in the documents below). After designing the levels via drawings and diagrams, I opted to prototype the layout using a blender. At the time, I felt that I would be able to do so way quicker in a blender than with the primitives inside of unreal. After much reiterating and tweaking of the level layout, I began replacing whatever assets I could with finalized assets that I had access to.
Play Testing - Playtesting was essential to both the game and the assignment itself, as it was a requirement. Many playtests were conducted and many features of the game were iterated on based on the findings from those playtests. All of the playtesting data can be seen in the GDD below.