NADE MAGE

Introduction

Nademage is an action adventure game, focusing on verticality and none-linearity. The game consists of two levels. In the first level the player must light two beacons which trigger the opening of the second level. In level two the player is faced with a boss encounter. The project was a group project that took roughly 120 hours to develop, and I was in charge of developing the first level to whitebox as well as working with the game design of the game. My inspiration for the level design came from the first Dark Souls game where you have to find and ring two different bells in order to proceed.

Specifications

  • Unreal Engine 4
  •  Assets from Unreal Marketplace

Main Goals

  • A character with three abilities 
  • Enemy AI with two different attack sequences
  • Health and damage system
  • None-linearity
  • Hidden items

What did I learn?

  • Enemy AI
  • Animation-based attacks
  • Animating character montages
  • Working with other artists in projects

Level Design

1.

  • The game starts with the player placed on a bridge, overlooking the game world
  • When the player moves around the room, they spot two beacons that look similar to the beacons at the bridge.

2.

  • The player is free to move around and explore the fort.
  • The player has three different ways to enter the fort, by either the bridge, hole or entrance.

3.

  • Hidden treasures are revealed behind bars the tower, giving hints that there are other ways to enter.
DanielKarta

Map provided by Daniel Svahn

4.

The player will find themselves in a linear segment where enemies has been placed on high ground. This serves as a tutorial for what is to come at the later stage of the game.

5. 

The player lights the first beacon and is able to spot the second one on the mountain.

6.

The player climbs the mountain and lights the second beacon, opening the path to the boss.

Game Design

Meet The Nade Mage!

Ability 1: FireDash
The purpose of this ability was to give the player a lot of control when they are in the air. Fire Dash is a double jump that sends the player flying through the air using movement keys navigate (WASD)

Ability 2: Fireball projectile
I wanted to create a medium ranged projectile with an arc which forced the player to move closer to enemies.

Ability 3: Nova bomb
An area of effect that launches the player up in the air. Deals a moderate amount of damage and uses stamina. The ability’s main purpose is to defeat enemies and reach elevated platforms. 

Level 2 - Boss Fight

My partner for this project was responsible for the level design of this level and I was responsible for the boss encounter. Upon entering the boss room the player is greeted by a “big ball of death” which is revealed to be the boss. The encounter consists of four different phases.

Phases

Phase one: 
The encounter starts with the boss firing his projectiles at the player while spawning groups of enemies that try to shield the boss from the player’s projectiles. 

Phase two:
Phase two begins when the boss reaches 75% of his health, spawning a large shield that surrounds the boss while two creatures appear that the player must fight. This point also serves as the start of the main mechanics of the battle. 

Phase three:
As the player defeats the two spawned creatures the shield surrounding the boss disappears. The boss spawns’ additional enemies to protect him from the player’s projectiles. 

Phase four:
The last phase of the fight starts when the boss is at 25% health. This phase moves the boss to the other side of the room, spawning a new shield and two new creatures that the player has to defeat before killing the boss. 

Closing Thoughts

One of my goals with the project was to create a world with a focus on art and heavy assets. This meant that I had to optimize my scrips and communicate with my partner to make sure that this goal was met. Worth mentioning is that this was my first attempt at creating behavior trees using Unreal. 

 At the early stages of development my partner and I wanted to build a large overworld that the game was supposed to take place in. This was, however, scrapped as we quickly realized that the scope of it was too ambitious for a project of this size. We also ran into some issues with pipelines. This led us to having a discussion on what to keep. Finally, we ended up with the two areas previously presented (The bridge, fort, mountain and the Cathedral boss room). 
Concluding, this has been a great learning experience for me as I was able to work a lot with game design and level design, leaving level art to my partner.