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'The Northman' was a passion project I undertook as part of a game jam hosted by a Twitch streamer, the brief being ' a game based on a film'. I had just recently watched the Robert Eggers classic in the cinema and was freshly inspired by his vision to create a dream sequence of sorts based on Amleth's (the main character) life experiences.

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(left) a screenshot of the game inspired by shots in the film. (right) an official screenshot of the Northman, dir. by Robert Eggers.

For this weekend-long jam, I wanted to experiment with several micro-elements within game design including:

 

  •  sound effects and mixing

  •  trigger handles

  •  animation controlling

Using trigger boxes to partition the map, I assigned each box a specific sound and boolean value to progress the narrative for the player. 

Since this exploration, I have made much better use of Unity's built-in devices and functions whilst demonstrating better competency with regard to
sequencing in levels. I now focus and empathise with the player, aiming to put myself in their shoes and speculate how the level makes them feel. No matter the genre, I want my games to feel visceral.

Above is a video playthrough of the level (use sound), making use of sounds I recorded myself to increase the level of immersion for the player.

I refactored the code behind the character controller to add minimalistic camera shaking and experimented with the camera's position to be 'over-the-shoulder'. This was inspired by Sony Santa Monica's God of War, whereby the player is positioned alongside the character rather than playing from their perspective - this is something I intend to experiment with further in the future.

Upon revisiting, I intend to finalise the short playing experience with a boss confrontation such as the main adversary in the story, Fjolnir.

GRADSinGAMES

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GRADSinGAMES

The Hidden Valley was my environment art submission for the GradsInGames 'Search for a Star' competition, the brief being to create four separate assets (providing screenshots and documentation) that would populate an environment within UE4 or UE5. As I had no previous experience using Unreal Engine 5, I chose to experiment with the newest installment of the engine.

I was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth legendarium when conceptualizing and designing the environment, specifically 'Rivendell' which means in the common tongue: 'deep valley'. Here are the four main assets I created (using Blender for modelling and Adobe Substance Painter for texturing) to build the environment around. I am comfortable working in both a low and mid-poly workflow, aiming to field optimised and eyecatching assets which have no negative impact on playing performance.

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As highlighted in the presentation, I intended to explore the placement and organisation of assets to deliver a compelling and clear narrative- through the Lumen lighting system built into Unreal Engine 5. This was an interesting exploration as prior, I only considered lighting during post-production as a post-processing component, rather than building an environment with it at the forefront.

 
I was able to
successfully implement a lighting volume to highlight checkpoints in the level, whilst working within the framework of the brief and inspirational material:

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