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The story of the Forsaken Realms begins with the once great and fruitful land of Sylvia. It was rife with villages, folk, and birdsong. But then the goblins descended from their mountains in the North...

Choose the path of a warrior, a tank, a mage, or a hunter, and embrace the journey ahead!

'Forsaken Realms' was the group project I participated in for our 'Professional Development' unit where we scored very highly. For this, I was given a level designer and 3D modelling role. My experience in this project was really useful in demonstrating my strengths and weaknesses when being part of a team.

 The video below is my major contribution to this group project, I had complete autonomy over the development of the final level.

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My role as the level designer involved a great deal of analysis, discussion, and re-factoring. However, I aimed to establish a few conditions for myself:

- I would, in the majority, be using home-made assets for the level

- I would use the first level we made and seek ways to ensure the playing experience was different

 

With these in mind, I started to learn Blender and its basics. At first, this was all very alien as I had never modelled before. Soon though, I got to grips quite quickly and began pushing assets to the repository for us to use. Their first iteration was not to the standard I'd envisioned, the vertices often overlapped and I hadn't prepared a functioning collision mesh. Although this meant I had to re-model most assets, I value the lesson of making assets functional AND polished too.

If I had the opportunity to improve this level, I would not remove the indirect controller feature entirely, but I would certainly dilute it. As it stands, it doesn't promote replayability and contradicts our aims which we set out at the start of the project. To encourage more open play, I would use my knowledge of event systems to add collectibles or puzzles in the map for players to solve, these could possibly lead to 'secret locations' which rewarded the player with gear for example.

At the end of the unit, I had the chance to represent the design team in delivering a talk about our game to our cohort:

With our brief being a remote-player experience, you will see below the players gathering in a living room. This was because we decided that the social hub should be a familiar space, especially off the back of the pandemic, where the player would feel comfortable and ready to begin the local session. We, as designers, were inspired by the concept of staying up late(r than you should be) with your friends playing games deep into the night!

With the teams' blessing, I entered our game into a showcase where local developers, lecturers, industry folk, and alumni gathered. It was a surreal experience getting real-time user feedback and the opportunity to show our work to everyone. This is a photo of our stall, featuring myself(left) and Mike Gaskell(right) from our design team.

Here is a demonstration of the multiplayer networking for Forsaken Realms: 
 

Pixel Bar, Manchester

May, 2022.

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