Saturday, 14 February 2015

Off The Map II - Blueprints are a puzzling thing

This week was all about cementing a solid concept for what we are planning on doing and what we want to achieve. First thing to tackle was gameplay, and how to make our level interesting and engaging for the player, easy enough right?

Well first of all this required some decent blueprinting knowledge. For you guys who don't know blueprints are Unreal Engine 4's new visual scripting system that has been designed to replace UDK's Kismet. It basically gives artists access to all the power of a programmer without having to learn the sometimes daunting language of C++ or others.

As our game involves some puzzles we knew that some decent level of blueprinting would be needed to make it work. So I went and completed a load of tutorials from Youtube so I could get to grips with the basics, with the later half of the week spent trying to prototype these ideas for puzzles we had. It taken no short amount of help from other people to get some of the puzzles working in the end.

Me attempting to use blueprints.

For how we actually designed the puzzles we looked at logic puzzles from TV shows such as Crystal Maze (Hence the gif) and games like Professor Layton. We then thought of unique ways we could tie it back while still pushing certain concepts further such as:

Anamorphic image based Puzzles!
As you could probably guess from the pictures an Anamorphic image is one that is cast from a point which appears to defy perspective. Our idea is that we could use this as a unique angle to base some of the puzzles around, where the player has to stand in a particular point to observe the whole image in order to continue. The rabbit hole in the book is known for it's ways in being to be able to play with twisting reality, using the anamorphic puzzles just seemed to gel well with our concept of having a 'crooked house' feel to the whole rabbit hole.

There were also ideas for a room based around turning white roses red within a time limit and the idea of using riddles to find a book were also things we looked at, it actually turned out that getting these ideas to work well together as gameplay mechanics is actually harder than creating the puzzles themselves. So more work needs to be done into next week in order to make sure these are engaging enough to work everything else into the mix.

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