Click to play:
'Ruins of Necrobury' is an isometric puzzle game implemented in Unreal 4.
It began as an university project in which we were given a tile based system - with basic shapes for visuals and movement functionality - and tasked with designing and programming additional mechanics for it for the purpose of ultimately designing and implementing a puzzle game.
I decided to go with a teleportation based mechanic, so first I made a little placeholder component out of basic shapes: a teleporter.
Next, I got to work programming. The goal was to have the player - if lined up with the teleporter - to be able to then teleport as many tiles as they are away from the teleporter perpendicular (& to the right) of the teleporter. Of course I would also need to validate the player cannot teleport off the map, into a wall or occupied tile, etc.
As you can see from this event graph, it took a lot of programming. There are checks stepping through each tile to confirm the player is lined up with the teleporter, finding the target tile, validating that it's within bounds, relocating the player to that tile, resetting all the stepping variables that are making these checks, etc. etc.
The below event graph represents all the programming going into the teleportation functionality, most of those nodes are calling smaller functions (opened up in the various tabs at the top of the event graph window) of which have extensive graphs of nodes themselves.
I got to work testing, debugging, and more testing, until I had it working as desired. Then it was onto puzzle design.
I found designing the puzzles to be very enjoyable, even relaxing. It was a lot trial and error, but eventually I would have a solid puzzle and then move onto the next. I believe we were only required to create two puzzles (thus two "levels" of the game), but I ended up creating four. I was just enjoying the process that much.
We were not required to polish our puzzle games, but I couldn't resist. I acquired some assets from the usual marketplaces and went to work. The model I used for the player character set the tone for the game's theme: cozy horror. All other art assets I acquired complimented this initial choice. Setting up an animation state machine and correlating inputs was fairly straightforward, as the movement was constrained to tile-to-tile movement already. In fact, some actions were only animation montages that were called within functions and not in the state machine proper.
Using the UMG UI Designer (Unreal Motion Graphics) I next made a splash page, instructional page, HUD, win screen, and credits page. Pretty straightforward there as well.
From there it was more polish and refactoring. Even when the course that the assignment was for had already finished... even when I had graduated from the degree program... I continued to work on this small game eventually publishing it on itch.io.
My full milestone presentations (mechanic demo, 'navigator', & 'driver' respectfully) for the original class assignment can be viewed below.
'Ruins of Necrobury' Presentations
Mechanic Used in Context of Puzzle Design - Demo
Performing as an emcee for a stunt show in Dubai.
I'm a recent graduate of Full Sail University, awarded salutatorian, with a bachelor of science in Interactive Technology - with a focus in Game Design.
I am also leveraging 20 years of previous experience as an actor (SAG-AFTRA) and a creative (writing & directing), working primarily in live entertainment.
Coding bootcamp (through UT at Austin) early in the pandemic.
Candid selfie, at the desk programming.