Stephen Mark Smith - Gameplay Designer

Cooperative Colour Shooter – Master’s Project

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Skills Demonstrated

➤ Unreal Blueprint Scripting
➤ Sequential Object and Enemy Placement
➤ Basic Level Blockout using BSP
➤ Designing for player communication for local co-op
➤ Balancing and Tuning variables at instance level

Project Description

The colour shooter was designed and developed to test theories on communication-based team-working, player dependencies in cooperative games and placing targets in a sequential fashion as requested by the project’s client.

What Worked?

➤ Scripting mechanics that forced players to coordinate and time their shots, making them communicate with each other. Demonstrated by the purple-coloured enemies.
➤ Sequencing of targets and in-game problems from easiest to hardest by sticking closely to a principle known as Well-Ordered Problems.
➤ Using coloured lighting to subtly communicate solutions to problems to players as well as communicating when they can progress to the next room.

What could be improved?

➤ AI behaviour was too simple (not using behaviour trees and blackboards and relying purely on custom events), making it hard to tune and balance.
➤ Did not make use of inheritance for Blueprint objects, meaning scripting work became repetitive and confusing due to manually scripting mechanics for duplicated objects
➤ Level layout design could have had more thought put into it in the context of a cooperative game where player communication is the key component to success.