Solveland - Personal Project

Project Information

Project Description

Solveland is a first-person puzzle adventure game, where you got trapped in an ancient and magical city. This city named Skybreak has some unexplanatory mysteries. You gain the ability to rotate certain pieces of the environment, and with this ability, you have to solve big-scaled puzzles in order to progress further.
  • Role: Solo game developer
  • Project Type: Puzzle/Adventure Game Project
  • Project duration: Ongoing
  • Planning: Working towards a playable Demo
  • Software used: Unreal Engine 4, Photoshop, 3Ds Max, Miro, Trello, Google Sheets

Devlogs & playable build link, my Blueprints on BlueprintUE

Logo Animation & Walkthrough (from May 8th, 2021)

My Work

Details about my work

Improved Player Experience

One of the first elements of the game that I was going to improve, was the Player Experience. During my graduation project, I have spend a lot of time building puzzles and implementing obstacles/block-out assets. Designing and building a proper tutorial of the game’s features and mechanics has been a big improvement. There were also some features in the game that didn’t had any visual representation, such as save points, puzzle endpoints and pathways. Giving them visuals helps a ton for the player to understand what is happening.
Another big topic that will help with the overall player experience, are effects, both visual and audio. I have implemented some sound effects, such as ambient wind, footsteps on different materials, rotating cubes and the activation of a rotating pad.
 

Working towards a Vertical Slice

Another thing that I have decided for myself is that I should be focusing on a small part of the game first. Get that section to a presentable level. This will help me understand how the rest of the game will look and feel like and it keeps my planning more clear and achievable.
 

Overcoming Blueprint Challenges

My experience with Unreal Blueprinting is on an intermediate level, so there is plenty of room for me to improve. There are challenges that I had to overcome regarding Blueprinting and creating certain features. Creating tools that will help me build a level was one of them. I was able to create a tool for fences, bridges, and chains.
The game uses level streaming instead of level loading. One of the issues that came with it was that a level was being reset every time it was loading out and back in. To combat this issue, I have created a level director that stores the state of all the saveable objects in that level. 
 

Creating a suitable Art Direction

The visual look of the game is something that I wanted to keep rather simple. The goal was to keep the assets quite squared (which reflects the core features of the game) and with flat colors. In the beginning I was working with an atlas texture that I was using for all the assets, but I switched to using materials. I have set it up in such a way, that the assets are assigned a different shade of each color, to give it some variation.