Solveland - Personal Project

Project Information

Project Description

Solveland is a first-person puzzle exploration game, where you got lost while exploring this newly found world. While searching for a way out, you gain the ability to rotate certain pieces of the environment. With this new ability, you have to solve big-scaled puzzles and explore this magical city.
  • Role: Solo dev
  • Project Type: First-person puzzle exploration game
  • Project duration: Ongoing
  • Software used: Unreal Engine 4 and 5, Photoshop, 3Ds Max
 

Itch.io page and some of my Blueprints on BlueprintUE

My Work

Details about my work

Switching to Unreal Engine 5

When Unreal Engine 5 officially came out, I transferred from Unreal 4 to 5. Which was a lot smoother than I thought it would be. The reason for this switch is that Unreal Engine 5 has a friendlier user interface. Icons are clearer, the interface is darker, making it easier on your eyes, and the quick Content Drawer is a great addition. Making it a pop-up means that you have a larger scene view. With Unreal Engine 5 comes plenty of new tech. Not everything is needed for this project. However, I am using a few.
  • Lumen Global Illumination and Reflections
  • Nanite Virtualized Geometry
  • Local Exposure Post-Processing

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.
 

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.
The overall look of the game was working well, but it was missing some details. Since I do not want to have textured assets, I have made a shader that I can apply on all my assets. The shader is projecting a squared noise texture on all sides with low opacity.