The Petrified Pantheon

Stealth Game

Full Playthrough

Summary

Specifications

The Petrified Pantheon is a stealth action adventure centerd around loot and player movement. 

  • Single player stealth game.

  • Created in 4 Weeks, 4h per day.

  • Made with Unreal Engine 4

  • Made using basic shapes

Game Design

My focus with The Petrified Pantheon was to create an experience where the player can live out the fantasy of a sneaky archeologist/kleptomaniac.

The game mechanics should be easy to grasp whilst having depth in practice.

I also try to use the common knowledge players have from popculture like Medusas petrifying stare. I try to use enviornmental story telling and enemy design to highlight this. 

Player character

I wanted to make the player character easy to learn but consistently fun to use. I push this through simple stealth mechanics, like ledge hanging and crouch walking. These mechanics are easy to understand but enable variation in gameplay, because they work off of the enviornment. This gives me the tools to create new senarios through level design rather than adding new mechanics to keep things fresh. 

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Ledge hang and get up

Crouch/Crouch walk

Loot-toss and sound

 

The loot toss ability is the main way the player interacts with the guards. The player throws a projectile that detracts from the players current loot. This projectile bounces creating collision sphears that distract any guards struck. 

The player's run cycle also creates similar sound sphears. 

               Loot toss

Guards

Much like the rest of this project the guards are designed to be simple to understand, but versatile in practice. 

The guards flowchart revolves around two states. Idle and Alerted. 

Idle: the guard either roams via patrol points, or rotates its head contiuesely if stationary.

Alert: the guard chases the player and constantly rotates it's head in the player's direction. 

There are also behaviours that bridge between the two states but only serve to make the transition smoother for the player. 

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Guard alerted

Guard roaming

                                   Creating safe zones, vision cones and linetracing

I used linetracing and dynamic lighting to create a consistent vision cone

Stationary and roaming versions

Having two versions was a good way to limit how much the player needs to learn about the guards at once and to create more stealth scenarios when designing the level.

Roaming version

The roaming guard is the main enemy the player encounters and is what most of the tutorialisation builds up towards. 

Stationary version

Behaves the same way as the roaming version with the distincton of the idle state and a lack of mobility.

This limits the number of possible interactions as it can only ever see you from one direction.

How does it all work?

The guard uses a behavioural tree in conjunction with a blueprint that controls the head. These two communicate with each other in order to produce the correct behaviours.

I use simple patrol points for the guard routes

Level Design

Structure

Player tutorial:

Teaches the player character fundamentals.

Guard tutorial:

Teaches the guard behaviours.

SandBox:

Lets player play with what they've learnt. 

Finish:

Send off that ties the experience toghether. 

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Player

Tutorial

Guard

Tutorial

SandBox

Finish

Tutorialising the gorgolem and loot toss mechanic

I wanted to present the gorgolem little by little, presenting one aspect at a time. 

Non Functional

Sound interactions and head rotations

Vision cone mechanic

Patrol Pathing/roaming

Presenting player routes and options in the sandbox

I've designed the areas towards the center of the sandbox to be increasingly risky and rewarding. Vantage points are a good way to boost the players confidence to delve down into these areas.

Giving players the option to pick their battles allows them to effectively choose their own difficulty which I place a high value on as it's a healthy way to bypass the issue of the game being to easy or too difficult for players. 

High Risk

Mid Risk

Low Risk

Blockout pieces and gameplay objects

I limited myself to a few basic shapes, because I thought it would be enough for a white box. 

Having size variations made it easier to bait and breadcrumb the player. It helps me avoid needing to stack multiple loot objects together. 

Treasure Chest

I added the chest to bait the player into high risk areas, it makes for a good short term objective. 

The doors get the player to interact with the loot-toss mechanic in a different way. 

In order to sell the gorgolem stone vision, I figured adding petrified people would help the player connect the dots.

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Production

Getting Started

I had a pretty clear vision from the start, I wanted to introduce the player to the game mechanics and equip them to enter the sandbox area where the real game starts. This did go through a lot of revisions but laid the foundation for the final version.

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You'll notice that the sandbox area used to be larger and more linear, but I scrapped that in favour of a smaller area with more intertwining paths. The player character already afforded a lot of player freedom with Its mobility, so more paths and more verticality was my decision. 

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Iterations from alpha, beta and gold. 

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Gallery