Game / Level designer
Made in 2017 (4 month project)
Group of 4 people
Created with Unreal Engine 4
Themes: Insanity | True or false? | Orientation
Pitch: You find yourself in a hospital where you came to visit a relative. However, as you go along, strange things seem to happen…Fear and doubt start to make you lose your mind, the hospital doesn't seem to be what you thought you were visiting.
What mystery surrounds this place?
Spleen is a 3D horror game. The player embodies a visitor to a hospital who came to see his sick relative. But careful... Things are not always what they seem: as the visitor advances in the hospital, some rooms become the ones of a manor. What does all of this mean?
Depending on your sanity, the level configuration changes, which makes each one a real maze for good…and bad. Watch out for your sanity level if you don't want to fall prey to madness forever ...
Greatly inspired by Amnesia: The dark descent (2010, Frictional games), Spleen offers an alternative that causes a change in the perception of the hero. To resume, the sanity level of the hero has an influence on the representation of the level, as it metamorphoses itself.
Sometimes, the sanity level of the hero needs to be low in order to be able to reach some key rooms, as some walls might disappear or some doors ready to be open might turn up. Adjusting sanity to a low level is a risk to take to be able to progress. As a consequence, managing sanity well is the key to succeed.
In order to help the player to better manage his sanity, light zones are present which allow his character to gain back his sanity and matchboxes allow him to regain sanity in dark zones for a short time. As a level designer on this project, organizing the light/dark zones allowed me to manage the difficulty of the level, as well as define the number and position of the matchboxes that can be found.
Being a horror game, an important work on the ambiance was done to transliterate fear. One of our main intentions was to create this feeling without the presence of any threat. Therefore, dark places, a miserable and abandoned environment, cold lights and narrow corridors were our tools to create this feeling of oppression. In contrast to the hospital ones, we wanted the rooms from the manor to feel warmer, while still being mysterious and uncanny.
On this project, I contributed to the creation of one level (that you can test by yourself by downloading the prototype just below). My main intentions were to create a labyrinth, in which the player has the feeling of losing his bearings and getting confused.
What I've learned...
Spleen was my first Unreal Engine 4 project. I discovered how to work with visual scripting, get my hands dirty to be able to quickly understand how it works, as well as use powerful tools in order to create my level.
Working horror isn't an easy task. It is all in knowing how to settle an ambiance that puts the player in a scary and uneasy mood. Therefore, knowing how to correctly place the assets in the scene, set the lighting, the arranging, the level scripting and so on... is what allows a transmission of this feeling.
Compared to Phyllon, the level I worked on here is a more open one. As one of the main intentions of the level was to create a maze, I needed to work on how to still guide the player indirectly, by suggesting where he/she should go and what to do. Testing and knowing what didn't work is what helps us to know what can be improved.