Personal Project

For my personal project, I have decided to design a first-person horror game because I believe I have the potential to create a great game, provided I get it done in time and that it’s done to the best standards.

Setting

The game will be set in the present day and the environment will be inside an abandoned hospital in the middle of the woods.

Story

Hank Jaeger, an egotistical scientist, is one day working on a new drug in hopes that it can turn humans into zombies so that he can rule the world with his zombie army. During the experimentation process, he encounters a strange cell he’s never seen before. Bedazzled by it, he begins to extract it in order to analyse it. It turns out that he’s finally found the cell that can turn humans into zombies. Fascinated by his discovery he immediately begins to undertake experiments with it, fusing it with his stem cells and injecting it into lab rats. At first, the experiment fails and shows no sign of zombification, and so as any other scientist would do, he repeated the experiment again to make sure he did everything right. Still no luck. He did it again. Nope, not happening. As he keeps repeating the experiment, he begins to wonder if he’s actually found the right cell. He keeps repeating the same experiment all through the night, checking every time that the variables are right, but with no luck. He gives the experiment one last try before giving up, but does something extra. He drops a bit of his blood into the mix and before he knew it, he had created a zombification drug. He tests the newly made drug on a dead rat by injecting it into the rat. After 5 minutes, the rat’s eyes open widely and stands on its hind legs. Its teeth begins to grow, becomes more aggressive, and increases in size. It starts to angrily gnaw on the container it’s contained in and scuffles around, attempting to escape. Amazed, Hank begins to create more of the drug and thinks about testing the drug on humans. He travels down to the morgue to bring some bodies up and injects the drug into one of them. It takes longer for the drug to take its effect and a few minutes later, the drug begins to work. Just before it works, Hank begins to pack his stuff in case it goes wrong. He fully packs just as the drug works. Just like with the rat, the humans eyes open widely with a green fill in them and it’s limbs start to become active, becoming more alive. It shakes uncontrollably but it is fully strapped to the bed, preventing it to move any further. Hank backs away and turns around and runs away, escaping the hospital. He manages to escape, however the threat is still there in the hospital. By now the newly created zombie has broken free from the straps and begins to look for human bodies. It sees the remaining bodies lying around and bites into their necks in order to zombify other humans. The player plays as the scientist and is trying to reverse the cure by having to go inside the hospital once again, facing the uncanny zombies. In order to create the reverse cure, the player must scavenge the hospital for any remaining supplies while avoiding the dangerous zombies.

Mechanics

Originally I decided that the game will feature physics-based interaction, allowing players to grab items and open doors in a realistic way, however due to time constraints I will not be able to implement it so instead I have chosen to do basic interactions with items and props. I also aim to implement a crafting system into the game to allow players to craft items needed to create the end cure, however, again I’m not sure whether it’ll be included in the final game.

Software

 The software I’m going to be using are:

Unity (Scripting in JavaScript)

Autodesk Maya (3D Models)

Adobe Photoshop (Textures)

 Audacity (Sounds and music)*

Production

Research

First off I went into researching different types of first-person horror games and there were a few notable ones I’ve mentioned (e.g Amnesia, Outlast, etc.) and I looked into what gameplay mechanics they have and the art style of the game, among many of it’s characteristics. Here is the link to my research document:

Research file

Design

Character Model Sheet

I then began drawing my character model sheet. I first drew on a scrap piece of paper to roughly draw what I wanted my character to look like, then when I was happy with the design, I went a ahead and drew it on the computer, using a Wacom tablet, in photoshop to finalise my character.

VS-Character Model Sheet
Character Model Sheet

As you can see from the design above, my character is wearing a white lab coat which represents that he is a scientist, along with round clear glasses. Although this is a first-person game, I still decided to draw a character model sheet to show what he would look like if it was a third-person game. I will not be modelling my character as there is no use to it.

Level Design

UI

Game Interface

Game Interface
Game Interface

Above is screenshot of the game interface in-game.

Main Menu

Main Menu
Main Menu

The screenshot above shows the main menu and the player can decided to play the game or quit the game by hovering the cursor above the respective text.

Modelling: Ground Floor

 Reception Room

Everything Together
Reception Room

As it’s going to be set in an abandoned hospital, I began modelling the different wards in a hospital. First I modeled the reception room and added props into it such as the seating, the desk, the plants, the newspapers, etc. I wanted the game to look isolated so in order to do that, I made it so that all the rooms looked all gloomy with as little light as possible.

Other Screenshots:

Chair
Chair
Door
Door
Newspaper
Newspaper
Plant
Plant
Reception Room in Unity
Reception Room in Unity
Reception Desk
Reception Desk
Reception Seating
Reception Seating
Reception Text
Reception Text

Pediatrics Room

Pediatrics Room Overview
Pediatrics Room Overview

I then start modelling the pediatrics room, adding in 2 separate rooms inside of it for the the individual exam rooms. I also included a little play area next to the exam rooms to make it look like it was in the pediatrics ward. With the play area and exam rooms done, I modeled the seating area near the doors so that it looks more like a hospital than a general building.

Other screenshots:

Pediatrics Room Chairs
Pediatrics Room Chairs
Pediatrics Room Exam Rooms
Pediatrics Room Exam Rooms
Pediatrics Room Play Area
Pediatrics Room Play Area
Pediatrics Room
Pediatrics Room
Pediatrics Sign
Pediatrics Sign

Examining Rooms

Examining Rooms

I then modeled a room for individual examining rooms as an extension in the pediatrics ward. As you can see from the above pictures, I have used the Outliner in Maya to show my meshes and how I’ve grouped them collectively to make it easier to organise my work and also so that they can be exported into another program like Unity which makes it easier to texture them.

Modelling: Level 1

Gynaecology Room*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to model this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Maternity Room*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to model this in time, see evaluation for more information.

MRI Room*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to model this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Gastroenterology Room*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to model this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Neurology Room*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to model this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Programming

Enemy Spawns*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to implement this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Jumpscares*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to implement this in time, see evaluation for more information.

Animations

I have created some door animations for when the player presses a button on the keyboard, the door opens. I have found this to be a long task as at first I didn’t know how to animate the door and so I had to look online for some tutorials. I came across a tutorial that I liked and I followed it step by step, however there was one important issue. The person who created the tutorial used an old version of Unity, and that caused a problem because I have the newest version of Unity which meant that certain things were changed. One of the changes were to a scripting command in Javascript.

Animating the door in Unity

While scripting for the animation, I wanted the animation to be played, and so following along the tutorial, it showed me how to do it. But when I ran the program, I had an error that the command for playing an animation (animation.Play) is no longer supported, and thus it told to try using a different command (GetComponent()), and I was confused as to how I could change my code so that it would work. After many attempts, I decided to look online for that error and I found out that all I had to is to put the name of the animation next to this line of code and it had work perfectly.

Scripting the door 1
Scripting the door 1
Scripting the door 2
Scripting the door 2

Character Controls

As I was using Unity to make my game, Unity already has a list of assets need to create a first person game, with all the movement keys being already coded by Unity and thus I didn’t have to do anything to make my character move, Unity already did for me. Also since I used Unity 5.0.1, I noticed that it has added walking sounds to walking automatically, before that in Unity 5.0.0 I had to implement that myself. In addition, it features head-bobbing on my character which made more realistic.

Flashlight

Unity Flashlight Experimentation

I have implemented a flashlight so that the player can see bits of the environment as the scene is mostly going to be dark, to make the feel scared, to make them believe that they are isolated and they have got nowhere to run to. For the flashlight I didn’t actually create a flashlight, I only made it so that it looked like the player has a flashlight. To do this was simple, all I did was attach a spotlight to the character controller and adjusted the brightness of it.

Load Screen*

Due to time constraints I did not manage to implement this in time, see evaluation for more information.

 Evaluation

Throughout the project I believe that I have done a good job of creating what I wanted to create. I feel that although there many things left undone, overall I did a decent job of creating the game. I think that if I were to do the project again I’d be more serious about it and plan it out from the very beginning,  as starting off the course, I was nervous, didn’t know anyone, didn’t really know anything about 3D Modelling, let alone making a game. The headings marked with a star I didn’t manage to do in time because I feel that I wasn’t really that serious about it in the first few months, but as the months progressed, I felt more confident and I had a plan of what I was going to do. But even with being more confident and having a plan, I still felt quite laid back, however, when it came to the final month of production I really felt the pressure and started to work on the project full on, which I think is both a good and bad thing. It’s a good thing because I can learn from my mistakes and it’s a bad thing because it causes me to stress out a lot and made me quite agitated.

 Link to production log: http://1drv.ms/1zfBHgO

Exe file: Game

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