For anyone hearing about this project for the first time, The Plight is an environmentally narrative driven horror game that began as a final-year degree submission in 2015 by five KDU College University game development students, myself included. The game puts the player in the shoes of a mysterious young man moving into a house with little-to-no clues as to why aside from the facts that the house belonged to his late grandmother and that he appears to have inherited it. Gradually the dark secret comes to light about the house and the old woman who isn’t what she appears, revealing the horrible atrocities that took place there, and the young man’s part in it.
It’s been almost two years since we started working on the The Plight in it’s full form. Where the original version of the project had been quickly assembled and rushed, a major intent with this time was to tell a better paced version of the story with much more polish and flare. That being said, the past few months have still had a steep learning curve. The main focal points of this post will be a portion of the process we went through to record the teaser which will be released shortly.
Over the course of the production we’ve switched from exclusively using traditional photo-manipulation techniques to leveraging Allegorithmic’s Substance Painter software on certain objects.
As the level design and actual furnishing layout of the main level environment is still undergoing restructuring based on testing, we needed a way to set up any wiring props in a way that the level designer could dynamically rearrange any wiring props while having the flexibility to change the position of plugs relative to the appliance props.
For this we used a common implementation of the spline mesh blueprint, which allows for indefinite repeating cable/tube type objects conformed to a spline with bezier handles in the engine.
Certain objects and characters in the plight need to undergo a transformation at runtime. Contributing to this effect we used a series of scalar parameter values to drive interpolation between different textures.
This means that a blueprint could be used to directly trigger a smooth transition for an object between two textures in a number of ways.
Developing this project on our own has brought about the usual and not so usual set of challenges that most independant game-devs encounter, but overall it’s been a priceless learning experience. We’re close to releasing our in-game teaser, and can’t wait to see what you think! The Plight has been our passion project since the earliest build of the game in 2015 and we hope that you’ll have as meaningful of an experience playing it as we did making it.
Additionally, I can’t stress enough that we’re very new to this and any feedback on what we could be doing better is greatly appreciated. Tweet at us @CellarVault, at me personally @EshanJayatilaka or find me on Facebook if you wanna find out more or suggest a better way to do something.
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Cellar Vault Games Team