Gears Of War

Sp_Escape is a solo player map in which Marcus must escape from a Locust jail. To complete his objective, the player has 3 different paths where each one of them leads to a different approach of the gameplay from Epic’s Gears of War.

This involved:

–          Designing and building the overall walkthrough

–          Designing and building a part of the map

–          Working on the gameplay progression, player’s motivation and difficulty curve

–          Scripting using Kismet (cinematic, events, streaming)

Presentation

Our main objective was to create specific gameplay and associate them to a different path. To do so, we focused on covers and sought out how we can use them differently. Then, we chose to put three different gameplays:

– Sneaking

Using the cover system Marcus can easily sneak into the back of Locusts;

Vulnerability

Enemies can destroy covers so Marcus needs to move quickly in order to free his partner Dom;

Creating covers

To progress Marcus needs to create covers by destroying the environment;

Player’s motivation and gameplay progression

It was important for us that the player creates his or her experience and does not feel forced to follow a path.  By associating each path to a specific gameplay, players can create their own game experiences based on their skills and on their ways of playing.

To keep the player motivated, we wanted for the player to feel he or she masters the level. Each part of the map is designed around a challenge that gives, as a reward, the possibility to strike back the level. For example, when Marcus needs to free Dom, he must kill a strong enemy who uses a machine gun making the player feels weaker than the game. However, when this enemy dies, Marcus can take and use this machine gun to kill the other enemies: the player feels stronger than the game.

It makes the player feel that he or she is mastering the level and keeps him or her motivated through the game.

Adding new functionalities using Kismet

Using only Kismet, we were able to change a few elements from the original game:

–          enemies can follow a specific patrol for the sneaking part;

–          enemies can shoot Marcus even if he is behind covers;

–          players can create covers by shooting specific targets;

–          Marcus can shoot from a vehicle;

Learning

With this project, I improved my abilities to create variations of a gameplay from a unique base. The goal is to bring variety to the game and to give an “identity” to the level. I also learnt how to keep a player motivated through a level using choices, rewards, cinematic and by working on difficulty curve.

Moreover, I managed to push the limits of Kismet to script more than just triggers. I believe that the Unreal Engine 3 is a powerful game engine that can allow us to prototype a gameplay quickly.

Finally, I really like the idea of giving freedom to players and I wish to design an open world in the future.