After coming up with the initial idea about my FMP and writing a formal proposal, my first step was to research and analyse existing examples of games with the similar theme or concept, which has helped me to define my ideas better. I chose to base my game concept on the D-Day theme and the World War II. I watched documentary for the D-day, photographs of the actual battle, military maps. I researched the uniforms of the armies, the weapons, the tanks and the airplanes they used. Furthermore, I created a few mood boards with the relevant images to inform to inform my study further.
After that I did a thorough research on the different styles and techniques used in the existing games. I focused my attention on the facial expression and the body language as well in order to achieve more realistic interpretation in my game level. In addition, during my research I watched many Unreal tutorials in order to learn in depth other techniques and expand my general knowledge about the engine and its functionality.
During this project I really enjoyed the initial drawings and the development process of my characters and scenes. Once the scenes and the characters were ready, I created a HUD display with the health system connected to the main characters- antagonists and protagonists. I also created a bullet count system to limit the amount of bullets you can use in the level and I included a life system to give the character a certain amount of lives. Another feature was the coin system set up on the screen that helps the gamer to get additional life when he collects 20 dog tags. My next step was to add sound effects to the game level. In particular I created sounds for land mines and the guns. It was really easy for me to do the sounds and they have improved a lot the game level.
I have used Photoshop to develop my characters and scenes digitally and then I imported them into Unreal. I set a couple of folders for the characters, weapons, scenes, pick-ups and damage and blueprints. When I finished with the digital development of the game level, I set up a short questionnaire in order to obtain some feedback. I asked a couple of my peers and friends to see the game level and even play on it. After that I asked them to respond to the questions set in the questionnaire. The overall respond was that it is successful and meet the requirements of the targeted audience. Some people though that the overall style is simple and the game rules are easy to follow. The first version of the level had only two characters and one of the responses was that it would be good idea to include more soldiers, as the interaction is supposed to be between the two armies and that would make the game more intriguing. I have decided to make some improvements and include more characters in the scenes to enhance the gamer’s experience and make him feel the spirit of the battle.
Overall I am pleased with the final game level, as this project gave me an opportunity to propose and develop my own concept of the game. The production process was though, as I needed to learn a lot of things on the go. However, I would firmly say that now I feel more confident to use Unreal engine and I raised my Photoshop skills near to professional level. Personally, I think that if I have to do it again I would have focused more on the character and scenes development, by including more details, props and enhancing the colour pallet as well.