Introduction

Program(s): Unreal Engine 4

 

This video game was created as an academic project for my 4th trimester at SAE Qantm, Melbourne. The game follows Arko, a lone inhabitant of the forest who is shocked to discover countless fires blazing that threatens both the forest's and his future.

Forest Fighter is a 3rd person overhead puzzle solving game. The main mechanic is to successfully douse all of the fires present in each level before the smoke engulfs the player, rendering them unconscious. In order to complete levels, the player must use basic tools to bypass the environment ranging from boulders to large ice blocks.

Forest Fighter was planned and created over a 13 week period.

Since the game's creation, SAE Qantm Institute has showcased the game at numerous public events including Comic Con 2017, Careers Expo and SAE Qantm Open Day.

Design Process

Forest Fighter was designed to make players think outside the box.  Players are given all of the pieces to solve puzzles, but they have to think about their moves carefully because 1 mistake could lead to defeat. This includes performing these steps in the correct order as well.

DAMAGED WATER BUCKET

The player's primary and most basic tool for extinguishing fires. Players may fill it with water from a source (river, lake, etc.), however, since the bucket is damaged, water drips out over time.

This is the game's main mechanic. Players can't rely on the same water source for the entire level because some fires are too far from certain water sources. So they have to clear their way to find alternate sources or create their own.

BLUNT AXE

As the name implies, the axe isn't very sharp and therefore, can't cut many things. This is also a design choice that forces players to figure out how to weaken the surface of certain objects in order to chop it.

 

However, the axe does have enough force to chop down dead trees. When dead trees are chopped next to a river, it will fall into the river and block the remaining path and the water will flow down a different path. This allows players to cross the river and utilize the new water path.

USELESS RECOVERABLE CANDLE

This functions just like a normal candle except it burns out very quickly and as soon as it burns out, it recovers to its original state. This means that the candle can be used an infinite amount of times, but it doesn't last very long.

The candle functions as a direct opposite to the DAMAGED WATER BUCKET in that it requires an actual fire to use. Players will have to adjust their behaviour of instantly putting fires out because all of the levels that possess candle will require the use of fires. And if the player puts the fire out before they have used the candle, they will have failed the puzzle and lost.

An example of the candle's use - certain dry trees have thick vines growing around it that block the Axe's blunt force from chopping the tree down. Players have to figure out how to remove the vine in order to remove the tree. This is done by finding the USELESS RECOVERABLE CANDLE and a close enough fire source. Players will then have to light the candle and run over to the tree and burn the vine off. Once the vine is burnt off, it can then be chopped with the BLUNT AXE

GAS MASK

This item allows the player to traverse through areas that are over-populated with smoke. Without the GAS MASK, the player's lifeforce timer will tick down MUCH faster, leaving the player without enough time to figure out the level's puzzle.

In order to use the GAS MASK, the player must find oxygen cannisters found throughout levels. If the player unequips the GAS MASK, the remaining amount of oxygen in the oxygen cannister remains the same and only starts ticking down when the player re-equips the GAS MASK.

This is a design choice that forces the player to learn how to min-max their  oxygen usage and pathing in order to have enough oxygen to traverse the smoke areas.

Download Link
Gameplay
Gallery
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Level Design Layout
Team

Project Manager: Duy Tran

Game/Level Designer: Duy Tran

Programmer: Duy Tran

Animator: Blake Sala, Dion Mertzanidis

Audio Engineer/Composer: Jordan Dougan

UI/UX Designer: Taylah Brown

My Responsibilities

Project Manager:

- Created and managed all documents relevant to the project

          - Game Design Document

          - Level  Design Document

          - Production Plan Document

          - Gantt Chart

          - Asset List

- Ensured that deadlines from all departments were met and implemented contingency plans when required

- Pitched the project's idea to all  departments in order to scout and recruit

- Interviewed all interested applicants and hired the best fit

- Held meetings with the client (lecturer) on a weekly basis

- Held meetings with the entire team on a weekly basis

- Managed online channels and platforms used by the team to communicate

- Organised weekly play tests with the public

Game Designer:

- Incepted the entire project's ideas from start to finish

- Prototyped all game mechanics that were detailed in the Game Design Document

- Designed every aspect and layout of all of the levels

- Tested that all of the levels functioned as was detailed in the Level  Design Document

Programmer:

- Implemented the successful prototype mechanics into the video game

- Implemented user interface that was designed by the UI/UX team into the game

- Implemented audio that the Audio team created into the game

- Implemented animation that the Animation team created

- Fixed bugs that were discovered during play tests