LENSES was a group project I did at University, when we were tasked with creating a fully-fledged Game Demo and pitch it as an Indie studio to a publisher, with the demo being somewhat of a “proof of concept”. I served as the Creative Director and Lead Artist/Level Designer of the Project, writing and designing the game itself (visuals, story, level, and gameplay), including all the promotional and in-game art used, such as UI and on-screen overlays. I also voiced the main character and wrote the Game Design Document (minus the Technical Part) you can see by downloading here: DemoDesignCOMPLETE!
At the start of the project I pushed for us to be more ambitious and not use a tool such as RPG Maker for our game, but use a fully-fledged game engine. Eventually we settled on Unity, and the game creation began.
| Game Synopsis
LENSES is a survival-horror videogame played through the lenses of various security cameras through-out a repurposed World War 2 bunker. It follows ex-Green Beret Sean Kelleher finding out how a security protocol went wrong and caused a chemical catastrophe.
For a graphic breakdown of the game logo and promotional art, which I created, please click here!
| Level Design
I created the level for LENSES after researching real floor plans for World War 1/2 bunkers. They are very condensed with thick walls and tight spaces, so I prepared to create the map with accuracy in mind. The pen and paper original copy is sadly lost to time, but I mapped out a player route and various gameplay chances and then designed the level around this route. The first design is the beginning of that map.
I then added cameras and the finished blueprint was placed into Maya as a textured 2D plane and the map was created directly from it. After this was done, the cameras were used as references for the adding of them into the game. We all then began to work on cluttering and texturing the map and objects as the camera and lighting was done in Unity. We created the 3D objects in Unity.
When the lighting and cameras were completed, we began to use the objects to clutter.
You can read a more in-depth look into the level design process by clicking right here.
| 3D Objects
Being a demo made for University, we were allowed to use third-party assets. However, we wanted to limit this as much as possible and therefore only used third-party tools for the characters and animations, being a massive under-taking for 3 students. We did however create all the static 3D objects and 2D assets in Maya and Photoshop, with everyone in the group contributing. Above are my models.
| 2D Art
One of the main parts of LENSES was on-screen effects being visible. The overlays for the cameras, as well as the visual effects such as blood and scratches, were created by me using Adobe Photoshop. These were then placed onto each individual camera in Unity. The intention was to create a heightened level of immersion.
Additionally, I created a quick PC system.
One of the main reasons we did this was for the final image shown, which features cameras from inside the game itself. I really wanted this to happen and after some work we figured out how to do picture-in-picture like this and I created the rest of the assets in Photoshop.
Though limited, this was a fully-interactable UI with loading screens made similar to the menu-screen from the game itself, and you could reboot the lighting (thus changing all the lights in the game), as well as open the electronic doors. You would then see an enemy character escape from where they were previously imprisoned, who had full path-finding to come find you.
| Camera Comparisons
This is a quick side-by-side comparison of the cameras in-engine and then the same angles in-game to show the difference the lighting and overlay effects can make to the overall look and immersive feel of the game.