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Undead Inc. is a high-risk, high-reward resource management simulator. Slip into the lab coat of your preferred Endswell Director and establish and manage a local subsidiary of the Endswell Medical Corporation. Build, manage staff, conduct research, and trade in both legal and illegal goods and services.
Gameplay Designer, UI & UX Designer,
My Time On The Project:
Oct 2022 - Present
Management, Strategy, Simulation
Unreal Engine 4
Hybrid (Both offline and online)
The link between Code and Design
Taking Designs from high level concepts to implementable code
Communications between code team and design team
Management = UI
UI and UX Design
In charge of the UI taskforce
Structuring tasks for design and code
In charge of weekly meetings
With management games come LOTS of UI
Understanding the genre
I've never been a hardcore management gamer, but to deepen my knowledge of the genre, I decided to explore similar titles. I started by playing some cool titles in the genre like "Two Point Hospital," "RimWorld," and "Fallout Shelter." It's been a fun way to explore the genre and see what works and what doesn't!
Learning C++ and UMG
Upon joining the team during production, I found my place handling UI implementation. Though unfamiliar with UMG and never having used Unreal C++, my quick code language analysis skills helped me grasp the structure and get the game's UI up and running.
Design and Implement!
And as one of the designers on a management game (which means a lot of UI), me and the design team together design, and then I would implement what we decide on.
This together with a lot of talks with the UI artists have led to a quick and easy iteration process which has greatly benefitted the UIs quality.
Creating a 2D platformer with longevity
Figuring out how to make a 2D platformer into a subscription game
When I joined the project it was already clear that the game was gonna be a 2D Platformer with different Level Design Components with a singleplayer co-op:y feel. Together with my mentor Alex Bräysy we finalized those components and had a good feel for how a platforming level would be played out.
But it needed to be connected to the core of LasseMaja mysteries in a good way. But how do you keep the game simple for kids, have a clear structure and with a subscription payment model in mind…
Designing pieces for randomly generated mysteries!
After some deep design sessions and a lot of prototyping we came up with a randomized system that would satisfy all the needs of what the game should be and it was fun to play.
In this picture you can see illustrated how the game handles different variables when it randomly generates a mystery.
We have a mystery!
And so the game has its core loop, mysteries! We designed mysteries with the goal of letting the player explore the world of Valleby (the town's name) and interact with the different characters by following clues to different locations.
In the game I did a lot of puzzle-level designing and location-level designing. I also was in charge of making sure every game scene's systems were set up correctly so that the game could generate properly.
Characters to already made locations
Some locations that can be added
There are a lot of characters that can be added
Characters to already made locations
The system of randomly generated mysteries is easily expandable. At its initial release the game includes the initial east side of Valleby, a handful of those important locations and a bunch of characters.
But for future releases any developer can easily add a new character, a new location or more platforming levels with ease without it interfering with any pre-existing content or systems.
Creating systems that enhance the LasseMaja experience
Below are some of the systems I was in charge of both design wise as well as implementing with code into the game.
Navigating the World
Creating a 2D platforming game while trying to retain the iconic Valleby map that appears on the first page of every book was a big challenge as it was easily confusing. But together with a lot of in-game world hints together with the minimap system we managed to create something readable.
I coded the functionality for the map that translates the character location in the world to the map. This system together with the shaking houses to indicate where you are supposed to make for a good combo.
Connected to a mystery
Not connected to a mystery
NPC Character Handling
Depending on the circumstances of when and why a character spawns in, they might have some accessories on them. For instance, if you find the priest randomly on the street, he is his normal self. But if you find the priest lurking in the library where a crime has been committed, well then he looks awfully suspicious (decked out with accessories).
I was in charge of coding this NPC handling system, making sure to set it up so that all the characters have their specific conditions set up so that it always feels accurate (a character with black hair can’t have blonde hair for instance).
Randomized Dialogue System
The dialogues also needed to be set up to work randomly. While Alex Bräysy did most of the writing and translating of the text, I was in charge of making sure that it worked grammatically in the game when randomly put together.
Together with splitting up names of things and different gender-specific words for different languages, the dialogue system is set up to work for most future language additions that would be wanted. It is also friendly to add more characters and locations.
You'll have to wait and see!
As the game is still in production, I can't really say more than this at the moment. But look forward to more information in the future!
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