UX Designer & Level Designer
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St. Jude

Solo student game project

St. Jude is a first-person adventure game I created for one of my game design classes in Fall 2017. This was my first project in Unreal Engine 4. In the initial design, the player walks around the small island and retrieves a few items in order to repair the lighthouse.

I primarily focused on level design, in addition to environmental storytelling, atmospheric immersion, and game feel.

In Fall 2018, I chose to use my greater experience with the engine to develop the project further. The art style is similar, but far more polished. There is also significantly more content, including a narrative which was essentially nonexistent in the first version. In the final design, the player character experiences their last day as a contracted caretaker to a decommissioning lighthouse while trying to overcome some personal demons.

Here is a short highlight reel of the project.

For a full gameplay video, see this link.

Below is a demonstration of the UI which shows the history of the island and the lighthouse. It is accessed from the main menu.

This timeline was fun to make. I used the particles to make the UI more readable, but I also like the way it looks. Using VFX such as particle systems is a technique I’ve seen in many other games, but not something I had a lot of experience with until creating this. I also enjoyed getting more familiar with mixing world-space and screen-space UI to deliver information to the player. That and creating a menu with contextual camera transitions is something I wanted to do for a while.

One thing that might not be clear from the video is that the player clicks through the timeline, giving them time to read and soak in the information at their own pace. When returning to the main menu after the experience, the particles gradually fade. At first I did this out of necessity so as not to kill the entire system abruptly, but it grew on me. I feel that it makes the main menu and the timeline flow together well. In the end, I can say that I am very satisfied with the composition, the color palette, and the interface overall.

Below are some pictures of the rest of the game.