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Time Frame: 7 Weeks
Genre: Souls-Like, Open World, Adventure, RPG
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Additional Tools: Blender, Mixer
Inspiration: Dark Souls, World of Warcraft,
Stylized Swamp Forest (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Sky Dungeon (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Medieval Village (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Ruined Village (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Medieval House (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Forest VOL 3 (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized "Underworld" (Epic Marketplace),
Stylized Egypt (Epic Marketplace),
Advanced ARPG Combat System V2 (Epic Marketplace),
Creating a Massive Open World with intractable objectives and unique zones.
Creating a unique world that not only captures people's interest, but also gives them a familiar feeling.
Designing breathtaking scenery that makes you feel more engaged with the world.
My biggest goal is to grow as a designer, take critique and use it to further improve my skills.
BEFORE AND AFTER OVERVIEW
FINAL - OVERVIEW
PRE - PRODUCTION
GATHERING REFERENCE MATERIAL
I started my process by gathering inspiring images, so I could get a idea over what I wanted to make. The world was the most important part of this project, so I wanted to get it right.
Reference materials and source of inspiration was the beginning of this project.
My reference library largely consisted of images of landscapes from the game World of Warcraft.
GAMEPLAY REFERENCE MATERIAL
Because I wanted to make a dark souls open world game I had to study and understand what really makes the Souls games so good. The real challenge was to implement the experience in a open world and still make it interesting and feel like a souls game.
Keeping in mind core features like bonfires and upgrading stations with shops.
During the blockout phase I always try to pinpoint errors as it's the easiest time to make changes.
Although I try to pinpoint early in the process, I have no issues with making large changes further into the process as shown in the blockout pictures.
Most of this Gameplay is used from asset packs by Epic Game Store. I have modified and changed already existing systems and Blueprints.
The character has to explore the world in order to advance further through the main story. While exploring the player can find checkpoints along the way.
Enemy's populate the world to make it feel more alive and to make the player curious to explore and to lead them to more danger. They are also there to reward the player with loot and experience.
Enemy placement is in mind and important for the world design to work
LOOT AND REWARDS
In the world there is a lot of hidden and well-placed treasure chests that makes the player interested.
Rewarding the player for exploring is important and makes the world feel more alive.
To challenge the player and change up the gameplay bosses are placed after objectives and puzzles. When defeating the bosses you gain rewards that further improves your character.
When exploring the world players can find secret entrances that only opens after the player has completed different objectives, for example.
Activating lava orbs around a zone to trigger a event that opens a path in to the mountains.
TRADING AND MISSIONS
In the City there are merchants and shopkeepers that sell items and upgrades your gear for a fee. While exploring the city you can come upon mercenaries that hands out missions.
The world is big and has multiple paths. so I implemented a mount to shorten the time between objectives and interactive events.
POINTS OF INTEREST & ZONES
MAIN HUB - STANDING CITY
The main hub in this open world is meant as a back tracking point for the player where they can go back and sell and trade and get new quests when they don’t know what to do.
The Adventurers Guild is where the player can get new quests.
At the Tavern Inn the player can eat and rest and interact with npcs.
The Graveyard is a back tracking point for when you have died many times in a row or if you get stuck.
ZONE - LAVA LAKE
This zone is a high-level zone where the player can explore, find loot and fight enemies that spawns from the lava stones.
If the player activate all the lava orbs in Lava Lake
the gate over the bridge will open and the player can fight the zones boss.
ZONE - DEAD DESERT
THE DEAD DESERT
The Dead Desert is a high-level zone. In the desert there are giants and sand people who patrol and protect the Tower of the sun and its treasures.
In the tower you can find an elevator that provides quicker access to the forest.
ZONE - SNOWY MOUNTAIN
The snowy mountain’s purpose is to introduce the player to the world. It’s a Tutorial zone where the player gets to experience combat, looting and Checkpoints.
This project was a learning experience in which I got to delve deeper into open world level design while also utilizing my design skills in creating a living world with enemy placements, loot and objectives.
I'm not entirely happy with the result and If I had a couple more weeks to work on the project I would move some zones and places around so the end goal and mid goal was more clear.
I would probably also consider making more puzzles to make the gameplay more exiting
In conclusion this was a great project in which I learnt a ton. I could definitely see myself working on another open world experience
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