ShadowSwift, 2015

Research & Development project of stealth mid-core game. Fully functional prototype made for mobile devices with use of Unreal Engine 4.0. Production took one month in 3-people Agile team.

Young Guild’s adept enters the inaccessible dungeons of the Enemies Faction to retrieve precious Artifacts.

Each dungeon is full of patrolling Guards, secret passages and interactive objects –- and also of gold and secrets. Master your own way through each level with use of your sneaking abilities and rogue weaponry. Become the most effective snatcher of the Guild!

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ShadowSwift’s features:

  • 4 playable levels (15 minutes gameplay, open-plan layout each) + fully functional simple tutorial;
  • Advanced AI of three different types of enemies, system of melee and long-range fight;
  • Interactive environment with original system of hiding in shadows and silent walk;
  • Secret doors / hideouts on levels, score system based on gold;
  • Minimalistic, fully functional UI (counters, menus, objective pointer) with world-map in main menu;
  • Possible implementation of procedurally generated levels in full version.
  • 3D environment with re-used assets and prebaked lighting, smoothly working on iOS;

My responsibilities in this project:

  • Full concept of game’s world and mechanics.
  • FPP design documentation.
  • Organizer of Scrum Agile work method.
  • Level design and code using Blueprints.
  • Design and assembly of game’s GUI.

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Let’s keep it simple – it’s a fully functional prototype, with lots of well thought-out features. Production went smooth and gave us a lot of fun, teaching us a lot of new skills at the process. That may be the reason the game itself is very fun to play.

Only one important conclusion from this short production.

When you deal with big engine, like Unreal, don’t forget at least to try to think outside the box.

Never copy the blueprints from some tutorial with 100% accuracy — it just won’t work. I don’t reccomend implementing stuff by doing an exact copy. Even though it may be some well thought-out feature that you won’t do better yourself. You’ll probably waste your time screwing together things that just don’t fit.

Tutorials are there to show you how some ideas can be performed technically correct. But I think that you really should try to assemble something ‘from scratch’. Based on that, Unreal gives you a chance to do something with totally different approach. Your approach. That’s why it’s awesome. Attention requiring, but awesome.

Release you inner programmer. You should polish every blueprint to as smooth as possible. I know — time, deadlines. Still, clean and legible code is something that keeps your game in one piece, never forget that.

If at the project’s beggining you have some clear vision of what you want to achieve  — stick with it as much as possible. Sometimes you’d have to drop some feature. Sometimes you’ll simply find a better solution for encountered problems. Still, having in mind a clear vision that you can relate to helps a lot.

I’d love to make ShadowSwift the full-feature one day. With some fabulous setting, more balanced gameplay, much better iterated levels. As for the moment I am proud that the scope of project has been fully realized in one month.

Status of this prototype gives me this satysfying feeling, that I wish to every young game designer out there.


/ Des

Thanks to the „Crimson Raven” team co-workers:
Dawid Marciniak, Mariusz Kruszy
and to the whole Artifex Mundi Crew.