Outlier

Suspenseful first-person 3D puzzle game in which the player uses terminals to tap into a machine-controlled world to escape from the Hive Mind and its minions.

Official Launch Trailer

 

Outlier was in development from Sep 2017 - May 2018 during my junior year at DigiPen. The first four months was pre-production in Unreal and the second half was production in the team's custom built engine. All parts of the game are custom with the exclusion of using Wwise and PhysX.

 

Working with a team of 20 in a 3D engine we built ourselves came with a lot of challenges and hats to wear. My contributions include: menus, HUD , entirety of gameplay programming, game design, producing, cinematics, and prototyping.

Gameplay Screenshots

Development

 

Video showing the UI work I did. Displays main menu, some of the in-game HUD for interactions/terminals, and pause menu.

UI Demo

 

The main menu features a custom menu system that I created in C#. The main purpose was to echo the main theme and gameplay. Outlier features cinematic cameras, Render to Texture based mechanic, and most importantly the feeling of being small in a dangerous world. My main menu design with the TV stack motif is meant to really instill this feeling into the player getting them ready for gameplay and the world we created for them.

Main Menu

Main Menu

I was in charge of the entire creation of the main menu from concepting, programming, and putting everything together. I did not make the art/sound assets but I touched everything else about it. In a custom engine, we managed to get 2D graphics fairly late so this menu was created in 2-3 weeks along with the rest of the UI I developed in the game. The idea came when I found an unused TV asset one of our artists made!

Final Screenshots

Concept

Final Product

 

Video showing the final full gameplay of the game. I worked on the prototyping, game design, gameplay scripting, world design, UI, UX, controller, and cameras. All in C# the only thing I did not touch was enemy AI.

Gameplay Video

 

A lot of research went into finding old technology menus and symbols to use for the pause screen. Unfortunately due to time constraints the menu still has issues such as simple graphics and just visual communication. It also is not very expandable for future options but given the 2-3 weeks to develop all the UI design + programming in a custom engine I am proud of what was produced!

Pause Menu

Pause Menu

Within a few weeks I created Outlier's simple yet robust UI system used for in-game menus + HUD. The pause menu was carefully designed to focus on the user experience and tailor toward the low-fi tech aesthetic the team and I worked hard to set up in the rest of the game.

Final Screenshots

 

Video showing our pre-production build after the first 4 months of development. We used Unreal Engine 4 to concept and prototype a vertical slice of the game while the custom engine was being built. 

Pre-production in UE4

 

Aside from the  gameplay, prototyping, cinematics, producing I am first and foremost a UI/UX developer. Along with the menus, I developed the HUD for Outlier. The main part of this was the mechanics terminal

window which went through multiple iterations and feedback styles. In addition to that I developed the rest of the HUD for the different game states such as pulling levers, cutscenes, hiding from enemies, and etc. The HUD style was meant to mimic the simplistic graphic style of the pause menu producing a cohesive user interface. 

In-Game HUD

HUD

Main Mechanic HUD

 

Video highlights the cinematic work I did for Outlier. Since I had my hand on all parts of the game I was able to really hone in the user experience to make the whole experience cohesive for the user.

Opening Cinematic

The majority of the feedback and and design is my work from the enemies light communication to the main mechanic effects telling the player what is going on. I designed and created the cinematics in Outlier to separate it from other student games, place a heavy emphasis on the team's amazing audio and art assets, and introduce the world and atmosphere to the player. The starting phase of the opening cinematic was displayed in the pre-production video and the final version in the shipped game is shown above!

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