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Takowana County

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Takowana County is a first person, mystery-horror, narrative exploration game set in a national park. 

Official Launch Trailer

 
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Development

Takowana County was in development for around 12 months. A third of that was pre-production, production, and polish. I joined in during their polish phase from Sep 2018 - Dec 2018 during my senior year at DigiPen. It was developed in Unreal Engine 4.

 

Joining the team, we were forced to rework the entirety of the game in post-production. My contributions include: menu development, HUD development, general gameplay programming, and narrative structure reworking. 

Ranger Station
Ranger Station

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Night
Night

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Cabin
Cabin

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Ranger Station
Ranger Station

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1/5

Gameplay Screenshots

 
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Video showing the UI work I did. Displays the different steps in production for the different UI elements in the game.

UI Development Process

 
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Final Screenshots

Notes Page
Notes Page

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Audio Settings
Audio Settings

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Video Settings
Video Settings

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Notes Page
Notes Page

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Coming into the project the concept for a 3D deduction board was there but the team was still using 2D menus for everything else. In order to unify the style of all the interfaces I spearheaded the development of a 3D journal utilized for both the main menu and in-game referencing.

3D Journal Menu

Main Menu

The journal was developed using a mix of the UE4 widgets in blueprints, UE4 Widget editor and custom UI systems for pages to communicate with each other. The focus was to embrace the core exploration roots of the game which comes out well in the final product.

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Video showing the final full gameplay of the game. I worked on reworking the narrative and gameplay flow.

Gameplay Video

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The camera was the player's primary source of gameplay, utilizing it to take pictures of clues for the deduction board. I revamped the team's previous camera HUD to be more tunneling and give off that polaroid vibe with animations. The camera's reticle also blinks, changes colors, and sound when close to clues guiding the player toward objectives.

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HUD

In additon to menus I did all of the HUD work. This includes objective pop ups, camera HUD, objective markers, reticle work for interactions, subtitles, tutorials, and HUD for different interaction menus! The largest challenge was being the only developer and making multiple 3D menus and mutliple HUD states all work together!

Since all of the other UI in the game was diegetic I wanted the HUD to be more pronounced and stand out to guide the player easier. Aiming for a suspenseful mood the color of yellow was used to add some tension in the beautiful enviornment.

Objective + Interaction
Objective + Interaction

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Tutorials + Subtitles
Tutorials + Subtitles

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Camera
Camera

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Objective + Interaction
Objective + Interaction

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Final HUD Screenshots

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Camera HUD

 
 
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Deduction Board

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The deduction board is the main means of progression in the game. I joined the project with the concept working and revamped it entirely.

It went through multiple redesigns until finally settling for a

Deduction Board Entry

more cinematic and jumpy feel that matched the gameplay and rest of the game. I worked with both artists, sound designers, and programmers to create the final product. My major contributions toward its development is concepting, testing, wireframing, partner programming, creating design and technical flow charts, feedback, and polishing.

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New clue
New clue

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Theory Interaction
Theory Interaction

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Board Complete
Board Complete

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New clue
New clue

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Deduction Board Screenshots

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Game Ending

a rough version of a concept without enough polish. I utilized any assets we had left without the need of creating more. With these restrictions I created a twisted and uneasy atmosphere for the player with the use of abstract, almost exhibit like flashes of moments the player experienced throughout the game.

Deduction Board Entry

My final piece while working on Takowana was developing the ending for the game. Unfortunately due to time constraints we had to push off development of the ending until the end so it ended up only being

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