Game Engines Project
Colorseum was the final project of the Intro to the Game Engines course by FutureGames. The course was 10 weeks long and exclusively in UE5. Our group of 6 students were given 3 weeks for the final project with the goal of creating something playable.
Colorseum is a 1v1 FPS game with 2 main parts. The first part is to race to the bottom of a tower filled with breakable floors. Part 2 is entering an arena to battle your opponent. The main mechanics are swinging, shooting, breakable floors, power ups and dashing.
Swinging to outmaneuver your opponent
Choice of upgrading your character or rush to the map for positional advantage
Emphasis on clear and balanced competitive gameplay
Goals and Intentions
We were given 5 different themes for inspiration. Other than that we were given a lot of liberty in the direction of the game. The themes were as such:
So far away
In my head
With this, we started brainstorming ideas.
Theme and artstyle
For the theme and aesthetic, we decided on a futuristic style, as it felt like it would be an easier approach regarding lighting and blocking out levels.
We decided to prototype different mechanics early on. We narrowed it down to having a swing mechanic and a breakable floor mechanic. I was in charge of prototyping the swing mechanic.
After working out the swing and setting the values to something satisfying I made it work in a third-person view. It felt difficult to control and aim so I decided to try with a first-person view aswell.
Clearly, after trying it, the first-person view was far more natural and it felt satisfying. Tweaking the movement was more intuitive and after a lot of iterations I got to a desired result.
This is an overview of the blueprint I made. It took some trial and error to get the values to make the movement feel flowy and give the player control.
(Clicking the picture takes you to blueprintue where you can check it closely)
I was in charge of the whole leveldesign. The first plan was to sketch out the level and block it out. I initially thought that we wanted a very swing-oriented puzzle in the towers the players spawned in. So I blocked it out after doing a quick sketch.
The main idea was to have the players collect different power-ups along the puzzle. They can either collect enhancing powers such as shields, damage boosts, and health or get out fast to have an advantageous position.
Here are some pictures of the first iterations.
Our vision was to get a TRON-looking arena. So we used the emissive materials as lighting and played around with the colors. First went with 2 colors but I opted to divide the colors into three main ones. One for each player and one central one. This helped a lot with the visibility while swinging.
The main menu
Laying the level out I had a balance issue in mind from the get-go. The positional advantage holding the exit of the other player's tower. The powerups handle this and also have a big room before the door, so you cannot necessarily be ready for which angle they exit from.
I still opted for several vantage points to reward in-air movement and high-ground coverage. While playtesting, we noticed that it was harder to hit and be hit while swinging. So I decided to give high ground position an advantage to reward swinging and take control of points of interest, like the jumbotron roof or the smaller sniper towers.
I designed the level with three layers. A ground, middle ground, and high ground. Every layer should be able to contest the other. Giving the ground level coverage the high ground necessarily doesn't have.
We playtested and noticed that being able to swing on anything was too powerful and chaotic. So we limited the hook points to the selected few red blocks. This changed the game to an easier and more predictable movement both for the players aiming and for us designers trying to predict and reward players for certain actions.