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Constraints:

There were only a couple of constraints for the project - we wanted to make a 3D game with combat using Unreal Engine 5. We also had to account for limited assets and animations for the combat sequences. I had never worked on a game which had combat as a constraint. As combat itself makes the game very ambitious, accounting for limited pre existing assets as well as coming up with a unique setting and story made it quite challenging. 

Interpretation:

One of the first things I had to do was start researching how 3D combat games worked and understanding to write a story combat first. As there were extremely limited things I could do with the assets provided, I got down to researching what we could do to make our project shine with our constraints. 

Team Project

Game Plan

Using a completely new engine came with it's own excitement and drawbacks. As UE5 has its own set of extremely generation defining tools, it also has flaws that come in the shape of pre - existing tools not working correctly. So I set out a plan revolving around achievable moments that would sell the game more. I knew I wanted to make a game which would play heavily with theatrics and lighting in combination with the moments, bringing to life the world and the story. 

My first focus was to come up with a concept that would account for all the combat animation constraints as well as the assets. The easiest route would be to make the game revolve around fantasy but the team collectively agreed to not go in this direction (also finding medieval assets that are cohesive proved to be difficult). 

Once the concept was set, we could move forwards with the lore, setting and characters. Finally, we could start making the game.

I was responsible for Lighting, Design, Story, Mocap, Voice Actors, Sound and Music (through collaboration with BSc music students). 

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Conceptualization

This was one of the first visuals of the project with the kind of lighting we would be going for throughout the game. During this phase I had also decided what moments would make up the "wow factor" of the game. All these moments needed to be achievable with the resources we had. Hence, the idea of using meta human to make a cutscene. As we didn't have a mocap studio, all the mocap was done using Unreal's Live Link technology for IPhone's face ID hardware. The video below shows what we achieved over a period of three days using this technology. 

Description

The Void In Between is a third person, new weird, action horror game that revolves around the concept of memories defining the afterlife. In this game, the player is put in the shoes of Diann, a veteran soldier who died on the battlefield, she now must explore these barren, Erie, haunted area to figure out what exactly happened and why is she not dead. Along her journey she meets an old comrade who isn’t himself anymore and both embark on a twisted journey within a hellish landscape shaped from their memories. 

A little Extra

I have always worked on Unity or Unreal 4 for all my projects, working on a new revamped engine proved to be a challenge as few of the niche tools of Unreal 4 were not polished for Unreal 5 hence, loads of unsolvable bugs and engine dealt constraints.

Working on VFX and Shaders was also a first for me on the Unreal Engine 5, other than a few node changes, everything was the same. 

One other achievement was the use of facial mocap for our cutscenes, as UE5 was not completely configured for metahuman, we had to face a lot of issues while setting it up. But those issues were solved using Nvidia Omniverse and Iclone.