June 2019 - September 2019
Team of 7 people
Unreal Engine 4
Game design and programming
Xenociders is a VR first person shooter game made by Donuts.Co I had the opportunity to work on as an internship during summer 2019 in Tokyo.
The player embed a lone soldier sent on a distant planet, to find out what happened to a research center based in the jungle. Quickly, things get complicated when the soldier realize that the planet is infested by dinosaur-like creatures.
During the 3 months I spent working on the project, the team was made of 7 people (including me), one of them being my tutor and producer, and one being the programmer of the team. We were supposed to be 8, with a second programmer coming to the team, unfortunately he never did because of visa problems, so I had to help a lot on the programming side of the project. All 6 people were english speakers, so the comunication within the team was not a problem even though we worked for a fully japanese company.
My main tasks on the project were to prototype gameplay features of many sorts.
The one I spent the most time on was the weapons. I was assigned to prototyping and testing the different weapons that the player will have the occasion to use. This included a pistol, a automatic rifle, a shot gun, a sniper rifle and a bow, all of which were made using the blueprint system of UE4.
It was very interesting to code all of those because each one had a small mechanic that really defined them. For example the bow, that had to have a custom trigger mechanic instead of just pressing a button.
Depending on what the project needed at the moment, I had the occasion to prototype smaller features for the game.
One of these was a small quest system, that was meant to create simple objectives for the player to reach, like go to a certain location, pickup a specific item or kill a certain enemy. Prototyping this system really taught me a lot about basic project architecture that allowed me to make flexible prototype on my own afterwards (like Ethereal Sprinter).
Most of my design work on Xenociders was polishing the UX of the weapons and other controller features.
I had to test several holsters position on the player's pawn body to make them accessible for VR, while still feeling soldier like.
This intention of being a soldier that had to manage their equipement had to be expressed in the handling of the weapons. We wanted to give them a sense of realism in simple ways : the player had to manualy reload their weapons by actualy grabbing a magazine from its holster, put it in their weapon, then correctly move the loading handle of the weapon to be able to use it again.
I had to make sure that this experience would feel good for the player, while still being accessible enough to be easily understandable.
That meant for example to remove one required input from the player to pull out the empty magazine when they wanted to reload.