Try the demo yourself by downloading it on itch.io:ASIMo-V (Demo)
Vertical Slice Walkthrough
ASIMo-V is a sci-fi, narrative-focused environmental puzzle game currently being developed in Unreal Engine 4 by myself, Galen Sipes, Judith Carpio, and Samantha Silvers. The player assumes the role of a maintenance android on a space station and is gradually rewarded with hints explaining the narrative mystery. Hook mechanics revolve around dynamic gravity, such as navigating zero-g areas and walking on the walls and ceiling.
Our first phase of development began in our Game Design 2 course during the Fall semester of 2018 at Cogswell College. During this time, we laid the groundwork for our game – creating the game’s main mechanics, narrative premise, and general plan for development – and focused on fleshing out the introductory level for a deliverable product for our class.
Due to the small size of our team, our roles heavily overlapped and much of our work was collaborative. However, in general I took on the role of the team’s engineer, being responsible for creating a large majority of the blueprints and functionality needed for the game as well as the role of level designer, creating the introductory level. Additionally, I was responsible for much of the audio – modifying free sound assets and recording voice lines for narration – and most of the VFX – creating materials and particle systems – currently implemented into the game. Recently, I have also taken on the role of texturing the new models that team members have made.
When we first started designing ASIMo-V, we already had a few core mechanics in mind: a physics pickup system like those in Portal and Half-Life, zero-gravity environments for the player to solve interesting puzzles, areas where the player could walk on walls, and a deep narrative for the player to uncover. From there we developed a basic premise for our story and created early Game Design and Story Design Documents.
Our original design (and ultimate goal) of the game setting is a large space station with multiple sections that the player can travel to. While the station has a total of 9 sections (8 modules on the outside ring and the center command module), we decided to focus on only creating five since some sections would be damaged or destroyed by events prior to the start of the game, and thus locked down.
We decided to make our game start out with linear progression to teach the player game mechanics and begin to introduce different challenges that are built upon in future levels. After completing enough skill gates, the game's structure will become semi-linear, eventually folding back to the single goal of reaching the Command section.
We initially chose three levels to begin designing – the Living Quarters, the Research Lab, and the Hydroponics Lab – though we eventually narrowed our focused for the semester and created objective progression documents for all three.
Living Quarters Progression
Research Level Progression
Hydroponics Lab Progression
Since then, we've been restructuring the order of levels and making plans for beginning development on new ones such as the level for the Engineering section of the space station.
Engineering Level Map:
Living Quarters Walkthrough
Originally, most of our main mechanics were going to be introduced and taught in the Living Quarters level. However, after feedback from playtests we realized we needed to restructure the level with more direction and less meandering, and so we'll base our introductory level on the new demo level which will then flow into the Living Quarters. An older version of the Living Quarters can be seen here.
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