Unreal Engine 4
June 2021 - December 2021
Cosmic Catering began as an idea to take a classic style of game, arcade-y pizza/person delivery game(kinda like Crazy Taxi) and have the player utilize vertical movement as well. I began initially picturing something kinda like the taxi scene in the Fifth Element, but after considering the scope that a large and vertical city would bring, I decided to go with a low poly aesthetic in space. Rather than regular spaceships, I felt that it'd feel more interesting and unique if the theme of the cars and the environment was low poly retro, 80s-esque. I was making these decisions while prototyping and iterating on the gameplay.
One of my main reasons for pursuing this game idea was because it significantly lowered animation scope. Limiting gameplay to vehicles lowers key animation to essentially zero, saving a lot of effort on my part and allowing me to focus on making the gameplay fun.
Create engaging gameplay with low scope, focusing on movement. I also hoped to make a game with many small decisions for the player in order to make managing tasks difficult due to high cognitive load.
Things that went right:
The blueprints I created were modular, allowing me to quickly implement features.
The gameplay I had created by the end was limitless before I put a five-minute timer on it.
Players enjoyed flying around.
The simplified menu-navigation was incredibly helpful for maintaining flow.
Created something fairly unique.
Things that went wrong:
Needs more tension/conflict as it is currently a very low-pressure experience.
I had to cut the main clear narrative elements to prioritize completing the gameplay loop.
What I've learned from this experience:
Implementing controller support for menus in Unreal Engine 4 requires more time than it seems.
I would benefit from working on more peaceful game experiences, to better understand how to make downtime engaging.
I would benefit from the experience of creating games with progression and economy systems.