Until You Wake

Until You Wake is a 3rd-person action shooter. The player controls a heroic statue that is brought to life in order to restore a stolen artifact to it's rightful resting place. Equipped with a bow and a magical force ability, the player must fight off corrupted crawlers and spirits before they can face the final boss.

This game was made during Junior year with a team of 15 people. The team was composed of 4 programmers, 4 designers, 6 artists and an audio composer. This game was made in Unity and marks my first exploration of commercial game engines.

This is early footage of our game after about 4 months of work

This is a play through of the full game after it was completed

Technical Director

My primary role for this team was technical director. This role meant organizing and assisting the tech team (consisting of 3 programmers) as well as writing any documentation for systems we implement and helping the other disciplines with any tech they interfaced with. The latter involved mostly making sure that artists and designers were comfortable using source control and knew how to iterate without the assistance of one of the programmers.

I found that most of my efforts went into organizing the the tech team to ensure that their time was being used efficiently. This meant exploring ways of tracking the work that is being done and disseminating that information to other team members. This also included tracking designer requests and bugs in a fashion that could be updated easily and with minimal effort. The most common problem I faced was getting other teammates to update tracking their work and bugs they found.

Gameplay and Graphics

When I was implementing features I focused mostly on the player during the first semester and then transitioned to the enemies. The game went through many iterations, so the final work on AI was saved until the enemies were solidified.

The player required a lot of to make movement and shooting feel just right. We took a lot of inspiration from Horizon: Zero Dawn for player movement and interaction and I was trying to mimic that as closely as possible. The movement went through several iterations as well as we added and removed features. Originally we intended the player to be able to duck behind and vault over cover pieces like one might find in a traditional 3rd person action game but our final enemy type clashed with that slow and methodical gameplay.

The crawlers AI was my final focus as the project came to an end. They do not function using any kind of A* pathfinding or similar algorithms. To save time (as we were running out) we instead built the encounters to facilitate the crawlers being able to traverse in the shortest path to the player when they were attacking. This meant keeping the rooms a little more open and making any taller obstacles short on each side. This did mean that the crawlers could move freely almost anywhere on the level and still function the same way.

Wwise Integration

An area of complication for our team was integrating Wwise with Unity. We had a sound designer on our team and it was their first time using Wwise and our first time using Unity. In order to get everything working smoothly it took a lot of trouble shooting but my goal was to make sure that no one had problems iterating on work especially in the earliest stages of development.

The audio implementation evolved many times throughout the project. Initially I was creating components in unity using the AudioKinetic API for the sound designer to use. Eventually, as we both learned more about banks and events, we were able to completely remove the need for programmers to use the API and were able to have the sound designer do all the implementation.