I wanted to make a fast-paced shooter in third person. During pre-production when I was setting up the basics I realized that the game needed a unique selling point, something to spice it up. Spice it with a teleport mechanic.
I set up the level as small combat bowls since I wanted to focus on the interaction between enemies and player, with some corridors for the sake of pacing
Combine scripting, level design and game design to make a short game prototype.
5 weeks - half time
Unreal Engine 4
Using assets from Epic's free marketplace
The problem at first was how to telegraph to the player when and where they teleport, while still making the player feel in control.
Where: The answer was to give the player a set point. The last enemy (or Teleport Panel) the player hit gets marked and will be the set point for the player to teleport.
When: I tried giving it a cooldown or making it based on resources but it only made the gameplay too slow for the gameplay I wanted to achieve and put the player in too dangerous situations. Therefore, the player can teleport as long as they have something marked.
Why: I knew I wanted a movement ability and had recently been looking at characters who can teleport (Dishonored and The Umbrella Academy) So as soon as I thought about adding something more to the project my mind strayed to a teleport. I thought it had a lot of potential to become a fun mechanic.
Shield: If they see or get hit by the player, they will take up a shield. The shield is facing the player but will not move after the initial setup. When the enemies shoot at the player they first check if their shield is in the way and takes it down if it is.
Rapid Fire: I wanted to make the enemies harder to hit by making bullets being able to collide with each other. So the player's bullet will collide with the enemies. This puts the player in a tough position since the enemies have a greater fire rate
The goal with this part is to let the player try the mechanics. The first enemy is behind a door, this is to get the player in the right position. I do not want them to be too far away since it would be harder to get a good hit. To hide the enemy behind a corner would promote a cover shooting gameplay and also a giant door slowly opening builds suspense.
Although the very beginning, I should have made the player teleport to a Teleport Panel and not an enemy and only once they know how to teleport, would they meet an enemy.
First Real Battle Room
The player starts the combat area on the high ground ergo with the upper hand and I could therefore add in more enemies without it being too much for the player. If they do get stuck and are unable to hit an enemy, there's a Teleport Panel which will get the player close to a cover point. The enemies stand almost together in a group and this is to make it easy for the player to keep check on them.
Take the Advantage Point
In this area the player starts at the ground and an enemy has the high ground. If the player teleport to the enemy, they will get the advantage point and a shield protecting them. Were the player to get the enemies at ground level, their shield would point at the player entrance which would do little to protect from the high ground enemy.
This area compared to the previous in the way of enemy placement is very similar so in order to make it seem more distinct I could have split up the enemy group a bit to learn the enemy to keep track of all the enemies.
The Big Fight
This area was built to challenge the player and be the last big stand before the end. It is harder to get around the area which is why I put out more Teleport Points and this also gives the player access to get around and behind enemies. Making them feel cool and powerful.
To make the player move around, I put the enemies so that no matter which enemy group the player goes first for, there will be another group able to attack the player.
At last there are some breadcrumb enemies to lead the player to the ship, which the player fly away with and the game ends.
I am really happy with how the teleport mechanic and enemies came out, they create a fun and engaging setup. In hindsight, I could have added a melee attack to further signify the teleport mechanic. This would promote the fast-paced gameplay.