Niemand

[ˈniːmant]

Summary

All alone, the player explores a dystopian sci-fi building. Drawn into the center the player experiences the brutal atmosphere.

Goals
  • To explore minimalist design 
    i
    nspired by brutalist architecture.

  • To work with a tight experience of
    the level.

  • To guide the player with light.

Specifications
  • Developed in 5 weeks part-time

  • Third Person Perspective 

  • Made in Unreal Engine 4

  • Selfmade assets in Maya

  • Used assets from Unreal Marketplace

  • Visual Scripting

Images from the level "Niemand".

Inspiration

I adore brutalist architecture because of its roughness, the emotional power and strong geometric lines


Aside from brutalist architecture, i got my inspiration for this level from the feature Blade Runner 2049.

Focus Areas & Iteration 

Player Immersion

My focus was to make the player feel small and submissive in the environment.

I chose to design differences in the height and size of the rooms, and use verticality.

To strengthen the idea I chose to focus on the design of the roof and to work with pillars.
 


 

Sense of Rhythm

To strengthen the environment ​I designed the platform rooms to change and react to the player.

 

When the beam falls into place it creates a wow-moment for the player. 

It was challenging to maintain the rhythm of the rooms. My goal was that it would feel like a natural flow to go from room to room. Early in my process, the flow felt off. Simply by adjusting the pillars' distance to each other, it felt much better.

Iteration

It has been challenging to iterate the blockout, because of my choice of architecture. 


I realized that it was the small changes that were crucial, such as soft and hard edges, which reinforced the geometric lines. I reworked room by room and pushed the design further.

1 min iteration video.

Lighting

To amplify the power and emotional impact of the environment I focused on lighting. I decided that the light source should always come from above.

I did research on lighting, how to angle the light source. I focused on how it would hit the walls. Where it would cast shadows, because I wanted to use the shadows to guide the player forward.

Platform Puzzle

I wanted to make a platform puzzle that is activated by the player. I wanted the platform movement to feel like a crankshaft.

When the player lands on a pillar they 

activate a trigger which is connected to another pillar. That pillar start moving from it's start to end position in a loop. But when the player lands on it, it stops moving until the player jumps off. 

In the beginning I designed only one possible path but after playtests I decided to design two possible paths that intersect.

Closing Thoughts

It has been instructive and amazing to explore brutalist architecture as a designer. I've learned that the small details  are crucial to lifting the design further.

 

One of my goals was to work with a sense of rhythm. I've learned more about player flow and that the design sometimes causes the player to lose rhythm.

I am very happy with my scripted events, it created the impression I was looking for such as the elevator in the end of the level and the beams in puzzle room. 

  • Linkedin - Vit Circle
©2020 by Emma Thorsander