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Team GUET - Nebula Spike

Systems Design & Gameplay Engineer
8/21-12/21
Power-Up Design/Implementation - Unreal Engine 4

The biggest challenge of this project was learning Unreal. Chamomile Grove was also in Unreal, but our pipeline relied on custom C++, giving me little chance to learn the blueprints myself. I had also not made a racing game before, giving me a new challenge of needing to research the genre to make the power-ups feel impactful.

I researched competitors with my teammates, gathering data from other successful franchises such as Mario Kart and Wipeout to figure out what kind of effects were present in the game to allow players to strategize, as well as how they format their HUD UI to make these elements as clear as possible.

I built the system to be flexible, giving me the ability to add power-ups dynamically without needing to edit the underlaying C++ code on our custom controller. They fed through the Game Mode blueprint, referencing a master data table of information about the power-ups to pull the values to edit the vehicle's current speed/handling/acceleration. There was also a sample of an 'active' power-up, one that would impact other racers, including the AI. This was a mine power-up, that spawned mines around the player's vehicle, causing others that collided with them to slow down.

 

To add variety and better master the blueprinting system of Unreal, I also designed and implemented different vehicle types. These were also fed through the game mode blueprint, using a master data table of information about the type of vehicle (slow, normal, fast), which allowed players to select which type of vehicle they felt comfortable racing with, with different stats that impacted the user experience of the vehicle.

Additional Documents
Research Paper on Power-Ups in Racing Games
Project Brief/Development Plan