A Short Game from Start to Finish

Weekend Unreal Engine 4 Challenge

June 02, 2014

For a course a Culture and Context course at Victoria University of Wellington, I wrote an essay which explores the rise of the independent video game developer and the shifts within the Industry. To accompany my essay I decided to create a small game which demonstrates design principals and practices used by Indie developers.

A key component of this game was focusing on how independent developers constraints inform their outcome, I set myself strict guidelines to experience this culture. A major constraint is money, the entire project was made using tools that can be used cheaply or for free as well as software I already own. This included Photoshop CS6 (Already own) for editing textures, Autodesk Maya 2014 (Educational License) and Unreal Engine 4 (I am currently subscribed). Another major constraint is time, I had a weekend to create a working prototype from ‘Start to Finish’.

A major challenge throughout this project was using Unreal Engine 4, I used Unreal Engine 3 previously for my last major project and it took weeks to get a working prototype. This time I had more experience from that UE3 project however there are many changes in UE4 which I discovered along the way as well as some issues which caused time lost due to my lack of experience.

The final game is just a prototype however it demonstrates key concepts discussed in my essay such as how financial constraints can shape the final game.