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My Shadow - Game Demo Development

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Niffin node

Hi All, This project is for my final year at uni and I thought I would post the development of this demo over the course of this year. So lets get started:

Synopsis: My Shadow is a story driven puzzle platformer which is set in a surreal mindscape inside the protagonists head.

Story: Wayne Adore, 15, male boy in 1940's war torn Britain who recieves a letter that his parents have died in an explosion, sending him into a deep depression. Whilst living with his carers, he looses and traps himself in his room, isolating from the world that took his only family. He eventually finds himself in another world, where he must face his demons and overcome the grief he has for his lost parents. (This is an extra bit of lore but it needs refining for it to make sense: Wayne Adore in his late 70s has a doll house with a figurine that looks like his younger self. He puppets the figurine as a coping mechanism from fighting in WW2 and the hands that attack the figurine are his own hands. Because of this, the game is viewed through a doll house perspective, like the little nightmares games.)

Gameplay & Mechanics: Linear storytelling (story is told level by level); which is viewed through a doll house perspective. The main mechanic the player can wield is "The All Seeing Eye of the Player" which essentially allows the player to see things that the protagonist can't. For example: objects which may help with a puzzle, secret pathways, platforms etc. And lastly, basic movement mechanics: walk, run, jump, grab.

Target Demographic: A non-gender specific 16-25 years old who generally enjoy playing story driven horror puzzle games on Console or PC.

Ok, so what is this game gonna look like? Well, this is the part where you get to see the concept art I've got so far:

(I'm aware that tv's didn't look like this during ww2, this was just an idea I had)

This is the bedroom level where the game starts. (WIP). I'm still working on what is going to happen in the level, but at some point, the player goes to sleep and wakes in this other world.

This is what Wayne Adore looks like at the moment. I plan on making him look more doll shaped, kinda like an action figure.

Right now, I've started on greyboxing the bedroom and I have fully modelled the bed. All models are made in Maya 2023 and the game will be using Unreal Engine 5.

I have also made a start on the final environment for the game demo which will have a portal open up in the sky (kinda like in Time Bandits when they travel to different timelines); and the hands will snake down towards the player and that's where the game will end.

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how to get the opening effect the portal will have. I feel like doing non-Euclidian stuff might work but I'll have to test it. I also want to change the mountains to be more curved like in most of Tim Burtons films like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

So, that's everything I've got right now. I'll be posting weekly updates on my progress and any feedback is much appreciated!


  • Niffin
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    Niffin node

    Update on: ~~ My Shadow ~~

    I started working on some tillable textures for the walls and floor. I wanted to sculpt the wooden floor boards but I had loads of issues when duplicating the wooden panels. This is because they had such a high tris count (2,162,688 tris, oops).

    My computer would sit there processing what I've just done to it for a bit. Eventually, I was able to export the row of wooden panels and I went to bake them in substance painter, and it kept erroring. So the solution I had was that I could use the remesh and decimate modifier in Blender. Sure some detail would be lost, but it's only the floor.

    So after remeshing and decimating, I got it down to around 400,000 tris, nice. After reimporting to substance painter with the Tiling Material Sample, it worked! Finally some progress.

    After fixing the artefacts and general texturing, here is the final texture working in UE5:

    You may have noticed the wallpaper texture. This was not nearly as hard as the floor. I just drew the repeating pattern and added some noise to the normal map to make it feel less flat.

    So apart from the insanity of tillable textures, we somewhat have a working camera system in place. As of now it only goes left and right, but it brings it together. Programmer: Aiden Knight - External Freelancer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jy6cu6hAFU <<<<<<< What it looks like In-Engine

    That's all the progress I have so far so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I feel like the project is coming together now that I can see the textures and what the space is going to feel like.

  • Niffin
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