The Game

Neon Collapse is a top-down space shooter built by a team of 15 students in Unreal Engine 4. The universe has collapsed causing survivors to create micro-universes powered by their mothership. You play as one of the guardians of a mothership and the objective is to prevent waves of enemies from destroying your micro-universe by protecting your mothership. You can play solo or with up to 3 other friends in LAN co-op. There is also a PvP game mode that allows you to test who is the better guardian amongst your friends. 

What I was responsible for

Abilities and Bosses

I was part of the core design team at the start of the production. My job was to come up with multiple bosses, create a Mega boss, and create abilities. I worked closely with two other designers to create the core gameplay loop and main mechanics of the game. 

One of the abilities I was responsible for was the Lance secondary weapon. During production, I noticed that one of our current abilities wasn't doing well with playtesters and didn't fit our gameplay loop. So I designed the Lance to follow our core gameplay of speed, skilled movement, and excitement. The Lance locks your turn speed to your movement stick meaning turning is harder but making people skilled enough feel rewarded for hitting a target. I then made the damage of hitting a target scale with your speed, meaning players want to go faster to get more damage.

At first, your turning speed was not restricted meaning the player could reach great speeds and then turn 360 hitting everything around them. This meant the ability was too easy and felt too similar to our Laser sword's ability. So to solve this problem I turned off the ability to turn at all but in testing, players didn't like just choosing one direction since they couldn't see far enough to line up the ability. I added the ability to slightly aim to the left and right meaning you could readjust mid travel and land your huge attack.

I created a Mega boss called Kri Ken that didn't make it into the game due to time restraints. I designed him to go through three phases and each phase played to a different pillar of our gameplay. The first required skill, the boss would come from under the mothership and attach to it. Players had to be accurate as they shoot its tentacles missing would mean damaging the ship. Second phases required communication, the monster would grab a random player and slowly pull them into its center. Players needed to destroy the tentacle grabbing the player to free them. The final phase was the reward, the monster would have no tentacles left meaning it was defenseless and players could unleash everything to kill him.

PvP

I was the leader of the PvP strike team, I was responsible for making the game mode and all the design aspects of the mode. I came up with a spin on the classic team deathmatch and free for all modes. Allowing players to kill each other while a boss roamed the map causing players to choose what their priorities are. Killing the boss rewarded you with more points than killing an enemy but at the risk of getting killed by your enemy.

I was responsible for overlooking the PvP levels and what the art style of the levels would be. At first, each level had their own art and theme but soon it started looking like another game and each level looked like different designers made them. To make the game stick to the Neon theme and feel like all the levels were made by the same people we went for a universal theme that incorporated 3D neon walls with a darker inner area to achieve a consistent look and feel.

Level Design

The team deathmatch level I created was called Twin Valleys, it was a symmetrical map that focused on creating close quarters combat and used the blink ability to blink over walls. This created the ability for players to surprise attack their enemies and make fun encounters.

The free for all level I created was called Snipers Den, it focused on long paths that let players reach higher speeds for more exciting fights. I utilized abilities such as the Lance ability and afterburner ability that allowed players maximize speeds.

Gallery

Neon Collapse

Neon Collapse

Lance

Lance

Snipers Den

Snipers Den

Twin Valleys

Twin Valleys

Rebel Destroyer

Rebel Destroyer

Shield

Shield

Laser Swords

Laser Swords

Wingman boss

Wingman boss

During development, we noticed we wouldn't have enough levels for PvP so I stepped in and created two of my own levels. One level focused on team deathmatch and the other on free for all. This meant one level was more symmetrical and the other was asymmetrical in design.