Year: 3rd Year – Spring Semester(2020)

Grade: 1st Class

Language: C#

Tool Used: Unity 2019 and HackNPlan

Cortex was a game developed as part of our final University project. I was part of a team of 3 programmers and 4 artists. I was elected as the Programmer Lead, but due to our limited time, three months, I had to assume various roles, UI programmer, Gameplay Programmer and AI programmer.

Our three months were a wild ride, we faced the COVID-19 pandemic which massively affected our game and workflow. Originally our game was meant to be a VR multiplayer shooter arena experience, but after a chat with the developers at Bulkhead Interactive we decided that our idea was to ambitious for the time that we had so in the first week we dumped the multiplayer to focus on a VR shooter arena. The story of our game was based on a SCI-FI futuristic world, where a gang is running an underground arena fight club, our main inspirations was recreating the old gladiator fights in the colosseum but with robots and advance technology. A lot of futures were created for this version of the game, a wrist-radar, the VR shooting mechanics, design thought for the player movement, considering factors like motion-sickness, and so on.

Unfortunately our vision for the game changed drastically when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, our University went into lockdown meaning that the equipment required to develop the game was inaccesible, primarily the lack of VR headsets. Once more we had to re-design our game so we could finish it in time, we adapted our game to be a first person shooter, the player had to infiltrate in a Cortex warehouse and destroy their secret prototype, Cortex is the enterprise running the production of humanoid-assistants, however they’re developing an evil humanoid to take on the world.

A variety of three enemies were created, attack-drones, attack-humanoids and the final boss. I was part of the development of the AI behaviour with one of my colleagues, working closely with artists to implement their creations and designs in our game.

The first person controller had to be developed since scratch to suit all of our needs. I was in charge of implementing the movement physics and camera controller, my biggest inspirations for the movement were Destiny, Doom and Call of Duty. This was my first time developing a first person controller and I learned all of the challenges that FPS camera face, I solved all of our issues of clipping, lighting and incorrect Field of View by stacking cameras and using raycasting to detect whether an object would be in front of the hands/gun to avoid clipping by playing an animation, a similar solution to many popular games nowadays.

I also put a lot of time in User Feedback, this was one of my top priorities to provide gameplay feedback to the player, this can be observed in the gameplay footage down below. And finally I worked on the user interface with my colleagues.

During the whole game development process, I was in charge of planning the development sprints, doing one and ones with my teammates, organising team meetings, and making sure that cooperation was working fine.

Even though we had to dump a lot of work due to the pandemic, cutting down our scope and changing core aspects of our original plans, we didn’t give up and managed to pull through with an amazing result considering the circumstances that we faced. I was very proud of my team and we were congratulated by the lecturers.

Take a look to the gameplay demo: