We all had a passion for game development but most of us did not have a lot of experience (majority was in small, web based games coded in Javascript). We chose to expand our knowledge by creating a game using Unreal Engine.

What Does It Do?

It plays very similar to a typical puzzle/horror game. We custom designed many of the objects in the game, programmed all the triggers/puzzles, and created the story line and the game "track". As you collect keys, you will progress closer and closer to the exit. The objective of the game is to reach the exit before the timer expires.

What Did You Build?

Everything was built using Unreal Engine. We relied heavily on Blueprints for game play mechanics, simple objects, and basic features.

Biggest Problems?

Collaborating was very difficult because we struggled with Github. Because we were working with Blueprints (and therefore did not know exactly what code was being added), it was difficult to ensure that committed changes would not crash or negatively change the game. Another problem was the time restraint. We looked at this project as a learning opportunity, and because of this, we spent a lot of time learning how to use Unreal Engine. The end product is not as complete as we would want it, but it is a representation of our Unreal learning experience (get it?).

What Are You Most Proud Of?

What we are most proud of is the amount we have learned in the short amount of time. None of us, excluding Esteban, had any experience with Unreal Engine and very limited experience with game development (even Esteban only had experience with graphic design), yet we were able to create a working demo for a game (granted it is missing many features).

What Did You Learn?

Our biggest learning is that there is a huge amount of work involved in creating your typical AAA games. We invested a lot of time into learning Unreal Engine and we are very proud of our product. We can only imagine the feeling of spending years developing a game to be released into the market. We also learned how important it is to not rush things. We wanted to start coding game play right away, but we realized quickly that we did not have a story, a template of any kind, or even a win condition. In addition, when we rushed into blueprinting, we realized down the road that we made some pretty big mistakes that took a very long time to fix (ex. we used a first-person blueprint but our character was a third person character... which lead to many problems with the HUD).

What's Next For Trapped

We plan to continue to develop the game as much as possible. We have written plans for what we envisioned this game to be (back before we knew how much time it would take) and we will continue to add onto the game after the Hackathon to create a finished product. We expect to add MANY more obstacles and puzzles, drastically increase the graphic quality, and use more sounds to add to immersion.

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