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Effigy - Narrative/Horror

Download game:
https://phazero.itch.io/effigy

Aesthetic: Horror, Narrative-Adventure

Inspired by Last of Us and Gone Home

Platform: PC

Game Engine: Unreal

Development Time: 3 Weeks

Team Size: 1

Role: Game Designer, Level Designer, Programming

Tasks + Responsibilities:

Design the level layouts around key gameplay beats and pacing.
Script trigger events to elicit emotional and level-changing moments.
Deliver a loose narrative in a logical order
Encourage exploration and puzzle solving

Effigy - After playtester recommendations have been implemented

List of revisions after playtesting

List of revisions after playtesting

Effigy -Before playtesting

This is a overview look of the first floor. As you can see the level is small but due to combination of locked doors, exploration, and puzzle elements, this efficient space is able to give the player a satisfying single player adventure of up to 45 min

This is a overview look of the first floor. As you can see the level is small but due to combination of locked doors, exploration, and puzzle elements, this efficient space is able to give the player a satisfying single player adventure of up to 45 min

First Floor

First Floor

The Second floor contains the bathroom and the mysterious attic door. It is a claustrophobic space that the player approaches with caution. It is also the site of turning point of the game.

The Second floor contains the bathroom and the mysterious attic door. It is a claustrophobic space that the player approaches with caution. It is also the site of turning point of the game.

Movement utilized the hub like spaces repeatedly for different sections of the exploration quest. The red line is the key gathering before the entering the attic, the blue line is after the turning point after entering the attic.

Movement utilized the hub like spaces repeatedly for different sections of the exploration quest. The red line is the key gathering before the entering the attic, the blue line is after the turning point after entering the attic.

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and goes to 3 leading the player to the third and final key.

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and goes to 3 leading the player to the third and final key.

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and goes to 3 leading the player to the third and final key.

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and goes to 3 leading the player to the third and final key.

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and continues leading the player to important keys and pickups

A reoccurring clue that the player is in traveling in the right direction are these children's block toys. The number starts at 1 and continues leading the player to important keys and pickups

The first interactable door the player encounters is glass to show them that there is more that awaits them. There is a hidden key on the trash can beside hidden in a child's drawing. Playtesters thought this was frustrating so I removed the paper! :)

The first interactable door the player encounters is glass to show them that there is more that awaits them. There is a hidden key on the trash can beside hidden in a child's drawing. Playtesters thought this was frustrating so I removed the paper! :)

The key after playtesting

The key after playtesting

Players who pass the back door initially and proceed to the backyard can see that there is more inside the house to lure them in and also build tension.

Players who pass the back door initially and proceed to the backyard can see that there is more inside the house to lure them in and also build tension.

The backyard of the house gives the player a sense of its size and rooms

The backyard of the house gives the player a sense of its size and rooms

Kitchen area: when player first enters house: Back door slams shut and  the laundry room light flashes to beckon the player to flashlight pickup. As the  Bear blocks door turned off by switch

Kitchen area: when player first enters house: Back door slams shut and the laundry room light flashes to beckon the player to flashlight pickup. As the Bear blocks door turned off by switch

This door remains locked until the end of the game. The player is trapped in the house,

This door remains locked until the end of the game. The player is trapped in the house,

Kitchen area obscuring the player view to heighten tension yet guiding with light and geometry towards doors

Kitchen area obscuring the player view to heighten tension yet guiding with light and geometry towards doors

The only light present in this first area is coming from the flashlight which is an important pick up

The only light present in this first area is coming from the flashlight which is an important pick up

The KitchenThe only light present in this first area is coming from the flashlight which is an important pick up

The KitchenThe only light present in this first area is coming from the flashlight which is an important pick up

Another block clue

Another block clue

The laundry, door geometry, and light point towards the flashlight.

The laundry, door geometry, and light point towards the flashlight.

Another block clue

Another block clue

The cabinets are searchable for clues and pickups

The cabinets are searchable for clues and pickups

a foreboding knife

a foreboding knife

a foreboding knife being inspected by the player

a foreboding knife being inspected by the player

Important pickups like these matches glow. The player can not use these until later in the game but they are primed to wonder about their purpose by finding them earlier

Important pickups like these matches glow. The player can not use these until later in the game but they are primed to wonder about their purpose by finding them earlier

Important pickups like these matches glow. The player can not use these until later in the game but they are primed to wonder about their purpose by finding them earlier

Important pickups like these matches glow. The player can not use these until later in the game but they are primed to wonder about their purpose by finding them earlier

The geometry of the kitchen points towards it doors and blocks unimportant areas

The geometry of the kitchen points towards it doors and blocks unimportant areas

The light on the wall glows slightly to encourage interaction

The light on the wall glows slightly to encourage interaction

Another light can be found in this hall. It is critical that the player learn to turn on and off light switches so they are emphasized

Another light can be found in this hall. It is critical that the player learn to turn on and off light switches so they are emphasized

The player has turned the light on

The player has turned the light on

A locked door foreshadowing a future entrance

A locked door foreshadowing a future entrance

A bathroom contains more clues and encourages the player to open cabinets and explore for pickups

A bathroom contains more clues and encourages the player to open cabinets and explore for pickups

A giant teddy bear blocks a critical door. The player wonders how to remove them.

A giant teddy bear blocks a critical door. The player wonders how to remove them.

A giant teddy bear blocks a critical door. The player wonders how to remove them.

A giant teddy bear blocks a critical door. The player wonders how to remove them.

When the player flicks on a light, the large stuffed carnivore disappears with a poof sound

When the player flicks on a light, the large stuffed carnivore disappears with a poof sound

Footprints out of Kitchen towards Dining room. Around the game children's footprints indicate correct direction and hint at a child-like spirit in the home.

Footprints out of Kitchen towards Dining room. Around the game children's footprints indicate correct direction and hint at a child-like spirit in the home.

The entrance to the living room. Many large shadows and obscured views to heighten fear.

The entrance to the living room. Many large shadows and obscured views to heighten fear.

Dining Room- location of second key

Dining Room- location of second key

second key on shelf behind table

second key on shelf behind table

second key on shelf behind table

second key on shelf behind table

Playtesters had a hard time finding the key in the 1st iteration and did not like the original 3d model style. I changed the key model to look like a house key and made it flash and shimmer as well as give off a glimmering sound when the player is near it

Playtesters had a hard time finding the key in the 1st iteration and did not like the original 3d model style. I changed the key model to look like a house key and made it flash and shimmer as well as give off a glimmering sound when the player is near it

When the keys are retrieved their name gives important clues about where they go and contribute to the story of where the player is

When the keys are retrieved their name gives important clues about where they go and contribute to the story of where the player is

Further detail in the living room. It is partially abandoned and filled with children's drawings

Further detail in the living room. It is partially abandoned and filled with children's drawings

Further detail in the living room. It is partially abandoned and filled with children's drawings

Further detail in the living room. It is partially abandoned and filled with children's drawings

Living Room Child's drawing detail

Living Room Child's drawing detail

a side room to the living room is the Garage, there is a creepy set of toys hinting at a disaster that may have struck the house's inhabitants

a side room to the living room is the Garage, there is a creepy set of toys hinting at a disaster that may have struck the house's inhabitants

"Safe Room"  The Child's Bedroom has been unlocked by the key from the living room

"Safe Room" The Child's Bedroom has been unlocked by the key from the living room

The entrance to the Child's bedroom marked by footprints

The entrance to the Child's bedroom marked by footprints

An important cabinet that contains another set of matches in case the player missed the more obscure pack.

An important cabinet that contains another set of matches in case the player missed the more obscure pack.

The matches glow since they are a critical item similar to the keys

The matches glow since they are a critical item similar to the keys

Another key lies in the center of the room

Another key lies in the center of the room

When the player leaves the living room upon returning a menacing television turns on, cracking with static

When the player leaves the living room upon returning a menacing television turns on, cracking with static

The orange glow illuminates a secret path behind rows of boxes

The orange glow illuminates a secret path behind rows of boxes

foot steps confirm the way

foot steps confirm the way

a shelf blocks a region of the house to create level boundaries that feel natural

a shelf blocks a region of the house to create level boundaries that feel natural

The player eliminates another bear and enters the attic with a key

The player eliminates another bear and enters the attic with a key

the view is partially obscured to build tension again. This is all a part of the game's pacing.

the view is partially obscured to build tension again. This is all a part of the game's pacing.

a final block confirms the player's correct path

a final block confirms the player's correct path

The player obtains the final key in a golden box surrounded by toys

The player obtains the final key in a golden box surrounded by toys

they turn around to leave

they turn around to leave

the house has suddenly changed

the house has suddenly changed

Upstairs Baby Bedroom: Turn The corner after leaving the attic and see "Help me Forget"

Upstairs Baby Bedroom: Turn The corner after leaving the attic and see "Help me Forget"

On the walls the house's spirit yells out to the player

On the walls the house's spirit yells out to the player

"Burn it away" combined with the discovery of matches, the payer begins to piece together what they must do

"Burn it away" combined with the discovery of matches, the payer begins to piece together what they must do

the final key opens the emergency room

the final key opens the emergency room

Emergency only room

Emergency only room

the lights and geometry of the room point at the gas can

the lights and geometry of the room point at the gas can

the player inspects the gas can

the player inspects the gas can

"I banish thee pain" the spirit of the house wants the house gone, it holds too much pain

"I banish thee pain" the spirit of the house wants the house gone, it holds too much pain

when the player leaves the hallway, the door slams behind them and locks

when the player leaves the hallway, the door slams behind them and locks

a giant red X and childishly drawn picture of fire mark where the player should use the gas can

a giant red X and childishly drawn picture of fire mark where the player should use the gas can

they pour the gas can first

they pour the gas can first

and click the blotch to ignite it with the matches. If the player does not have the matches, nothing will happen

and click the blotch to ignite it with the matches. If the player does not have the matches, nothing will happen

the bear suddenly appears again behind them

the bear suddenly appears again behind them

The Bear Blocks door permanently when fire starts to stop player from back tracking

The Bear Blocks door permanently when fire starts to stop player from back tracking

the player backs up and the parts of the room ignite one by one

the player backs up and the parts of the room ignite one by one

until everything goes a flame

until everything goes a flame

as the player panics they run to the door and see a key appear

as the player panics they run to the door and see a key appear

they open the door and run out the house, it sets a flame.

they open the door and run out the house, it sets a flame.

The final message fades on to the screen. "In order to rise from its own ashes..."

The final message fades on to the screen. "In order to rise from its own ashes..."

Sneak peek, of the beginning of the design process

Sneak peek, of the beginning of the design process

sneak peek of some of the post effects, lighting and scripting areas

sneak peek of some of the post effects, lighting and scripting areas