LYRA SHILLABEER Level, World, Narrative and Graphic Designer

Bunker Game

Bunker Game is a prototype level for a first person puzzle exploration game set in an abandoned bunker, inspired by my experience being the first student to return to my shared accommodation after Christmas and having to be the person to plug in the electronics, repressurize the boiler, turn on the heating, etc. It really felt like I was bringing the house back to life and I wanted to make a game about that.

The original game idea was for it to have a metroidvania styled world, where the player would gain equipment or make repairs that would let them traverse into deeper areas of the bunker and backtrack to find areas they missed (for instance, an elevator repair tool which unlocks the use of elevators, or fixing the facilities electricity and being able to go through electronic doors)

I immediately knew it would be impossible to showcase something like this in a prototype, since a lot of rooms would be required to demonstrate this progression system. Instead, I decided on a vertical slice that demonstrates how one action (repairing an elevator) unlocks a new area and opens up an additional shortcut

This project was made with Unreal Engine, and I used Blender, Substance Designer and Adobe Illustrator for asset creation. I made every asset on my own except for the game's audio and the shutter door object.

The prototype also served like a spiritual successor to Next Day Delivery (A group project I created in first year), with a similar level design style and asset list. This project also serves as a proof of concept for an improved hacking minigame that I would use in NDD if I was to ever recreate it.

Download Prototype

Level Design

Below is my original design for the level, and the finished level, which unfortunately had to have several rooms removed due to scoping issues

Original level design

Finished level in engine

Hacking Minigame

As well as creating the game's level, I created a hacking minigame with the intention of improving upon the one I designed in Next Day Delivery.

NDD's minigame is a fast paced rythm game where players type buttons on their keyboard to take control of nearby systems. These buttons don't actually represent anything, and are instead based off the minigame song's melody. This was because we found that having players type words (ie, "Open shutter door" when opening a door) lead to players feeling patronised.

This time, I decided upon making a puzzle minigame, because I wanted the player to feel like they're hacking, which is slow, methodical and strategic, as opposed to the fast paced action rythm game I did last time.

The minigame consists of a start and end point, and a pile of tiles with lines on them. The player must arrange these tiles so the lines are joined up, creating an abstract representation of a circuit board.

I performed paper prototype playtesting for each instance of the minigame with my housemates (who rarely play video games) and coursemates using the thinkaloud protocol, which allowed me to alter the starting state of the board to balance between the level being too easy and too hard

Playtesting the tutorial level with a housemate

Tutorial level in the finished game