January 2019 - May 2019
Suh Kyung Lee
Radiant Dark was a capstone studio project I produced at SCAD with a group of 15 students. The project lasted 20 weeks and was built from the ground up twice. Twelve game developers, two animators, and one composer came together to create something special.
The Puzzle Tool started as a simple idea. I would make a tool that allowed the level designer to drop a puzzle into the editor and set up the track. This proved to be a much more complex task than I had anticipated. It was not long before I had built a fully modular tool that not only set up the track, but set up the pieces both on and off the track itself. This meant the level designer could create everything he needed start to finish in a matter of seconds.
Our level designer Kyle Hanselman came up with the idea of atomic-themed puzzles. The player would have control of negative and positive charged pieces called artifacts. The player could push these artifacts clockwise, counterclockwise, and inward, but not outward. The player would encounter three obstacles for the artifacts: gates that reverse their charge, bouncers that force them to move in a direction, and walls that kill their charge entirely.
The win condition of the puzzle is to place a balanced number of positive and negative charges in the center of the puzzle. If a player puts themselves in a position that makes completion impossible, they may trigger a reset panel that flips the puzzle upside down and resets the locations of all puzzle pieces.
The ARTM [Auroral Redirection and Transfer Module )
The ARTM was a solution to making the game more exciting pitched by our lead designer Kyle Hanselman. I created the initial sketches and blockout for its design, and Kyle made the final game model. I did all the rigging, animation, and particles for the tool. While our original intention was to avoid classic violence to do something more original, the game needed something to make traversing between areas more exciting.
I worked on creating an original effect for the zombies, or Dybuuks as they are referred to in the game. I wanted them to look like they were being kept alive by the power of the Aurora Australis, so I took the zombie and it's texture made by Suh Kyung Lee and began mixing it with primitive materials I made in Photoshop. Used many different nodes in the material editor, from "lerp" and "multiply" to "time" and "noise". What I had created was a fractal effect that crawls along the surface of the zombie with a glow inside created by a point light. The light will shine through the transparency of the fractal effect, with small streaks of energy pulsating over time along the body. When the zombie is hit by the pulse effect, it disrupts the zombie's connection to aurora, causing it to become unstable for an instant. When hit enough times, the effects wear off and a body remains. When hit one last time, the body falls to the floor, and begins to disintegrate.
The Art Bible, created by Jessa Belote, is a full compendium of all the artwork we have done over the 20 week development period. You can also download the art book made by Wren King by clicking the PDF icon on the side!
Get the Game
You can download both versions of Radiant Dark on itch.io; The original 27 puzzle adventure or the short and sweet revision. Version 1 is on the left and version 2 is on the right!