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Ornament Express

Genre: VR escape room

Engine: Unreal Engine 5

Team Size: 18

Duration: Sept 2022 - June 2023

Platform: Windows, OpenXR (Steam)

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"Ornament Express" is a highly interactive escape room, where the player takes the role of a detective hired to retrieve a stolen artifact from a train. To do so, the player needs to solve puzzles and progress through the carts, following hints left for them by their employer.

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My responsibilities

Lead Designer
 

  • Setting up the player journey to improve team alignment, motivation and efficiency, maintain design vision, and assess progress and scope.
    Link to the player journey.

     

  • Design reviews to maintain vision throughout the project.
     

  • Organizing and documenting weekly playtests with external players of the target demographic.
     

  • Setting up and chairing design meetings. During the meetings, the team discussed the issues that arose during playtests, found solutions, and assessed the scope. Using the results I updated the backlog with proposed solutions for Replenishment meetings.

Puzzle Designer

  • Designing main puzzle mechanics with consideration for possibilities of VR, target player skills and knowledge of mechanics, and resources of the team.
     

  • Concepting and prototyping center puzzles in all level iterations.
     

  • Using signposting and iterations to change the information flow of the puzzles based on results of external playtest 
     

  • Concepting and implementing onboarding into VR controls for players new to VR (Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index).

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Technical Designer
 

  • Concepting and implementing a Snap Point system that allows the player to attach objects and to the environment, with different feedback depending on the object attached.
    The system was used throughout the project for puzzle and level design with slight iterations to make a component based on it
     

  • Implementation of scalable Numlock System using Blueprint Interfaces and adapting the system for easier setup by level designers using Map variable.

  • Concepting and implementing a player transition system to ensure smooth black in/out of the player’s camera between the levels.
    Collaborated with a sound designer of the team to add ambient and foley sounds to accompany the transition. This helped to maintain immersion during the loading screen.
     

  • Providing technical advice and help to teammates who were having trouble with the implementation of their features.
     

  • Taking part in code reviews to ensure the stability of the build and proper functionality of the code.

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