Summary

This short demo was made as a level design/scripting assignment during my first year at The Game Assembly. It is my personal take on Hideo Kojima's "P.T."

About my level

•Developed over 3 weeks half-time

•Unreal Engine, Maya, Photoshop

•Radio voice taken from Hideo Kojima's "P.T."

•Asset pack used was HQ Residential House by NOTLonely, and the zombie girl rig from Mixamo animations.

•Additional assets made by me

About Hideo Kojima's "P.T."

•First Person Horror demo

•Set in one single location that mysteriously loops around on itself

•Gradually becomes more terrifying

The Challenge

I had three main goals with this piece

1. To make a horror level, something that is traditionally way out of my comfort zone

2. To push a realistic environment to Gold quality

3. To use audio, sequencers and blueprint scripting to polish and enhance the horror experience.

Development

The initial idea

What I wanted to do with my level, that Kojima didn't, was to create the same horror experience but in a believable space. The two-corridor layout of the original P.T. does not have optimal space planning, which is why I took this challenge upon myself.

I acknowledge that the original layout might have been intended to be designed that way, to make the player feel uneasy or to optimally set up the jump scares. Either way, I believe this could be improved.

The original layout is scary, but no house looks like this!

Designing my own haunted house

What made this space interesting is that the player is going to be looping through it again and again, so right from the bat it needed to have potential for interesting twists. I made sure all spaces in my design could contribute to the overarching theme in some way. For instance, the idea of a staircase going down creates more opportunities of spooky occurrences around the corner, and it also symbolizes the player walking further down into hell.

Outside view of my level

The loops

With every loop, the environment would change just a little bit enough to give an eery feeling of that something's wrong. A ball rolling, a radio playing static, a painting has fallen over. I planned out what the main changes would be in every loop in my level design document.

I specified the intricacies of each loop before development

Game Juice

Audio design

Sound was probably the most effectful tool for me to sell the horror setting in this level. I had rain sounds coming from every window, eery creaking noises from the ceiling lamp swinging, and dynamic sound effects based on what material the player was stomping on. Sudden banging on the door can create a great fear of the unknown, with no other new assets.

Cockroaches and sequencers

I built a simple cockroach AI behavior tree that would react to the player walking close to it. There's also plenty of small easy-to-miss details that were controlled by sequencers. 

Post-mortem

What would I have changed today?

This was a very interesting project, I enjoyed working with the horror genre more than I originally thought. I'm afraid I have lost the original files to this piece but if ever recover them I would love to develop it into a more coherent story with a real ending. 

I was impressed by the level of quality I could reach by making one really small level instead of a big, sprawling one. It was interesting to toy with areas beyond my forté (level design), which has me excited to work on real projects with real audio designers etc.