This project consists of three pieces:
2. Rooftops - To view the Rooftops level alone, install the game files to the proper location and open the file "DM-Pi04-Rooftops" from the CustomMaps folder. View in Unreal Editor 3.
3. Level Design Document - A layout of the concept behind the Rooftops level.
Project I (I, the letter) is built using Unreal Editor 3, but the game itself is a departure from the standard fare of Unreal Tournament. Weapons are nonexistent, and the player's main obstacle is the environment created within the character's own mind. Players work through a series of four levels, each stemming from a central hub area. Project I features its own unique storyline, following a character named Wade as he strives to recover his sanity. This is accomplished via a dreamlike state Wade experiences as a result of an experimental drug called "Project I." Each level features a puzzle the player must work through in order to reach the end of the dream state.
I have contributed to Project I as a level designer. My level, the Rooftops, represents the final level in the game, and is designed to be a culmination of what has been learned in each of the prior levels, all leading up to a climactic conclusion. My intenton was to build a level that took advantage of the most prominent fear element one would find on a building roof - namely, a fear of heights. The Asylum complex within which the game is based is taken to an impossible height in this level, creating a sense of isolation and restriction within an open space. This sense of height is multiplied by the addition of the water tower finale and the jumping ability granted to the player in this level. Several testers actually experienced a sense of vertigo while playing through the level on large computer monitors. I've worked very hard to create the proper atmosphere for the Rooftops, and in the end, I feel it came across quite well.
Lead Designer Nick Bernick first conceived Project I in the Autumn of 2008. In 2009, the Project I team expanded to include four level designers, a writer, and three artists. The game was to initially feature four levels - the Sewers, Parking Lot, Fire Escape, and Rooftops, and was built around a city environment. Each level designer began construction of his own level (restructured as the Sewers, Grounds, Asylum, and Rooftops) in his own style, a decision that would later turn out to hinder the project.
During the game's production cycle, vast changes were made to the original design. Four levels were built over an eight-week period for the game's Alpha stage. Following testing, comments, and extensive review by the art team, each level design underwent considerable revision. Everyone on the team worked immensely hard to get the game back on track. Three of the four levels, my own included, were completely scrapped and redone from the ground up, moving from orange box through Alpha and into a Beta stage over a series of five weeks. The resulting levels became what is the final Gold Master version of Project I. Though risky, the decision to remake the levels paid off quite nicely in this final version.
Be sure to check the in-game Credits for a list of everyone else involved in "the Project I project."