Ghost Theory

“Ghost Theory is a first-person adventure horror game,
designed to be a serious take on ghost hunting and paranormal research,

featuring real-world haunted locations.”
Ghost theory press kit

Client:
Dreadlocks

Genre:  
Survival Horror

Official Website: 
Ghost Theory

Team Size:
16-20

Programs Used:
Wwise, Unity, Cryengine 5, 
sweet home 3d, 3ds Max

Duration: 
From: 04-02-2016
To:     20-12-2017

Project & Role Overview

Ghost theory is a survival horror game which tries to steer away from jumpscares. Players find themselves exploring open levels based on real world haunted locations, unravelling the hauntings and their story by using paranormal abilities and gadgetry.

I worked on this project for +- 10 months as an intern designer, after which I was hired by Dreadlocks as a freelance designer and continued on this project.

Level Design

  • Whiteboxing, re-creation and adaptation of several real world locations into levels.
  • Team members photographed and recorded locations, I would recreate these locations as white box versions in Cryengine.
  • Set dressing, basic lighting, placeholder animatic and placeholder scripts in white boxes.
  • Creation of promotional scenes, from white boxing to set dressing and lighting.
  • Integration and manipulation of sound effects and music using Wwise.

Concept & Prototyping

  • Proposing and documenting several mechanics such as Player interactions, basic enemy design and behaviour.
  • Prototyping of several mechanics using visual scripting in Cryengine 5 and Unity
  • Creation of setpieces and in game cutscenes through the use of visual scripting in Cryengine 5.
  • Basic in-engine animatic, for the purpose of prototyping and testing out if storyboarded scenarios would work in engine.

Visual Scripting

  • Used Cry engines scripting tools to test out mechanics such as UV lamps, EMF meters and other gadgets.
  • Prototyped enemy behaviour, dialogue systems, and animation setups.

Additionaly

  • Several prototypes, reviews, feedback documents and meetings with regards to the studio’s other projects.
  • Proof of concept and prototyping for an unannounced mobile title in Unity 5.

Learned

  • Design and creation based on photo, video and internet research of real locations.
  • Adaptation of real world locations for the purpose of gameplay.
  • Scripting, level design and several other aspects of Cryengine 5.

In conclusion

Having been with ghost theory since the start of the project as an intern, I had the option to give feedback and suggest several changes and alternatives for the design. In the end, that was all I could do, and the final decision was always with my supervisor. How I would deliver my work was always left up to me which resulted in experimentation on how I could improve on my previous design. There was always space to try out new techniques, which resulted in improving the design pipeline significantly.

During my time I learned several new design skills such as Cry engine and level design in accordance with real world locations, which was much more interesting than I imagined it would be.