Project Xenos was an adventure game prototype created using the Source Engine during the second year of my Bachelor degree course.
We were tasked with creating a number of sample levels for a game project and writing the associated design documents to go with them and were required to use Valve’s Source Engine to create the levels.
For this project I opted to work on a third-person adventure game, going beyond the initial assignment brief which only required us to use the engine to construct a first-person action in the same vein as Half-Life 2.
I decided to begin modifying the game code which came bundled with the Source Engine SDK using Visual Studio C++ and added a third-person camera, a custom dialogue system and inventory system for allowing the player to pick up and interact with objects in the game world. I also then modified the way in which weapons in the game worked, allowing the player to switch back and forth between first and third-person views when combat was required.
This project was a fantastic lesson in designing and developing both a game’s core mechanics and the levels of a game, requiring me to look deeply into level design theory and general game design theories. I also had a chance to work with how to craft a narrative around a game’s mechanics, and how to use the environment to tell the story along with dialogue.
Finally, I also had to create a number of custom music tracks for the levels. I created a track for the title screen, one for the game’s short introductory sequence and then two tracks which the game alternated between depending on whether the player was in combat or not.