Maneater

Level Designer on Maneater (Blindside Interactive)
Remote, contract work for Blindside Interactive
January 2017 – March 2018

From the creator of Killing Floor and Depth comes… Maneater! – UE4

  • Collaborated with a small team of developers to design and build an open world single player Action RPG game
  • Developed the world’s environment to a point at which Tripwire, purchased the intellectual property and published the game (Epic Games Store, 2019)
  • Conceptualized the environment through research, image gathering, sketching, design documentation, diagrammatic 2D layouts, and discussion
  • Constructed the environment through blocking, set-dressing, kitbashing, landscape sculpting, landscape painting, foliage painting, AI placement, navigation nodes, lighting, and VFX placement
  • Experimented with Blackboard, AI Behavior Trees, and the Sequence Editor to help push production forward
  • Developed asset lists based on my conceptualized needs for each differing game environment
  • Blocked out asset lists with 3D Modeling, and assigned assets to artist to begin production
  • Optimized and streamlined the functionality of the environment with culling and blocking volumes. Created optimized blueprints with instanced static meshes to aid in the efficient construction of the world’s environment

Maneater is a Single-Player Action RPG, set in the unforgiving waters of the Gulf Coast. Fight to survive in the open ocean, with danger lurking at every depth. Your only tools are your wits, your jaws, and an uncanny ability to evolve as you feed. Anything and everything is on the menu… kill or be killed.

I worked for a solid year on Maneater with a cozy group of developers, most of which I already knew from working on Depth. I worked mainly to support the lead level designer, helping to build the large open world. Content work came as a natural extension of my level design and world building work, creating blueprints which made use of Instanced Static Meshes and Hierarchical Instanced Static Meshes in an intelligent and efficient way. I constantly had to search for my own design and creative solutions as the game and its systems evolved. If part of the world needed some progress to be done I would jump to that area and start to make progress. If I felt like drawings needed to be drawn in order to paint a vision for that area, drawings would be drawn. If design work needed to be done to help give structure to the area, I would open up Photoshop and start working on a diagrammatic 2D design layout.

I built a lot of stuff, sculpted landscape, placed AI and adjusted paths as the world evolved, set settings on actors within the world relative to the context of their use (basic optimization), added blocking volumes, did my best to make use of the content that we had, kit bashing assets as best I could, working within the natural limitations that a game development team always has. I did some basic modeling work also as a means to support the blueprint and world building work I was doing. Maneater has been a great game to work on, and definitely a positive development experience.

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