Introducing Vapormage, a first-person magic shooter with a unique and custom flick input system to cast spells and advanced AI enemies to fight.
Vapormage was a game demo developed by a team of five over three months. I was the lead AI and gameplay programmer for this project and worked hand in hand with a dedicated graphics programmer who was responsible for all the spell effects and visuals.
My focus for this project was to implement a comprehensive AI enemy and behavior tree in Unreal Engine – our choice for this project due to its great art pipeline and recently added Niagara VFX system. I used Unreal’s existing Blackboard and Behavior Tree systems to implement the AI for the enemy, but had to write many scripts in C++ to enable the enemy to communicate properly with the player and make decisions based on its own stats.
This was a huge learning opportunity for me as it was the first game I’ve worked on in Unreal that was written completely in C++ instead of their designer-friendly blueprint system. This came with a lot of learning curves such as learning how to format header files properly so that we could control what our designer and artist could and couldn’t access from blueprints. We learned to hide complex systems – such as our controller gesture system – while leaving important variables exposed in order to simplify things for our designer who had never used Unreal before.
Another big focus of this semester was on writing a comprehensive technical document in order to more efficiently onboard additional programmers in case our game pitch made it through to Spring semester. While we did not make it through, the ability to point team members to areas we had written in the tech doc was extremely helpful and I’m sure this was good practice for the future when I’ll be working on much larger teams.
Anyways, if you would like to take our game demo for a spin, you can download it here: