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Nuclear Rollout
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Nuclear Rollout

Marjolaine Roy
by MarjolaineRoy on 17 May 2024

Nuclear Rollout is a platformer game. Play as Oscar, a ball working relentlessly to collect nuclear objects for its unforgiving boss. It was made for the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition of 2023. The theme that year was ARCADE.

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NOMINATED FOR BEST PROTOTYPE

WINNER OF BEST GAME DESIGN
WINNER OF BEST QUALITY OF THE "3C"

Nuclear Rollout is a platformer game. Play as Oscar, a ball working relentlessly to collect nuclear objects for its unforgiving boss. It was made for the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition of 2023. I took on the role of designer. The theme that year was ARCADE.

The constraints given were:
• An online leaderboard showing the highest scores
• One destruction and one creation mechanic
• One interactive gravity modulation mechanic
• Two concept art elements (in the game or apart)
• At least 10 mins of gameplay

Teammates:
Lauryane Chapleau - 3D Artist
Félix Parent - 3D Artist
Kevin Sanscartier - Sound designer
Derek Trudel - Concept artist
Jean-Sébastien Dulong-Grégoire - Programmer
Guillaume Nadeau - Programmer
Alexis Thibeault - Programmer
Gabrielle Tremblay - Programmer

GADGETS & ABILITIES

At the beginning of every level, the player can chose between two gadgets: a speed booster or a spring to jump. This choice will impact how they will get through the level, as this gadget can be used to overcome obstacles. It can be used multiple times during the level when its cooldown is over.

The players can also destroy boxes using their shock wave ability, and shrink or grow the ball as much as they want. Growing the ball makes it slower but more resistant to the impacts of obstacles, such as the wind produced by the fans.

OBSTACLES
Obstacles of different kinds are scattered through the levels to make the game more challenging for the player. Those include:
• Bumpers the push the player around when hit
• Fans of varying strength
• Seesaws on which the ball has to stay balanced
• Rails of varying width
• Walls to destroy

Some other obstacles that were initially planned but not included were moving platforms, sticky walls on which the player could stick against gravity, and speed signs that could be destroyed to gain points by reaching a minimum speed.

LEVEL DESIGN

At first, I tried planning the levels on paper to evaluate how the obstacles could be mixed together and how each of the player's ability could be used to overcome them. But as the production went on, I realized it was much easier to build the levels directly in the engine to test and adapt them as it went. It took me some time to adapt to Unreal as I'd rarely worked in this engine, but it gave me more experience to know how to work with it.

The goal was to design levels that could be solved with or without the abilities, but that would give different bonus scores to the player depending on how they would solve them. For example, not using their gadget would be harder and slower, meaning having less chance to finish the level in time, but give a score bonus to the player, whereas using their boost would mean being quicker and having more chance to finish the level in time. We also had to account for the number of collectibles taken in the score.

To make the level design easier, I created blueprints using the assets created by the programmers and artists, grouping them to be able to place them quicker. For example, I used individual floor tiles and grouped them to make bigger floor tiles, or individual destructible boxes to build walls that would be too high for the player to jump over.


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