Asylum - Final Year University Project!


                                                     I've updated the post with some WIP build screenshots to give you guys a peek at how the game is coming along!


Hi there! I’m a third year game design student from Teesside, England. I’ve moved onto UE4 over the past couple of months after completing my last ever UDK project, “Outside Over There” ( link to that here: Outside Over There - Trailer #1 - YouTube) and I’m here today to grab some feedback and constructive criticism from you guys about my final year project called, Asylum.


“Asylum” will be a first person adventure game, with strong emphasis on stealth, exploration and platforming. The world of “Asylum” is a future ravaged Earth, in which the planet has exhausted all of its resources, resulting in worldwide conflicts, famines and natural disasters etc
However, prior to the downfall of society a secret contingency plan was put in effect to resettle a small percentage of world’s population to state of the art facilities, known as ARCS. These facilities contained VR technology that would allow the users to enter into a virtual world (whilst their real bodies would remain in suspended animation) letting them live out a new life in complete safety. The rest of world wasn’t so lucky.

Game World

The game itself is set inside the VR World. I want the environment to feel really “new” and abundantly clear that its manmade. Hence i decided on going for a concrete/ brutalist architecture style.


If you couldnt already tell, a huge theme is immigration and refugees. I feel that the current “crisis” really needs a game that could help improve and educate gamer’s and by extension their freinds/family view on the matter, that in the end of the day they are incredibly desperate people. I didnt want to recreate a realistic game, as it would add alot of restrictions and ultimately could be a bit of a disservice to the real world scenario.

Game Main Menu

I’m hoping to take it into UE4 and have it working completely in-engine but at the minute, I’ve got this mock-up version as a proof of concept.

Watch it in action ( sort of :stuck_out_tongue: ) here:

World Building Video

For one of my deliverable items for the project, I really wanted to create an accompanying video that would really set the scene for the game world, and help give context to the player when playing the game level. After gathering alot of reference, stock footage and other materials, I’ve managed to get the ball rolling on the creation of the intro video. So far there’s about 10 hours of work maximum put into it, but I think it’s really starting to take shape.

Link to video :

Prototype Gameplay

Since the start of the project, I was very keen on creating a bunch of gameplay mechanics that would allow me to create a fun gameplay experience without having the need of any combat or complex enemy AI.

I looked at game’s like Alien: Isolation, Mirror’s Edge and Outlast as inspiration for fun gameplay without emphasis on combat. This then led me to create a list of some desired elements.

Sprinting – Used to escape enemies, increase jump distance etc
Crouching – Used to enter underground vents, and to reduce the chance of being spotted
Leaning – Used to peer round corners to make sure the route is clear etc
Climbing – Used to ascend parts of the environment to progress through the level, and escape enemies.
Interactive Objects – Used to cause distractions, clear pathways and to aid in exploration.

So after a couple of weeks work, I’ve managed to put together a pretty solid framework of gameplay that I can know start to build level’s around.

Check out the mechanics all working in engine here:

**WIP In-Game Screenshots **

Here are some very early in-build screenshots.

**The Overseers **

The plan is to make these guys, some awful caretakers of the world who keep everyone in line, and deal with anyone who isn’t following the strict rules of the VR World.


That’s it at the moment, next on the agenda is level design then AI, then all-round polish.

You can stay up to date with Asylum here :

Please feel free to comment below, email me at or tweet me @JackChapman117

Thanks for your time!

Teesside! I had some friends that did the course there :slight_smile: I was going to go but ended up at Bournemouth Uni games tech course. My finial year project was also in unreal, nice to see more users I can kinda relate to. Your project looks pretty good and I look forward to seeing more

While I have no real experience with any game engines just yet, as a gamer I think this seems well thought out it has great potential that’s for sure, and the skills and ideas on show so far are impressive enough to me to want to explore this game, the only real issue I have on a personal level is the overseer seems a little contrived, I would personally prefer natural more organic reason to be “kept in line” such as wild dogs, or disease etc preventing me from stepping out of bounds etc, that is unless I have missed something that might later be important to the story.

so far though, I am enjoying where you are going with it, I definitely liked using and improvising navigating the world with objects like the plank I hope this game develops into something successful.

haha awesome! Do you have a link to your final year project? :slight_smile: and thanks alot man! Hopefully you’ll be seeing more as the months roll on!

Thanks alot! To your point about the Overseers they were made to be like the Big Daddies from Bioshock or Agents from The Matrix if that makes sense? So they would be normal enemy dudes for example, then the Overseers would be the big guns. Their physical design was meant to really convey how “man-made” the VR World will be, as they look humanoid enough to relate too, but also very abstract to wary of them. Hope that clears it up a bit more :smiley:

I’ll put my dissertation up online and I’ll share the video with you when I’m on my pc :slight_smile: my research was into the psychology of fear in video games so my game is a horror game.

The overseer makes me think of fallout. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out I think it would make a nice inspiration.

Yes in context I can see how the Overseers fit into your game, and while they are definitely valid ways to be the big guns it still feels a little generic as a way to impose control that’s just my own personal opinion of course, and I think the game in general has a lot going for it.

Obviously you have a solid vision for your game but sometimes I like more abstract and emotional factors to steer gameplay an Overseer is ok as a means to achieve this for sure, but if you can control somehow the character through increased fear or self doubt etc (I am not exactly sure of the best way to do this as obviously only you know the emotional journey you want the game to take) then you connect more with the world and character on a much more personal level than being chased by the even bigger bad guy that we often see in games.

No matter what method you go for, I think what you have so far shows a lot of potential, I am interested to see where you take it and how you develop story and game objectives

I definitely do like the fact that you seem to be avoiding combat for the sake of it/cheap thrills, for me that is a big plus

As a UI designer I love the simplicity of the menu that still comes off with great atmosphere, well done. :slight_smile:

Yeah I’ve never really designed a game based around combat, if there is any in the game I want it to be meaningful etc

Thanks so much! It’s very much a WIP but I’m going as minimal as possible :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks alot for the great feedback! Had a progress review today, and both tutors really loved what I’ve got so far!

Looking really good so far! Always enjoy interactive objects in the scene xD. What is your deadline for this?

The hand-in is around March. But I also have to juggle a team project, an another small assignment, and a part time job :’)

Did you ever get round to finding your dissertation? :slight_smile:

Sounds intriguing. Assuming that the game takes place exclusively in the VR world, how do you plan to tie that in to the theme of refugees?

Presumably for these lucky chosen few, the VR world would be a utopia of sorts where they feel happy and content, or do you have a plot point to explain why a man-made world designed for human habitation would have turned out differently?

In the game world, a lot of the world’s population was left behind. The fortunate ones got access to the VR World. You enter it sort of how you would enter the matrix, essentially plug yourself in and your real body is held in suspended animation. The player will be playing as a “refugee” so to speak. Nino ( the main character) is making a voyage into the VR world, her and her brother start the game by discovering a facility used to gain access to the VR World, so they decide to try and “hack” there way into it. Her brother stays behind just in case it doesn’t work he can help her unplug etc

The game demo will begin with her arriving in the VR World. So i guess to answer your question, to tie it into the theme of refugees, a lot of it will come through plot revelations and twists about the VR world, the company behind it, motivations etc so i cant go into it that much, but simply put its about the desperate measures some people will take to survive, what they will do and what they will sacrifice etc

The VR world on pen on paper is a utopia, its a simulation of world designed to be perfect, but yet again id rather not get into specifics as a lot of it is story based and will devolve into spoiler territory :slight_smile:

I’ve updated the post with some WIP build screenshots to give you guys a peek at how the game is coming along!

Hopefully gonna get some more done on this over the next couple of days or so, before christmas hits. Aiming to get level completely whiteboxed before the new year.

Please follow for more frequent updates!