Project: Gravity

Gravity is a puzzle game where you take the role of the sole survivor of a catastrophic space station malfunction. With dwindling oxygen and no way to contact support for a rescue, you must reach the last remaining escape pod which is located at the other end of the station. There’s only one issue: The space station is crumbling apart and you can see the expansive sea of stars seeping in around you. Fuel is leaking, causing fires to expand around the station… exposed pipes gushing steam will launch you to certain doom if not careful… Even the space station’s security turrets are malfunctioning, blasting anything unfortunate enough to come across their motion detectors… Armed only with a standard-issue gravity manipulation gun, you must utilize the floating wreckage around you to solve a series of puzzles to reach the last remaining escape pod at the other side of the station, as it is your only hope of survival… Will you find salvation and escape the space station before it’s too late? Or will you fall victim to the infinite expanses of the universe?

Gravity was produced by a team of 10 Webster game design students during the duration of Winter 2021.

Level Design: From Block Out To Rock Out

Aside from heading the project as Creative Director, as the team’s primary 3D artist, all 3D assets, textures, and levels are built in-house from the ground up.

As the head 3D artist I was tasked with collaborating with the rest of the devs to bring their ideas and designs to life. Once a team member has come up with an asset design or level idea we would sit down in a round table-like fashion to discuss how their level would be visualized in-game. Careful consideration is taken to assure each level fills a unique slot in the sandbox we are creating. After team critiques, the dev would present me with a top-down paper concept of their level.

Once a paper prototype of the level in question has been passed into my hands I would work my magic bringing them to life. With a combination of Blender and Maya, low poly block-outs would be established and passed on to game testers in Unity. Testing assures all levels are free of game-breaking errors or problematic mesh issues. Once the green light was given by testers I would further refine the block-out mesh from simple cubes to fully produced levels.

All texture maps are designed in-house utilizing Adobe Substance Painter. With cutting-edge smart masking and 4k PBR pipelines, all levels and assets are designed with love and meticulous attention to detail. As an artist, I must think ahead to how all materials will interact with lighting in the scenes. From reflective grease puddles on the floor to scuffs of dirt across the glass, the little details that most people don’t think about are what bring our levels to life.

My direct responsibility to the team includes:

  • Visualizing paper prototyped levels into fully produced game ready scenes
  • 3D Modeling props, set pieces, HUD, and viewmodel
  • Handling all texturing of assets efficiently and ensure organization when implementing materials in-game
  • Ensuring team greatness as creative director by encouraging all devs to be the greatest they can be

Gravity Trailer

Gravity in VR

Alongside developing Gravity as a standalone first-person puzzle game, the dev team has been hard at work experimenting on how the beautiful architecture of Gravity carries over into an immersive VR experience.

Screenshots (Click to Expand)