The Mandrake Hotel

The Mandrake Hotel is a multiplayer horror game with 1 player taking on the role of a business person staying in a remote hotel to attend a meeting with a new client, only to find that hotel isn’t all what it seems. They hear strange voices, see strange things, and something is coming for them! They are directed by 2 other players, who act as spirit guides trapped within the hotel attempting to lead player 1 to safety but disagree on the safest route. They have a top down view of the map, and can control various supernatural occurrences within the level. Escape becomes the only option for player 1, seeking the exits their spiritual benefactors are leading them to. Death means loss for everyone…

This game is the capstone game I worked on as a senior game development major at DePaul University. We worked on this project for 6 months, and my role on the project was gameplay programming with a focus on mechanics design and rapid prototyping. I took the lead on designing the special voice powers, the light and door interactions for all players, the whispers from the spirit players, physics object interactions for haunted rooms. I also worked on some interaction objects for the first-person player, and global events such as the door interactions on the server and modular room spawning.

In post-mortem:

I learned so much over the development. Particularly in Unreal, with Blueprints functionality and the timing of development. This was my first project in Unreal and would have benefitted greatly from more exposure to the platform before we started development. As a team we had trouble with communication early on with each of us taking the lead on our own tasks; we didn’t really see where each of us were at for a few weeks. This made working on resolving issues and developing new mechanics difficult because we didn’t see a complete game playthrough until some design decisions were too late to change, such as player abilities and networking setups. We then pushed up our deadlines in a short timeframe to get everything connected and see if our gameplay was fun and engaging. It took some time getting to healthy spot but I was able to polish a lot on the feel of gameplay for all the players like movement, UI interactions, and audio and visual feedback to make it feel smooth to play.

I am very proud of the work we accomplished. It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t be happier with the game we presented.

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